A couple of years ago, I had learned how the Old Testament and New Testament work together. They have the same message, and they compliment each other. The Old Testament is the foreshadow, and the New Testament is the fulfillment. That is why it is hard to just see the Gospel from the New Testament perspective, in some ways. The Old Testament is like the backdrop. If a person doesn't have a good understanding of the Old Testament, he won't appreciate as deeply, the Gospel of the New Testament. To say it more clearly, and in a simplified way, a person won't understand or appreciate the 'Good News' (of the Gospel), unless he understands the 'Bad News' first. We have to understand that we are sinners first, before we can understand why we need Jesus to be our Savior.
I was thinking of that a couple of years ago, when my son was going to do a trumpet solo for a solo competition. This was serious business. The child has to learn the solo so he or she can perform as best as possible before a judge. The accompanist is a piano player. He or she has to have an original copy of the music that will be played, when the student is playing his or her instrument before the judge.
My son had a piece to practice. And practice he did. I could tell he was playing the right notes. But there were long pauses in the song. It just didn't make sense. In some ways, it didn't really even sound like a song! He practiced and practiced. Then the week came and we had to get ready for his solo.
Even at this point, when the song was perfected, it still didn't sound right. It wasn't that he was doing anything wrong. It just sounded incomplete. I couldn't figure out why. Until the night before the solo was going to be played before the judge, I just began to see something new.
We went to the trumpet teacher's house, where the teacher's wife was the piano accompanist, and she played the song on the piano. Then they practiced the song together. At that moment, I understood the song. I made perfect sense now. The song had another part that would compliment itself. The trumpet and the piano played in harmony together, and the song was beautiful. My eyes were opened to something that didn't make sense, now making perfect sense.
I think the Bible is like that. I don't think it is wrong in any way to sow seeds. We have to do that. But if we have the time, and hope someone understands the Gospel, they first have to have the background information (Old Testament). The Old Testament is the 'why' of the New Testament. Why do we need the Gospel? Because we are sinners. How do we know we are sinners? Because we break the Law (10 Commandments) all the time. We are trespassers. The New Testament explains the Old Testament. The Bible is one book with a continuous story. Both Old Testament and New Testament compliment each other.
In the Old Testament days, people would offer lamb sacrifices for their sins. In the New Testament, Jesus is the Lamb of God. The people that lived during the Old Testament days, who offered sacrifices for their sins, would have understood what it meant when John the Baptist called Jesus the 'Lamb of God'. The Gospel would have made sense to them.
The point of this article is, practically speaking, that when we preach the Good News of the Gospel, we need to tell people the Bad News of the judgment for their sins. They need to know that they have broken the Commandments and will be judged by God. They need to know that God has provided a way for them to be cleansed from their sins, when they repent and trust in what Jesus did for them on the Cross. Only then will true conversion take place. And just as the piano and trumpet playing together sounded beautiful and made sense, so will a person's understanding of the Gospel be beautiful and will make sense to him or her when they understand the whole Gospel story, from beginning to end.