In a number of conversations I have had with Protestants, a certain phrase has come up a few times that has baffled me. We could be casually talking about Jesus and religion when he or she will say “the Old Testament doesn’t really matter, it just leads up to Jesus.” This statement baffles me for a number of reasons but ultimately makes sense with a world of Protestant disunity.
There has always been something that irked me about that sentence, and I realized that the answer to this discomfort, was because of the fact that I am a devout Catholic. The Old Testament is a beautiful testimony to consistency of our God since the beginning of time. It shows us that the God who told the Israelites to slaughter an unblemished lamb and to drench their doors in this blood with a hyssop branch(Exodus 12:22) might be spared from the Angel of Death is the same God who, 2500 years after the first Passover, died on the cross as the unblemished lamb. The Sponge that gave him the wine in His moment of thirst was given to Him was given on a hyssop branch for crying out loud. (John 19:25)
The New Testament is the New Judaism, the continuation and
fulfillment of two thousand years of tradition since father Abraham.
This brings me to my next point, or the reason why the Old Testament doesn’t make sense to the modern non-denominational protestant; the rising belief that Jesus did not come to establish a religion. As that one dude who said words in a cool way said, Christ’s work was, according to this belief, was finished when he died on his cross. There is not any room for religion, for apparently Christ came to get rid of religion which of course was not the case. (Matthew 5:17)
My point in all of this is, is that Catholicism is the blatant successor to Judaism as prescribed by a Judaic man named Jesus(surprise). From everything to the golden Ark of the Covenant, to the Temple Solomon built, to the Temple in Jerusalem, Judaism in all of its ritual and circumstance all make sense to a Catholic. In the mass we offer the Father the only sufficient sacrifice: His only Son, the Lamb of God.
The Solution of course, as heirs to over 4000 years of tradition, is of course to let the world know this blessing of continuity. Our God has always been the same, He has constantly loved His people throughout the ages. This is a pretty much a given, but its a pretty good idea to preach the absolute truth of a Constant God in a world that says that God is who you make Him to be.