Did the Old Testament become a secondary revelation with the coming of Christ and the penning of the inspired New Testament? Is the Old Testament’s utility found in its moral teachings? Charles Drew, in his book The Ancient Love Song: Finding Christ in the Old Testament, would respond in the negative to each of these questions. He believes the Old Testament is relevant and necessary to readers of every generation. He sees the Old Testament books as an unfolding of the mysterious promises of the coming Christ.
After Adam’s fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, man desperately needed a savior. At this early point, God intervened and promised restoration in the day that the woman’s seed would crush the serpent’s head. The victor would be Christ.
The author next takes readers through the historical, poetic, and prophetic sections of the Scriptures and shows how these works focus on Christ.
He devotes chapters to appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. Christ visited Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. Jacob wrestled with Him. Such appearances were but appetizers pointing to the fullness of time when the incarnate Christ would walk upon the earth, minister, and ultimately atone for sins on the cross of Calvary.
God used mere men, such as Abraham, Noah, and David, to point to the perfect Christ. A chapter is devoted to Joseph and how events in his life were precursors to Christ’s work. Ultimately, the betrayed brother was the savior for his family.
Successive chapters examine many ways that the psalms, wisdom literature, and prophets pointed to Christ. As faithful as many of them were, not one of the prophets, priests, or kings was able to redeem God’s people. Their failures continually reminded the hungry and thirsty that God must provide the Bread and Water of Life that was essential for the soul’s salvation.
The final chapter discusses mortality and how the Old Testament speaks to this issue. Even on this topic, the writer points readers to Christ who defeated death in His resurrection.
Each of the chapters provides a number of questions that are beneficial for discussion and reflection by individuals or groups.
This book should cause the reader to study the Old Testament in a more Christ-centered manner and, thus, with more spiritual profit. It will be helpful to church officers and laity, enriching their personal lives. The Bible is truly a whole unit. All of it is equally inspired and relevant to our day. It is a story of God’s promise of a Savior for sinners. That promise has been fulfilled in Christ, to whom the entirety of Scripture points.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.