From Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is the main Character of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. The old covenant was meant to prepare people to receive the promised messiah. The New Covenant, by which ALL people are saved, is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant Promises in Jesus Christ.
The significance of the New Covenant is that if Jesus had not died on the cross for the sins of lost humanity then the entire planet would have been lost under an eternal death sentence. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and David were all awaiting the day when Christ would be the lamb of God and complete the atonement for the sins of humanity. If Christ had not been the perfect sacrifice for sin then they would have been damned for eternity. All humanity would be destroyed.
Not one drop of blood from the millions of lambs slain on old covenant altars had saving value. But the Israelites had lost sight of the true meaning of the symbols and ceremonies that were a shadow of things to come in the person and work of Jesus.
Ellen White (1941) in the book Christ’s Object Lessons stated:
“Christ’s mission was not understood by the people of His time. The manner of His coming was not in accordance with their expectations. The Lord Jesus was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. Its imposing services were of divine appointment. They were designed to teach the people that at the time appointed One would come to whom those ceremonies pointed. But the Jews had exalted the forms and ceremonies and had lost sight of their object. The traditions, maxims, and enactments of men hid from them the lessons which God intended to convey. These maxims and traditions became an obstacle to their understanding and practice of true religion” (pp. 34-35).
Let us not fall into the same trap as the ancient Israelites whose focus on the rules and rigid ceremony led them to overlook the real relationship with God those rules were meant to protect. The obsession with the letter of the law killed the spirit of the law of love–love for God and fallen humanity. They turned the blessing of obedience to God into an obstacle and burden.
Let us remember that we do not keep the commandments of God in order to be saved, but we keep the commands of God because we have already been saved by the person and work of Jesus Christ. We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Stephen Beagles (2022)
White, E.G. (1941). Christ’s Object Lessons. Washington: Review and Herald Publishing Association.