Q: Why don't Christians follow all the laws in the Old Testament, and not just parts of it like the Ten Commandments? Christians believe it's all part of God's Word, don't they? - R.T.
A: Yes, the whole Bible is God's Word, and every part of it has lessons to teach us. The Bible says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
At the same time, Christians have always believed that many of the laws of the Old Testament no longer apply to us the way they once did - and the reason is because Jesus Christ has fulfilled them. They pointed forward to the coming of the Messiah - and once He came, they were no longer needed.
Let me give an example. In Old Testament times, the priests carried out animal sacrifices every day to make atonement for the sins of the people. But through His death on the cross, Jesus paid the final price for our sins - fully and completely. No more sacrifices are needed, because He is a final sacrifice for sin. Our sins have been forgiven because all our sins were placed on Christ, "And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin" (Hebrews 10:18).
Does this mean we should just ignore those parts of the Old Testament? No, not at all. They teach us just how seriously God takes sin, and they remind us too of what it cost God to make our salvation possible. Most of all, they point us to Jesus Christ, who loved us so much that He was willing to give His life for us. Have you responded to His love by giving your life to Him?