In the sermon series 90, Andy Stanley said that Jesus ushered in something brand new when it comes to a relationship with God, and that this new covenant completely replaced the old covenant. It was not intended to be an improvement or an extension of the old covenant, but rather a different paradigm altogether.
But it stirs the question, does the Old Testament matter at all to Christians? It’s a fair question, and if the answer is categorically “no,” then that can make you or some of your group members a little uncomfortable. After all, the Old Testament is in the Bible.
I recently bought a new air conditioning unit. It completely replaced the old one. The function of the old unit does not matter one bit any more. It’s gone. But in order to make the best of the new system, I had to know lots of things about the old one: How was it installed? Where was it located? What were its limitations?
So in terms of the Old Testament, think of it like this: as an overall system, the Old Testament is irrelevant. We no longer have the requirements outlined in the Old Testament to demonstrate our faith. Now, Jesus has summarized how we live out our faith by two commandments: loving God and loving people.
But are there things in the Old Testament that help us understand God’s character? Of course. Are there passages that can give us wisdom and insight to approach life? Yes. Are there stories from Jewish history that we need to remember in order to have a better understanding of our faith? Absolutely.
So saying the primary thesis of the Old Testament is no longer applicable does not mean that the content of the Old Testament is no longer important.