And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24: 25, ESV).
There are many people who say they are New Testament Christians. What they mean by this statement is they do not read or see the value in the Old Testament. Andy Stanley has famously declared that Christians need to “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament and just believe in the resurrection.
Yes, there is a lot of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The things every scholar can agree on is Jesus really died, he was buried in a public tomb, he was claimed to have been seen alive by women, and he was claimed to have been seen alive by men who had no reason to lie. The resurrection is the only thing which makes sense out of all these facts.
The reason Christians should not reject the Old Testament is that it provided the foundation for the resurrection. It prophesied hundreds and thousands of years beforehand that God would raise His Son from the dead. We will look at that in detail below.
The Emmaus Road
After Jesus was seen by the women and the empty tomb was verified by Peter and John, two of the disciples decided to go into hiding in Emmaus (Luke 24: 1 – 14). The disciples apparently did not believe the testimony of the women and were confused by the empty tomb, as seen by their reaction to the disguised Jesus’ question (vv. 14 – 24). Jesus didn’t rebuke them for not believing the testimony of the women or the empty tomb, but for not believing the testimony of the prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 25). Then he explained to them all the places in the scriptures which talked about him (vv. 26 – 27).
I believe this is one of the most misunderstood passages of scripture. Jesus is not saying every single passage of scripture talks about him. This is a common hermeneutical error in interpreting the Old Testament. People often allegorize passages in the Bible to make them speak about Jesus. Books like Song of Solomon just teach on the joys of marriage, it is not an allegory of Christ’s love for the church.
Jesus is teaching in this verse there are many passages in the Old Testament which talk about Jesus being the Messiah, dying on a cross, and rise from the dead. This may be one of the greatest evidences for the resurrection. For God hundreds and thousands of years ago, foretold that the messiah would suffer, die, and rise again to rescue His people.
Old Testament Passages Which Point to Christ
- Genesis 3:15: teaches Satan’s power would be crushed after merely hurting the seed of the woman, God’s Son. This took place over four thousand years before the cross.
- Psalm 22: teaches the Messiah would die on a cross before crucifixion was invented and would be saved from death afterwards, brining in blessing. This was a thousand years beforehand.
- Isaiah 53: teaches the Messiah would die for the sin of his people, die with the wicked, be buried in a rich man’s tomb, and God would prolong his days. This took place seven hundred years beforehand.
- Psalm 16: 8 – 10: teaches God’s Holy One would not be left in the grave and would not see “corruption” or decay. This teaches the resurrection one thousand years before Jesus rose.
The impact of the Old Testament prophesying the death, burial, and resurrection should not be ignored. A skeptic may say yes Jesus rose from the dead, but it was with a science we have no knowledge about. He could also try to give the credit to aliens. The fact that God said his Son would suffer, die, and rise from the dead hundreds and thousands of years beforehand gives the credit solely to God. God verified Jesus was God’s Son by his resurrection. As the apostle Paul says:
the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1: 1b – 4, ESV).
Andy Stanley needs to repent of his false teaching that Christians need to unhitch from the Old Testament. It is not a house of cards; it is the historical and theological foundation for the events in the New Testament. Jesus really is the Son of God as told by the prophets and the resurrection.
If you want to dive deeper in your understanding in biblical interpretation, check out the resources section at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are tons of biblical resources to help you grow in your faith. Lord bless you.