About the Old Testament, if the old Law had changed to the Law of Christ, then that would be of vital importance and the New Testament should have addressed this in detail. The New Testament does from Ephesians 2:11ff to Colossians 2:14ff, unto Romans 7:1-6, Galatians 3-5, Hebrews 7-9, and 2 Corinthians 3.
When did the New Testament start? The New Testament started when Jesus died (Heb. 9:16-18). Therefore, Jesus lived under the Old Testament from Moses, which included keeping the Sabbath. Christians have been set free from the Law of Moses (Rom. 7:1-6). “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2, cf. 10:4).
What happened to the Old Testament? “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13). When Christ became High Priest, the Law changed. “For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” (Heb. 7:12, cf. 7:23-28).
What was wrong with the Old Testament and the 10 Commandments? “Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?” (2 Cor. 3:7). The Old Covenant was not perfect (Heb. 7:11, 19).
What is the Old Testament useful for now? The Old Testament provides examples of faith and learning (1 Cor. 10:5, 11; Rom. 15:4). The Law brought us all guilty under the holiness of God needing the salvation of Christ (Rom. 3:19-20).
“What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’” (Rom. 7:7).
The Old Covenant consisted of physical shadows, copies, patterns, and types of the New Covenant. “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near” (Heb. 10:1). The sacrifices for sins represented Christ (Heb. 9:11ff, 10:1-14; Lev. 17:11). The Temple represented the Church, and now all Christians are priests who offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Pet. 2:5, 1 Cor. 3:26-18, 2 Cor. 6:14-18). See, the worship changed from the physical representation into the true spiritual form in Christ. Those shadows consisted of physical incense, but the spiritual incense is prayer (Rev. 5:8). Musical worship with physical instruments was imperfect and symbolic, because spiritual praise comes from the heart and is the fruit of our lips (Rev. 5:8-9, Heb. 13:15).
What about the Sabbath? Jesus lived under the Law to redeem us from the Law, which included keeping the Sabbath day (Gal. 4:4-5). The Sabbath’s rest was symbolic of our eternal Sabbath’s rest in heaven (Heb. 4:1-11).
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16-17).
After Jesus’ death, the Old Testament passed away and the New Testament came in, so that we do not observe that Sabbath day. The reasons why are in Hebrews 4:1-11. Now, we meet on the 1st day of the week (John 20:19, Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:1-3). This is the Day of Jesus’ resurrection (Matt. 28:1-7, John 20:19). As Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20), and in Revelation, we see Jesus in the midst of the congregations on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10, 13, 20).
What about the moral parts of the Law of Moses within the 10 Commandments? All the 10 commandments’ moral commands are fulfilled and reinstated in Christ. Now, we look to Christ for our moral teaching rather than Moses. Christ added more to Moses instructions as seen in Matthew 5. Romans 13:8-10 states,
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The Old Testament shows us many things. Some of these are the depth of God’s planning for Christ’s Law from symbols to prophecies. The Old Testament shows examples of faith from the faith of Abraham unto Ezra. Let us learn from the Old Testament, but not place ourselves under its bondage again. For this reason, Paul wrote by the Spirit of Christ to the Galatians (ch. 3-5).