Have you ever started watching a movie after it had been on for a while, or maybe only caught the second half of a play after intermission? It's pretty disorienting, isn't it? I mean, you eventually figure out what's going on (sort of), and you can still appreciate the ending (mostly), but it's still an overall strange--and sometimes quite dissatisfying--experience!

When it comes to their faith, I would argue that many Christians do just this! Why? Because they never take the time to study the Old Testament.  You see, Jesus' coming isn't the beginning of the story of redemption! There are a long line of promises being fulfilled (and still awaiting fulfillment) in the person of Jesus Christ.  If all you know of the redemption story is what is recorded in the New Testament--if redemption starts in Matthew 1 for you--then you are missing out on so much! Yes, you can figure out what's going on (sort of), and you can still appreciate the end of the story (mostly), but you are going to have an impoverished understanding of what God is doing and who Jesus is.

And to make matters even more serious, you're not going to fully understand most of the New Testament either.  You see, the NT writers understood Jesus as the fulfillment of the OT story--not a second story, or a better story, but a continuation of the same story! The NT is chock full of quotations from, or at least allusions to, the OT.  They weren't writing to say, "Hey, check out this brand new strategy God is trying out!" Instead, they were saying to us, "Look! Look how Jesus has fulfilled so many of the long-awaited promises of God! And look at how God is going to use Him to fulfill all the rest!"

Quite simply, if you're not studying the Old Testament along with the New, you are robbing yourself of so many of faith's riches! Don't be an intermission Christian! Start at the beginning and stay for the whole show!

You think you love the ending now?

Just wait!