Where the Gospel Starts
The Gospel of Jesus doesn’t start in Matthew. Wait…what? The Gospel doesn’t start in Matthew? Where does it start then? The Gospel starts long before the book of Matthew. In fact, the story of God redeeming the world through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ begins before Jesus physically entered this world during the first century. It begins long before Genesis, but we see the first clear picture of God foretelling the coming of His Son in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve sin in the Garden:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” -Genesis 3:15
Here we have the first Gospel proclamation, and throughout the Old Testament we see pictures, types, and shadows of Jesus. We see the prophets foretelling the coming of the Messiah. We see the Spirit of Jesus at work throughout the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; through Levitical worship God institutes in the book of Leviticus; and through the prophecies concerning the suffering servant in Isaiah. The Old Testament is crucial in understanding the Gospel. We lose the beauty, scope, and story of the Gospel if we start with Matthew and throw out the Old Testament.
What do you think? Have we missed the beauty of the Old Testament? How does our understanding of the Old Testament make clear the scope of the Gospel?