shadow of the law hath passed, and Grace hath come" (Octoechos, Dogmatic
Theotokion of the 2nd Tone). The prefiguring paled before the Truth; the
shadows that come just before dawn were dispersed when the Sun shone forth.
There are no more Old Testament sacrifices; not only in the sense that they
have lost their significance, but they no longer exist even physically. There
is no tabernacle; there is no Old Testament temple in Jerusalem; the Jews have no high priest or priesthood according to
of Christ has come. And the very core of the Old Testament law —
God's Ten commandments, which were given on Mount Sinai —
yield their place to the commandments which were proclaimed on another
mountain, the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.
Two ancient commandments remain unshaken: that
concerning loving God with all one's heart, all one's soul, and all one's mind,
and the second concerning loving one's neighbor as oneself. They constitute the
ideological essence of the Old Testament: the Saviour said that all the Law and
the Prophets were based in them. But concerning love for one's neighbor, the
Lord gave us a new, more exalted commandment, during His parting discourse with
His disciples: A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another,
as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends. Here the previous commandment is not abolished,
but is exalted by the concept of love to the level of self-denial, of love
which is greater than the love one has for oneself
At the Mystical Supper, the Lord revealed the
mystical truth of the establishment of the New Testament: This cup is the
New Testament in My blood. This truth became the subject of the Apostles'
Nevertheless, the Old Testament remains the
foundation on which the Church
of Christ stands and rises up to the heavens. The cornerstones of
this foundation are the books of the Old Testament Bible: the nomothetic,
historical, didactic and prophetic books. They contain great prophecies about
Christ and an almost unlimited number of foreshadowings and reflections of the
coming New Testament. In them, we hear early calls to repentance, meekness, and
mercy, which were later proclaimed in all their force and depth in the
preaching of the Gospel. In them, we find numerous examples of piety and an
abundance of moral edification. Eternal truths about God, the world, man, sin,
about the necessity of redemption and about the coming of the awaited Redeemer
are here revealed to mankind.
Illuminated by the light of the Gospel, and with
its full meaning revealed by the New Testament Church, the Old Testament Bible
remains an inseparable part of the heritage of Christianity.