Many people believe that teaching the Old Testament to children is unnecessary or not as important as the New Testament. The truth of the matter is that “the New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.”
When we are reading the Old Testament we will find many foreshadowing of things to come as well as promises that will be fulfilled in the New Testament. Look at the story in Genesis when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his promised son on Mount Moriah. This is a clear example of how the New Testament reveals the Old Testament. If you compare Genesis 22:1-18. with Hebrews 11:17-19 you see that Hebrews reveals details to us about Abraham’s heart that were concealed in the OT story.
Another good example is Moses in Hebrews11:24-27. Here again you will find something about Moses beliefs and heart attitudes revealed in Hebrews that were concealed in the OT story. The full understanding of the man and the moment become evident by studying the two passages together though they were written hundreds of years apart.
An archeological finding has revealed that Mount Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac on the alter is also the placed called Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. Do you think this was a coincidence? The New testament reveals to us that this was a foreshadowing taking place. Abraham was prevented from killing his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God provided a ram. Not only did God record the story for us but in His providence determined that both of these sacrifices would take place on the same mountain. That ram in the thicket was a fore shadow of His only Son who would be offered in man’s place of punishment.
Read John 3:16 with Abraham and Isaac’s story in mind. God loved His only son Jesus even more that Abraham loved Isaac; but He allowed His son, Jesus, to offer Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Why would God do this? Because only the perfect sinless blood of Jesus could really pay the debt owed by mankind for the forgiveness of our sins. He wanted to reveal His heart of love for His son and His willingness to do whatever it would take for us to spend eternity with Him.
As we teach through the Bible we offer our young disciples a profound tool when we teach them that as they read through the Old Testament they will understand it better if they look for the connections in the New Testament. The Old Testament is a history book that speaks of how God created man. He spoke through His prophets to reveal truth about Himself, mankind, and the plan He has had from the beginning to restore the broken relationship between the two. The main scarlet thread woven from Genesis to Malachi is that He would send the Deliverer to bring man back into a relationship with Him. The Old Testament also speaks of the future judgments and the end of time.
The New Testament continues that scarlet thread as we learn about the coming of the promised Messiah and how God kept the O.T. promises and fulfilled those prophecies in sending Christ to redeem man from the penalties of sin. It too is also a book of promises and prophesies that Jesus gave while He was here about the future of His people, the finaljudgment and the end of the world, as we know it. Without studying both books together we won’t get a complete understanding of all that God wants us to know.
Let’s teach our children about the journey God has called us to take even as He called Abraham. The Christian journey ends in Heaven, our promised land. While we are here on earth we will make many choices. To help us make the right choices we are best served when we study together both the Old and New Testaments. Together they are filled with historical examples, divine revelation, and practical guidelines to help us make the right choices.