Thoroughly Equipped: Last Words, New Beginnings

Today, I reviewed the last chapter of the Old Testament with the last chapter of the New Testament.  And one main thing stood out to me.  Let’s look at it together. This is the last chapter of the Old Testament:

[a]The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.[b] And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai[c] for all Israel.

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

The last words of the Old Testament are looking forward to the Savior, Jesus.  Who is this Sun of Righteousness with healing in its wings?  It is Jesus, of course.  He is the one to right the wrongs.  He is the one to take the curse upon him, so the threat of the curse of sin would be a thing of the past.  And yet, the last words of the Old Testament are still reflective of this curse, as God reminds us, “Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”  The last word of the Old Testament is “curse”.  And that is a lot of what the Old Testament is about—living with the curse.  Let’s compare that with the last chapter of the New Testament, Revelation 22.

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Oh, those sweet words written in the last chapter of the New Testament!  “No longer will there be a curse upon anything.”  Oh, praise God that there will come a time when the repercussions of the Fall will be completely gone.  There will be no more sin or sickness or death or disease or sadness or weeping or grief of any kind.  The last word of the Old Testament may be “curse”, but the last words of the New Testament are an invitation to a curse-less world:

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. 18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.[f]

Yes, the last sentence of the Old Testament may end with the threat of the curse, but the last sentence of the New Testament ends with grace.  Amazing grace.  Grace that is bigger than all my sin.

This year, we will read through the entire Bible again.  But this year, let’s focus on the New Testament.  Now that we better understand the curse of the Old Testament, let’s savor the truth of the grace of the New Testament.  I am praying that we all experience the life-changing truth of the Word of God, this year and every year.

Leave a Reply