Where Is Jesus in the Old Testament? How to Find Him on Every Last Page
- Ten years ago, I was in charge of a feedback group for aspiring ministers of the gospel.
- We were given the opportunity to review an exegesis of Judges 14 by a youth pastor.
- Towards the end of his speech, Jesus talked of ″another Savior who came to deliver his people for all time.″ He didn’t make a big deal out of the argument, and he didn’t even mention the word ″Jesus,″ but he did include the line.
- During the feedback session, I inquired as to why he had included that particular statement at the conclusion.
- Another kid responded in a split second with a statement I’ll never forget: ″Because we’re supposed to,″ he said.
The entire room clapped its hands in appreciation.Everyone felt the same sense of responsibility.The reason for this ″shifting gears to Jesus″ instruction was unclear to any of the preachers in training, but it appears that there was a regulation in place.
This is something I see all the time among Christians.We believe that the Old Testament should be regarded as Christian Scripture, but we’re not clear why or how this should be the case.It appears to be such a clattering of gears.Is this true, though?Perhaps a straightforward framework for understanding how Christ is at the center of the Scriptures would be beneficial: he is patterned, promised, and present from Genesis onward.
- The flood and the ark, the Passover and the Red Sea, the wilderness and the Promised Land, exile and return, war and peace, kingdom and kings, prophets and priests, the temple, its sacrifices, and its rituals, wisdom in death and in life, songs of lament and rejoicing, the lives of faithful sufferers, and the blood of righteous martyrs — the Old Testament is extraordinarily shaped by Jesus’ life and death.
- The Old Testament is filled with The tale as a whole, as well as each of its individual components, is similar to a fractal.
- By stepping back from the details, we may see pictures of the same pattern in ever-increasing size — the suffering and rising Christ (as in 1 Corinthians 10:1–11).
- Although Paul teaches us about the gospel patterns of the Old Testament, he takes care (in lines 4 and 9) to stress us that Christ was not only modeled, but he was also promised and present to the Old Testament believers at the time of Christ’s birth.
- Old Testament saints were more than just pieces of a mosaic, bearing witness to a gospel design that they were unaware of.
- They were active participants in it.
- In the same way, they looked forward to the completion of these designs.
- Through the promises, of course.
In the words of Jesus, Paul, and Peter (Luke 24:25–27; Acts 26:22–23; 1 Peter 1:10–12), this is how they perceived it.Each of them describes the Old Testament narrative as preaching ″Christ’s sufferings and glory,″ while at the same time asserting that this message is what Moses and the prophets themselves ″wrote,″ ″said,″ ″prophesied,″ and ″predicted″ in the first place.True faith, from the beginning, was messianic faith, based on Jesus Christ himself.
He was the one who stood firm and in whom the loyal could put their faith.
- The fact that Christ actually present, rather than merely being modelled and promised, is arguably the most overlooked aspect of the story. Surprise, surprise, the New Testament authors are very specific in their description of Jesus’ presence in the Old Testament: In Jesus, Abraham found joy (John 8:56–58)
- in Christ, Moses found motivation (Hebrews 11:26)
- in Christ, they found redemption (Jude 5)
- in Christ, they found the Rock in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4)
- in Christ, they found the King of Isaiah’s temple vision (John 12:40–41)
- and in Christ, they found the Rock in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4).
- Jesus is not only foreshadowed and promised in the Old Testament, but he is also present in it.
- As a result, neither God nor faith have altered in their basic essence from the first covenant to the new covenant, and this is critical.
- God has always operated in accordance with the Trinitarian model: from the Father, via the Son, and through the Spirit.
- At Christmas, He did not begin to be triune — that is, the Father did not begin to require a mediator — as a result of the birth of Jesus.
- Faith has also remained unchanged on a basic level.
True faith does not just abandon itself to a divine design or place faith in distant promises; true faith embraces a promising Person as its object of trust.It was Calvin who commonly said that Christ comes ″clothed in the gospel.″ Remembering the promises in which Christ is dressed, but never preaching a particular set of clothing, is essential.The person of the Son is at the heart of saving faith, and he is the source of all faith.
As It Was in the Beginning?
- All of the texts that have been quoted thus far have come from the New Testament.
- It is possible to make a compelling argument based just on these that the Hebrew Bible proclaims Christ.
- However, it may be claimed that this Christian perspective can only be discovered by going backward from the New Testament.
- Is it possible to read the Bible from beginning to end, beginning with Genesis, and yet perceive the same Christ-centeredness?
- Yes, I believe that is the case.
Every page of the Hebrew Bible, I believe, has some aspect of Christ, whether it be a pattern, a promise, or an actual presence.More than that, in a few critical passages, he is depicted in all three of these ways at the same time.Following are only three of these occurrences, with the goal that they may encourage you to look at the entire Bible through these perspectives.
Jesus Walks in Eden (Genesis 3)
- Adam and Eve hide amid the trees, embarrassed by their transgression.
- They’ll be concealing themselves in fig leaves before you know it.
- By concealing their immorality and displaying a false sense of virtue, they strive to control their condition.
- Their Lord, on the other hand, has a different remedy in mind.
- He doesn’t cover them with foliage, but rather with animal skins.
Even though we aren’t informed whose innocent creature died in order to clothe the guilty, the substitutionary pattern is picked up by Isaiah and Paul: we, the guilty, are robed in a foreign righteousness — you could say that we are dressed in Christ — because of the death of some innocent creature (Isaiah 61:10; Galatians 3:27).
- If you look around the garden as the judgements come tumbling down, it’s amazing how everything except for the pair is cursed.
- God, on the other hand, promises ″the offspring of the woman.″ Given that women do not have seed, this suggests a miracle birth (Genesis 3:15, my translation).
- Despite the fact that he would incur a huge personal sacrifice — his heel would be hit — this kid of the woman would crush the head of the house of the wicked.
- We get a promise of the miraculous birth and triumphant suffering of ″the seed″ in this passage of scripture.
- According to Martin Luther, ″All of God’s promises trace back to the initial promise concerning Christ, which is found in Genesis 3:15.
In Christ Jesus, both the faith of the fathers throughout the time of the Old Testament and our religion today are one and the same faith…The object of real faith, as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit, remain unchanged across time.True believers, whether they live in the past, are currently living, or will live in the future, have always had and will always have the same mentality, the same impression, and the same faith towards Christ.
(Commentary on the book of Galatians)
- Now we get to the aspect of Christ’s presence that is sometimes neglected.
- The Lord who walks with his most loved animals in the calm of the day (Genesis 3:8), and who is he, you might wonder.
- Jonathan Edwards expresses the most widely held belief of the church founders, reformers, and Puritans in the following words: When we read in holy history of God’s actions and revelations towards his Church and people at various times throughout history, we are to realize that these actions and revelations are specifically related to the second person of the Trinity.
- In most cases, if not all, instances of God appearing in some visible form after the fall are understood to refer to the second person of the Trinity, who is usually but not always the Son of God.
- (History of the Work of Redemption, chapter 20.) This does not provide a comprehensive solution to all of the questions we may have concerning Old Testament sightings.
It’s undeniable, however, that the Son of God had not taken flesh prior to his incarnation in Mary’s womb, and as a result, we should avoid seeing Jesus as an incarnate figure in this passage or elsewhere in the Old Testament.Edwards, however, maintains that the Father is always represented by the Son, citing Colossians 1:15 and John 1:18 as examples.Christ is not only foreshadowed and promised in the Old Testament, but he is also physically present in it.
Jesus Speaks on Moriah (Genesis 22)
- Here is the ultimate test of faith, but it has put Abraham’s faith to the test as well as anybody else’s.
- Many people have struggled to understand God’s instructions to Abraham in this chapter: ″Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and travel to the country of Moriah, and give him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you″ (Genesis 22:18).
- (Genesis 22:2).
- Until you consider the pattern, it’s a complete and total disgrace.
- What is the identity of this son?
He is the progeny of Abraham, and he represents the hope of the world.This cherished son is the focal point of all of God’s promises.If he is sacrificed, God would have to – somehow!
— bring him back to life in order to rescue and bless the entire world, and this would be impossible.It is important to note that he is to be sacrificed atop a hilltop in the neighborhood of what would eventually become Jerusalem (Genesis 22:1–14; see also 2 Chronicles 3:1).He carries the wood on his back as he makes his way up the hill to the site of the atoning offering (Genesis 22:6).For all of this time, Abraham is convinced that he would be resurrected with his son from death (Genesis 22:5; see also Hebrews 11:17–20).When you grasp the pattern — the death and resurrection of the son — Genesis 22 ceases to be a hindrance but rather an enormous boost to one’s religious confidence.
- Check out this quote from Abraham, who named the mountain ″The Lord will provide,″ which is still used today to describe the mountain: ″Abraham named the name of that place ‘The Lord will provide,’ and it is still used today to describe it as ″The Lord will provide,’″ which is interpreted to mean ″The Lord will provide.″ (Genesis 22:14; 23:15).
- For hundreds of years, Israelites pointed to that hill, trusting in a future provision — a future atonement — that would be made possible.
- They were even aware of the location where it would take place.
- For decades, the Old Testament saints regarded Christ as promised in this event, and they placed their hopes in accordance with that expectation.
- In Genesis 22:11, it is the angel of the Lord who intervenes to prevent the judgment from being carried out.
- In stanza 15, he expresses himself once more, and he does it with a stunning sense of self-awareness.
- What kind of angel does this guy believe he is?
- ″By me, proclaims the Lord…
- I will definitely bless…
I will surely increase…″ he says, despite the fact that he has been sent by the Lord to speak.(Genesis 22:16–17; 23:16–17).When we come across ordinary angels in the Scriptures, they are quick to point out that they are completely different from God (as in Revelation 22:9).
The Lord, on the other hand, has sent a one-of-a-kind messenger whose name, literally, may be translated as ″the Sent One,″ who maintains that he is from the Lord and that he is the Lord.In the terminology of the creeds, he is referred to as ″God from God.″ Calvin recounts the history of Christian interpretation that has gone before him on the topic of the angel’s identity: The orthodox doctors of the Church have rightly and intelligently explained that the Word of God was the supreme angel, who then started to fulfill the role of Mediator as if by anticipation, as the Word of God was the supreme angel.Institutes, I.xiii.10; (Institutes, I.xiii.10) In Genesis 22, this ″God from God″ intervened to prevent Isaac from being struck by the sword of judgment.Two millennia later, the very same Mediator would ascend the exact same hill in order to arrest God’s punishment against his chosen people.
Jesus Burns at the Bush (Exodus 3)
- There are several biblical allusions to the burning bush.
- Plants are frequently compared to God’s chosen ones (or to the king who represents them; Judges 9; Isaiah 5; John 15).
- The Egyptian people’s hardships are usually referred to as ″a furnace″ by the media (Deuteronomy 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51; Jeremiah 11:4).
- During this time of sorrow, we witness God’s people on fire.
- Yet, in this Christlike pattern, their King and Savior, the great ″I Am,″ descends into the flames to be with his people and to guide them out of the conflagration.
The pattern of the Exodus corresponds to the pattern of the Gospel of Matthew.
- The exodus itself is a manifestation of the fulfillment of prophecies.
- Genesis 12 reveals that the ″seed of Abraham″ will be a blessing and a ruler over all of the nations.
- There is some uncertainty in the promise – is the ″seed″ plural (Israel) or singular (Christ) in nature?
- To put it bluntly, the answer is yes.
- The ″seed″ is first and foremost the country of Israel, and at the end of time, it is Christ — the Messiah — who stands alone as the nation’s representative (Galatians 3:16).
As the promise progresses, we get to Genesis 15, where the Lord predicts a pattern of suffering and resurrection for the ″seed of Abraham″: the seed will be oppressed and tormented, but through judgment, the seed will be exalted to greater glory (Genesis 15:13–15).While it is true that Israel will be the first to experience death and resurrection, we are witnessing a glimpse of the upcoming gospel drama as we watch the exodus.In other words, the entire exodus is a fulfillment of the promise of Christ.
- The divine term ″I Am″ is crucial to our knowledge of God and is used in many religious traditions.
- Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the phrase ″I Am″ is preserved in the name ″Yahweh,″ which is used 6,800 times.
- The God of Israel is ultimately ″he who dwells in the bush,″ according to the Bible (Deuteronomy 33:16).
- And who exactly is he?
- He is the angel of the Lord, who is also the Lord in his own right (Exodus 3:2, 6, 14).
For the sake of this explanation, he is ″the Angel of the covenant, the mighty Angel of God’s presence, in whom was the name and character of God…he was none other but the Son of God.″ As a result, it’s no surprise that Jude can look back on the exodus and conclude, ″Jesus…delivered a people from the land of Egypt″ (Jude 5).
Jesus Christ is, without a doubt, the God of Israel and the Hero of the whole Scriptures.
Jesus Is Lord of All
- What was the problem with the inexperienced preachers grumbling about ″we’re meant to″ bridge to Christ, you may wonder.
- Their mistake was, I believe, this: they failed to see the significance of Christ, and they failed to recognize that, in its own context and on its own terms, the Old Testament is already regarded as Christian Scripture.
- It has already been declared to be a proclamation of the Lord Messiah.
- Certainly, there are patterns to be found throughout the Old Testament, and this is a well-known fact.
- The iconography associated with the gospels was built up over ages, layer upon layer.
Jesus truly is the true temple, lamb, priest, king, and prophet, as well as the true sacrifice.The genuine and better Joseph, David, Jonah (and so on) are all those who have come to know him.All of this is correct.
However, this is not the whole truth.Beginning in Genesis 3:15 and continuing through the rest of the Bible, there are important promises to be found.Jesus is the seed – the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David — and he is the source of all life on earth.He keeps every promise he makes, including those of land, peace, blessing, and so on.All of this is correct.
However, this is not the whole truth.In addition to these viewpoints, we should consider the presence of the Son of God in the Hebrew Scriptures as well.This is a critical component in order to avoid the perception of a ″crunch of gears″ between the two covenants.
What exists at the intersection of the Old and the New is more than a plan or a promise; it is a Person.The Bible is brought together by Jesus.While he is not present in the Old Testament, he is present on the bench, waiting for his fourth quarter winning play to come up.He is the player-coach-manager who is in charge of everything.
- His role as the one and only Mediator of God Most High is emphasized throughout the Old Testament, and he is shown as walking inexorably toward his own manifestation.
- Jesus is the Messiah.
- He’s been like this since the beginning.
Jesus in the Old Testament
- In the Old Testament, Jesus is referred to as The Savior’s types, Christophanies, and prophecies are all included. In the same way that ″the new is hidden in the old,″ ″the old is exposed in the new″ is true. —Augustine On the morning of the resurrection, two disciples were walking to Emmaus when they began talking about the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. As Jesus approached them, He inquired as to what they were discussing. Even though he already knew, he wished to disclose to them their lack of comprehension of His position in God’s everlasting plan, so ″he began with Moses and all the Prophets, and he revealed to them what was stated in all the Scriptures concerning himself″ (Luke 24:25-27 NIV). Without a doubt, the long journey to Emmaus took many hours, and it is certain that Jesus took the same amount of time to explain the allusions to Himself found in the Old Testament as well. As its dominant center, He appears throughout in the form of types, Christophanies, and predictions. The Road to Redemption Is a Scarlet One Invite you to accompany me for a stroll along the twisting route of the Old Testament, where we’ll marvel at the ″scarlet thread″ of redemption that runs across its pages, from the beginning to the conclusion. The red thread signifies the spilt blood of Jesus, which was a part of God’s plan from the beginning of time. Throughout history, Jesus, the Son of God and second part of the Trinity, has been predestined to die in our place in order to bring about our salvation. The plan for that redemption began unfolding shortly after the creation of the world. Genesis We begin our adventure in the very first chapter of Genesis, in verse 26, where we see Jesus make his first appearance. Using the pronouns ″us″ and ″our″ indicates that all three members of the Trinity — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — were participants in the act of creation: ″God said, ″Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness..″ (Genesis 1:26 New International Version) As we follow the Genesis trail through Chapter 3, we are saddened by Adam and Eve’s disobedience, which leaves them and their offspring in urgent need of a Savior. As God tells them in Genesis 3:15, ″He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel″ (NIV), this means that Jesus will finally crush Satan, but that Jesus will suffer as a result of the process. With order to conceal their nakedness, God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins. As a result, animals will be sacrificed under the next Old Testament sacrificial system, which will serve to temporarily hide sin. That system represents Jesus’ death, which will completely wipe away the sins of those who come to Him in repentance and forgiveness. Throughout the years, the Levitical system has demanded that animals be sacrificed on a continuous basis – millions upon millions over the course of centuries — in order to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. When we realize the immense weight of the law in the Old Testament, we are better prepared to appreciate the unfathomable benefit of God’s covenant of grace, which is found in the New Testament. Following Abel’s blood sacrifice, which serves as another foreshadowing of Jesus’ crucifixion, we see God reject Cain’s grain offering since it is a result of his own labor, implying that only Jesus’ sacrifice is acceptable and that our good deeds will not be sufficient to atone for our sins. Following the road of Genesis, we learn the magnificent facts that include the following: Noah’s Ark is a type of Jesus, who provides a safe haven from the holy judgment of God
- Melchizedek, whose name means ″king of righteousness,″ is a type of Christ because he is a priest (an intercessor), just as Jesus is our heavenly king and the priest who intercedes with God on our behalf
- and Noah’s Ark is a type of Jesus because he is a type of Christ because he is a type of Christ because he
- Abraham complies with God’s instruction to take his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah and give him as a sacrifice, a foreshadowing of the death of Jesus hundreds of years later on the cross. Abraham is prevented from carrying out the sacrifice by Jesus Himself, acting in the role of an angel of the Lord. Eventually, the temple will be erected on Mt. Moriah, and in the far future, Jesus will be crucified at the spot where Abraham gave Isaac
- Joseph is a symbol of Christ because he is unjustly persecuted, yet God elevates him to a position of great dignity despite his misdeeds. The bad plots against Joseph are turned into blessings by God, just as the terrible schemes against Jesus are transformed into the exact blessing through which He grants eternal life to the entire world.
- Exodus Leaving Genesis behind, we go on a trip through Exodus, where we see the Israelites’ plight as slaves under the Egyptians. God, on the other hand, has not abandoned them. He has a plan to assist them in escaping captivity and bringing them to the Promised Land, according to the Bible. Furthermore, Jesus is present throughout these important events: Moses, like Jesus, is born into poverty and is called upon to lead his people into freedom and to intercede on their behalf
- both are examples of adversity.
- Prior to leaving Egypt, God instructs the Israelites to sacrifice a male lamb or goat without blemish (as a representation of Jesus, the sinless Savior), and to sprinkle its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their homes so that the Angel of the Lord (the preincarnate Jesus) will pass over them as He strikes the firstborn sons of the Egyptians as a final judgment upon them
- After scouting the city of Jericho, two Israelite spies inform Rahab the harlot that she can be rescued by lowering a scarlet rope (which represents the blood of Jesus) from her window in the city wall, indicating a prayer for mercy. She lowers the chord as an act of faith in the God of Israel, and she is saved as a result. Because of God’s providence, she is made an ancestor of David and Jesus
- the Mercy Seat is located on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies inside the Tabernacle
- and the Ten Commandments are written on the Mercy Seat (and later the Temple). The High Priest sprinkles blood on the Mercy Seat once a year, on the Day of Atonement, making it a type of Christ, as it foreshadows the propitiation, or satisfaction of the sin debt, that Jesus will pay for man on the cross
- also on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest places his hands on the head of the ″scapegoat″ and confesses the sins of Israel, symbolically transferring their sin to the goat
- and finally, on the Day of At Once outside the city, the goat is carried away, symbolizing how Jesus takes upon Himself the sins of the world and removes them from those who place their confidence in Him.
- Moses strikes the rock of Horeb in the wilderness when the Israelites are thirsty, seeing Jesus as the living water that would quench their thirst.
- The Israelites are famished in the desert, so God gives them with manna, much as Jesus is the bread of life for everyone who believe.
- As a result of the Israelites’ dissatisfaction with God and Moses, God sends serpents among them, biting many of them and causing them to die. God tells Moses to carve a bronze snake and hang it from a pole as an offering to the people. Those who are bitten but do not stare at the serpent will not perish. Those who look at Jesus with faith are healed of the deadly punishment of sin
- those who look upon Jesus without faith are healed of the poisonous penalty of sin
- In our trip, we will see many more types of Christ than we will be able to cover in detail, but some of the most notable include Jacob’s Ladder, the structure, furnishings, and equipment of the Tabernacle and the Temple, the red heifer, the towns of refuge, and the kinsman-redemption. Christophanies Christophanies, or preincarnate sightings of Jesus, may be found throughout the Old Testament as we travel through the book of Genesis. As soon as He is referred to as ″the angel of the Lord (or God),″ we know it is Jesus, as opposed to ″an angel of the Lord (or God),″ which may refer to any of the countless created angels. The fact that Jesus is referred to be an angel does not imply that He is an angel in the same sense as the created angels. He has always been and will continue to be God, but the term ″angel″ literally translates as ″messenger,″ and that is precisely the capacity in which He is acting as the angel of the Lord. Furthermore, we can tell that He is Jesus because He accepts adoration, which is proper because He is God, but the created angels do not accept worship (John 4:23). During the Israelites’ journey through the desert, they are led and protected by the angel of the Lord, who appears as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night
- The angel of the Lord stops Abraham from killing Isaac
- The angel of the Lord speaks to Moses from the burning bush
- The Israelites’ journey through the desert is led and protected by the angel of the Lord, who appears as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night
- There are more Christophanies than we can explore in our tour of the Old Testament, so we’ll move on to its interesting prophesies about Jesus, which are as many as the various forms of Christ.
- Prophecies The Jesus Film website (bit.ly/JesusFilm-Prophesies) reports that ″some experts think that there are more than 300 prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament,″ according to an article on the site.
- This serves to emphasize the centrality of Jesus’ involvement in the Old Testament even more.
- As one of the most stunning predictions concerning Jesus, Isaiah Chapter 53 paints a vivid image of Him as the suffering Savior, rather than the Messiah whom Israel had expected: We learn in this psalm, which was written approximately 700 years before the birth of Jesus, that He would be ″despised and rejected,″ ″pierced for our transgressions,″ ″oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth,″ ″assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,″ and ″was numbered among the transgressors.″ In the New Testament, the Scarlet Road leads to the Amazing Grace of God.
- The Old Testament is still relevant to us today because, as we near the end of our trip, we are reminded that Jesus can be found in practically every chapter and page of it, which is why it is still relevant to us today.
Jesus is known as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all things.According to Colossians 1:15-17: ″He is the exact representation of the incomprehensible God, the firstborn of all creation.″ For it was by him and for him that all things were made, both apparent and unseen, in heaven and on earth, whether thrones or dominions, rulers or authority — all things were created through him and for him.And he is before all things, and it is in him that all things are held together″ (ESV).
Brownell graduated from Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in English, and he currently serves as the editor of Today’s Christian Living.After graduating from an international Christian school in Uijongbu, South Korea, he worked as a junior high and high school English teacher before transitioning into the publishing industry.Working as an educational exam writer and editor, copywriter, proposal writer, book and magazine editor are just few of the jobs he’s done throughout the years.He is married to his college love, Cathy, whom he met while attending the university.They have two children, Elizabeth and Josh, as well as a dog and, according to Dan, an excessive number of cats.
7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament
- The Bible, from beginning to end, depicts the magnificence of Jesus Christ.
- However, for many Bible readers, it is not so straightforward.
- While we recognize that Jesus is the culmination of the Jewish story and desire a greater understanding of the relationship between the two Testaments, we are sometimes perplexed as to how the Bible’s various tales, people, and events relate to one another—and especially to Jesus.
- It is tempting for some people to try to fit the Bible’s various pieces together, making superficial jumps from the Hebrew Scriptures to the account of Jesus.
- However, the majority of people are left wondering: Does Jesus and his tale have any connection to the Old Testament?
If that’s the case, where does Jesus appear in the Old Testament?What role does the Old Testament have in our understanding of Jesus—his life and teachings, death, and resurrection—is a question worth asking.Christ from the Beginning to the End provides answers to these questions, assisting Christians in better understanding how to read the Bible as a story, seeing how every part of Scripture fits together to reveal the glory of Christ Jesus—from Genesis to Malachi, Matthew to Revelation—and how every part of Scripture reveals the glory of Christ Jesus.
″The pieces of the Bible…do fit together,″ write writers Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum, comparing the Bible to a jigsaw.They also expect that ″you will get a clear comprehension of the Bible’s unity and fundamental message″ (28, 29), which includes the various ways in which Jesus may be found throughout the Old Testament.Here are seven different approaches.
1) Jesus is the Last Adam
- Throughout the entire account of Scripture, the complete grandeur of Christ is revealed—even from the beginning with Adam. Hunter and Wellum remind us that Adam was ″not merely the first man in God’s tale,″ but also the first man in the world. He is the representative of mankind as well as the creator’s supreme being″ (80). In addition, God assigned him responsibilities and roles that were later expressed in Israel: ″God spoke directly to Adam, and Adam (in a prophetic role) was responsible to mediate God’s word by trusting, keeping, and preaching it to his wife and children″ (80-81)
- ″Adam (in a priestly role) was responsible to mediate God’s presence to the world by universally expanding Eden’s borders, filling it with image-bearers, and ruling over creation (81)
- The prophet, priest, and king were all roles that Adam played in his life, regardless of his formal title or position.
- This list of titles becomes more extensive as the Bible’s tale proceeds, identifying various persons who carry on the activities that were originally assigned to them—all of which foreshadowed the arrival of a larger office holder: Jesus Christ.
- Hunter and Wellum emphasize that these positions represent the larger function that God intended for mankind from the beginning.
- That function was created in Adam, but it is only Jesus, the final Adam and God the Son, who properly fulfills it in the fullest sense.
- Then, according to Hebrews 2:5–18, he restores it in us.
2) Jesus is testified to by ‘the Law and the Prophets’
- Christ’s location in the Old Testament is made apparent by Paul, who says: ″But now, independent from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets bear witness″ (Romans 3:21).
- ″’The Law and the Prophets’ is a slang term for the Old Testament,″ Hunter and Wellum explain, ″which Paul claims prophesies or bears witness to the redemption that would be brought about by Christ later in time″ (100).
- To put it another way, Jesus is present throughout the Torah as well as the writings of the Major and Minor prophets in the Old Testament.
- The words on these pages provide us with both hope and assistance: God is providing for our instruction and perseverance as well as for our encouragement and, eventually, our hope.
- As we witness God’s wonderful plan of redemption in Christ and how he faithfully fulfills all of his promises, we grow to trust, love, and follow him more and more each day.
There is a reason why the Bible is so lengthy and densely packed with information.It prepares us to recognize and accept Jesus as the one and only answer to our dilemma and the one and only Savior from sin.(100) It is written in such a way that ″the Law and the prophets″ are able to ″fully represent the enormity of our situation and the enormity of God’s grace in Christ″ (100).
Through the course of their book, Hunter and Wellum painstakingly demonstrate how God’s promises made in Genesis 3:15 are fulfilled in Messiah Jesus, as well as how the Old Testament’s people, events, and stories all point to Jesus as the promised Messiah.
3) Noah: a Foretaste of judgment and salvation through Christ
- If Jesus is the final Adam, then Noah was intended to be the first Adam.
- Two themes emerge from his story: judgment and salvation—both of which serve as foreshadowings of Jesus’ appearance in the Old Testament.
- We are confronted with the stark reality of what mankind deserves for its sin and rejection of God as we reflect on Noah’s deluge.
- For better or worse, the flood offers a foretaste of what is to come in terms of judgment, a preview of what mankind will face″ (108–109).
- Throughout their work, Hunter and Wellum demonstrate how Jesus draws parallels between his second coming and the coming judgment with Noah’s deluge in the Old Testament.
″As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be with the coming of the Son of Man,″ Jesus declared (Matthew 24:37).However, the final judgment will be considerably worse: ″There is no respite in the last judgment, and in this manner Noah’s flood becomes a reminder to us of a bigger judgment to come, which we should take carefully″ (109).However, in a positive sense, Noah’s salvation serves as a foretaste of the future salvation in Christ.
This is addressed in Isaiah 54:9–10.This is further supported by 1 Peter 3:20–22, which describes how our baptism relates to Noah’s journey through the waters to gain salvation.Hunter and Wellum emphasize that, just as Noah was able to successfully pass through the floods of God’s judgment, men and women will be able to safely pass through the heavier rain of God’s anger.What do you mean?…The judgment of God will be avoided by us because Jesus will bear the burden of that judgment.
4) Isaac: Jesus is the “seed” of Abraham and true substitute
- In Genesis 12:3, God promised Abraham that ″all peoples on earth will be blessed through you,″ and then God reaffirmed the promise: ″Through your children, all nations on earth will be blessed″ (Genesis 22:18).
- Through the tale of Abraham’s son, Isaac, Hunter and Wellum make a significant point about the fulfillment of this promise: In fact, God’s salvation will be brought to the entire world through Isaac, the promised seed.
- God, on the other hand, is demonstrating that Isaac is insufficient.
- Isaac, like everyone else, is a sinner in desperate need of a savior.
- God’s promise will be fulfilled via Isaac, yet Isaac will not be able to save the world in the end.
God’s own provision will allow the Savior to arrive outside of Isaac’s line.The significance of the ram that God supplies is as follows.Isaac must be spared, but a surrogate must be found to take his place.
(117–118) Of course, Christ is ultimately the means through which that substitution is provided.In their words: God did offer a substitute for Isaac, implying that God himself would finally supply the suitable alternative to atone for human guilt…God presented Isaac with a replacement to die in his place, and Isaac was grateful.As Abraham is about to leave the field, he hears a voice from heaven exclaim, ″Stop!″There is someone else who can take his position.″ However, while the Father and Son are walking to Calvary, there is no voice telling them to stop.
″Here’s another one.″ (123–124) As the Bible’s story unfolds, they continue, ″we discover that it is only through the true’seed’ of Abraham, Christ Jesus, that Christians from all countries are able to claim the blessings of adoption as children of Abraham (Galatians 3:9).″ (125).
5) Jesus is greater than the Law-covenant
- The gospel of Christ and the covenant he established are far superior! Hunter and Wellum make their declarations. ″This is precisely what the Law-covenant was given to us in order to help us understand.″ Furthermore, ″carefully crafted limits″ were incorporated into the Law-Covenant as part of its overall structure ″that pointed in the direction of something larger In other words, according to Hebrews 9:8, ″the Holy Spirit was demonstrating through this that the entrance into the Most Holy Place had not yet been revealed so long as the first tabernacle was still in use.″ When God deals with Israel via Moses and the Law-covenant, Christ from the Beginning to the End describes various divine patterns that show previous limits and eloquently direct us to Christ in God’s interactions with Israel. Here are only a few examples: A Greater Exodus is taking place. It was more than a one-time incident when Israel was driven out of Egypt. It ″became the model for all of God’s redemptive actions to come″ (143), culminating in the ultimate emancipation and redemption from sins for those who accept it. An even larger exodus from slavery has happened through the person of Jesus. (144)
- A Greater Sense of Well-Being. ″Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened,″ Jesus replied, ″and I will give you rest″ (Matt. 11:28). As a result of the Law-Covenant ″″God designed foretastes of ultimate rest into the lives of the people of Israel″ (144). However, since it was unable to cope with sin, the people were unable to enjoy actual rest
- Jesus, as a Greater Prophet, provides the true rest that the Law-Covenant expected. ″Moses was a wonderful prophet, but Jesus is a far better prophet than Moses″ (146). In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses himself directed his attention to him: ″I believe that the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from among your fellow Israelites, just as he did for me. ″You must pay attention to what he has to say.″ When Jesus came, the people were still hoping for this prophet, who would bring them a greater Tabernacle. When Israel returned from the Exodus, the Lord directed them to build a tabernacle for him to live among them. This tabernacle would be ″a copy and shadow of what is in heaven″ (Heb. 8:5). As the tabernacle reflected God’s greater presence in heaven, so the priesthood and sacrifices of the tabernacle indicated God’s greater salvation to come (149). While ″tabernacling among us in his life″ and while ″tabernacling among us as he hung on the cross,″ Jesus was this greater redemption and tabernacle, according to the author (149).
6) Jesus is a greater future King David
- All of God’s promises, from Noah to Abraham to Moses, come together in the person of King David.
- Nonetheless, like with all other chapters of the Old Testament, the Davidic tales look forward to a greater future monarch, who is yet to be revealed.
- According to the author of Psalm 72, Jesus may be found in this section of the Old Testament because it ″helps us look ahead″ to a ″greater″ David, who would reign as king in the future (pp.
- According to Hunter and Wellum, there are four aspects to this coming king, Jesus Christ, who is revealed in Psalm 72.
- Psalm 72:1–4: Royalty in the Land of Righteousness ″This is the monarch our planet has been waiting for. Because of sin, even our finest leaders may be harmful if we give them too much authority. Our world begs for justice. God’s righteous monarch will reign over a really virtuous realm.″ (164)
- Psalm 72:5–7, ″As Long as the Sun Rises″ (as long as the sun rises). ″Despite the disobedience of David’s sons, God’s promise of an eternal monarch via David is still on track to be fulfilled..″ ″The Lord will take care of it.″ The Psalm 72:8–11 passage A King for Everyone and Everywhere is a good example of this. A image of complete and utter rule over the entire earth. The authority of this monarch will bring about the global law that God originally intended for humanity.″ (167). Moreover, ″Scripture instructs us to look forward to the arrival of the Davidic son/king who will fully establish God’s authority across the entire globe,″ in light of these Davidic promises. (167)
- Psalm 72:12–19, ″A Heart of Compassion″ (A Heart of Compassion). ″The rule of David’s future son would not follow the patterns of the world’s rulers,″ says the prophet. He would never take anything away from his people. ″If only he would give!″ He will suffer on his route to exaltation, as King David did, but it will not be without a price. ‘He will bring about enormous reversals for others with the impetus of his own big reversal.’ (168)
7) A vivid portrait of our suffering servant
- ″Salvation comes from the Lord,″ as the prophet Jonah tells us (Jonah 2:9).
- The tale of salvation continues to progress along the way in God’s story because the Lord takes action to save people at every stage.
- It is the prophets that continue to spread this word and carry it forward″ (180).
- What method do they use to show that salvation will be achieved?
- ‘The Lord’s salvation is made possible through a sinless sufferer,’ say Hunter and Wellum (183), a concept tied to the traditional concept of substitute—″one cast in terms of the previous patterns, but who now, in himself, fully and permanently solves the problem of sin″—and which they explain is tied to ″the traditional concept of sinless sufferer″ (183).
(183).The prophet Isaiah talks specifically of this future servant, describing him as ″one who is from Israel, but who is also apart from Israel.″ He is Israel’s king, and he is Israel’s son, and as such, he is the servant who symbolizes Israel″ (185).A dilemma exists: sinful humanity must be reconciled to a holy God, and this is a difficult task.
How this will be accomplished is revealed by the prophet Isaiah: ″The Lord will execute a substitutionary sacrifice for sin.″ He intends to do this via the pain of his devoted servant…″The servant who is our Savior is God’s response to the conflict that we have repeatedly brought to his attention″ (184, 186).Hunter and Wellum argue that the Messiah-Servant, Jesus Christ, will accomplish two things by his substitutionary death: ″First, he will take what is ours—our sins; and second, he will take what is his—his righteousness.″ Then there’s the fact that he’ll give us what is rightfully ours: his righteousness.He will give a covenant partner who will be obedient″ (186).This book, Christ from Beginning to End, illustrates how the entire story of Scripture exposes the complete splendor of our Suffering Servant, Messiah Jesus.
Despite the fact that this essay just touches the surface of the book, which is 270 pages long and investigates where Jesus appears in both the Old and New Testaments, This book will assist you in identifying the overarching plot that runs across the whole Bible.In the words of the author, Graeme Goldsworthy, ″This book is a jewel for its examination of the ways in which the Old Testament adds to our understanding of what it means for Jesus to be the Christ.″ ″This is the finest class you never had the opportunity to take,″ Justin Taylor continues.Learn more about the complete story of Scripture and how it displays the full majesty of Christ by reading it for yourself.
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Jesus in the Old Testament
Neither our Lord Jesus nor anyone else can teach us more about whether or not Jesus is to be found in the pages of the Old Testament than the teachings of our Lord and Savior himself.The man who stated in John 5:39, ″You carefully study the Scriptures….These are the Scriptures that bear witness to me,″ was referring to himself.That should put an end to the discussion.
- More notably, as Cleopas and another unidentified disciple went down the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday, Jesus reprimanded them, saying, ″How ignorant you are, and how slow of heart to believe anything the prophets have spoken!
- Didn’t Christ have to go through all of this before he could come into his glory?
- ‘And he began with Moses and all the prophets, and he clarified to them all that was written in all the Scriptures about himself’ (Luke 24:25-27).
- As early as 1000 B.C., King David foresaw what was to come and declared that Jesus would not be ″abandoned…
- to the tomb, nor let his Holy One see decay″ (Ps 16:8-11; Acts 2:30-31).
As a result, it should come as no surprise that we should also see Jesus present in the historical events and prophecies contained throughout the Old Testament.It is only fitting that we discover that Jesus was both physically present and precisely anticipated in the Old Testament, and that he would first emerge as our Savior, and then, in a later second coming, would arrive as the King supreme over all of creation.Because Jesus was, is, and will be the One to come, it is conceivable to find yourself in such a unique situation.However, it is regrettable to add that far too many people are unaware of both his true presence in the Old Testament narrative and the countless prophesies of both his first and second advents/comings in the New Testament.
To rectify this, let us first look at the areas where he appeared in a Christophany throughout the time of the Old Testament.Afterwards, we’ll look at some of the countless forecasts about his appearance.
Old Testament Appearances of Christ
In the Old Testament, Jesus is originally identified as the person who appeared as ″the Angel of the Lord″ during a startling confrontation with Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar, in the book of Genesis (Gen 16:7).Following then, he continued to make appearances on a sporadic basis throughout the earlier portions of the Old Testament.These genuine events, which were prompted by God, were distinguished by the fact that they were persuasive disclosures of his person and work, as well as the fact that they were transient, fleeting, yet audible and plainly visible manifestations of his presence and action.Despite the fact that he appeared in the shape of a human being many years before his ultimate incarnation as a newborn in Bethlehem, this same ″Angel of the LORD″ is spoken to and addressed as ″the LORD/Yahweh″ on several occasions (Gen 12:7; 17:1; 19:1; etc.).
- This ″Angel of the LORD″ was a term that represented his position, yet it did not accurately define his personality.
- Originally, the Hebrew term for ″angel″ (mal’ak) conveyed the sense of someone who had been ″sent,″ or a ″messenger.″ One-third of the 214 instances of the Hebrew word for ″angel″ pertain to what theologians refer to as a ″Christophany,″ which is a brief manifestation of Christ in the Old Testament, according to the research.
- According to Hagar, this special angel of the Lord is divine because she ″…named the LORD, who spoke with her, ‘You are the God who sees me,’ as she observed, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’″ Hagar ″…named the LORD, who spoke with her, ‘You are the God who sees me,″ according to the Bible (Gen 16:13).
- Other instances of Jesus’ appearances in the Old Testament may be observed in Genesis 22:11-15, where it was the Angel of Yahweh who spoke from heaven to Abraham as Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac, and prevented him from going forward with the sacrifice.
- In Exodus 3:2, the Angel of Yahweh came to Moses in the midst of a blazing fire for the second time in the book.
- Moses’ face was covered as a result of the declaration that he was none other than ″Yahweh″ who spoke at that time, which caused Moses to cover his face in fear of him during the discourse at that burning bush (Ex 3:6).
Several chapters later, in Judges 13:22-25, it was the same Angel of the Lord who appeared to the wife of Manoah, mother of Samson, and whom she described to her husband as having appeared to her as a ″man of God.″ Upon Manoah’s request that the ″Angel of the LORD″ come to him as he had appeared to his wife, the Angel repeated the appearances and discussions with him, following which he ascened in the flame of the altar (Judg 13:20), signifying that the sacrifice was made in honor of God himself!!Furthermore, this ″Angel″ is seen as a ″Redeemer,″ one who protects Israel from the evil that threatens it (Isa 63:9).Can anyone seriously doubt that these examples, as well as a slew of other similar descriptions in the earlier Scriptures, were anything other than preincarnate appearances of our Lord Jesus in real flesh, even if it was only a temporary infleshment/incarnation for the purposes of the people until he came and took on flesh permanently?Jesus returned to earth on several occasions to assist his followers in their moments of hardship and need for guidance.
The only instances in which the Angel of Yahweh turns against Israel are found in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21, when the Angel serves as the agent of God’s wrath against David for disobeying God by conducting a national census against the people of Israel.
Old Testament Predictions of the Coming Messiah
Additionally, J.Barton Payne identified 574 Old Testament scriptures that had direct personal messianic prophecies, in addition to the actual appearance of Jesus in the form of the Angel of the Lord/God, according to his research.As a result of his research, Payne discovered 127 personal messianic prophesies including 348 passages that contained any or all forms of actual and typological prophecies about Jesus’ first or second coming.Only Alfred Edersheim’s observation that there were 456 unique Old Testament/Tanak texts used to refer to the Messiah or to messianic periods in 558 rabbinic works from pre-Christian times outstripped this figure.
- When I was researching my own book, The Messiah in the Old Testament, I discovered that the Old Testament had 65 direct prophecies of Jesus’s advent.
- Almost no one will argue that the Pentateuch contains at least six direct Messianic prophecies, which are found in the following verses: Genesis 3:15; Genesis 9:27; Exodus 12:2-3; Genesis 49:8-12; Numbers 24:15-19; and Deuteronomy 18:15-18.
- A male descendent from Eve’s line was promised in Genesis 3:15 that he would crush the head of the serpent, i.e., the Devil himself, and gain the victory over evil, as the prince of evil, Satan, would be eventually beaten and defeated.
- Afterwards, according to Genesis 9:27, God would come and live/dwell in the tents of Shem, who would be the Semitic tribes.
- Nevertheless, which of the Semites, the Arabs or the Jewish people, did God intend as his chosen people?
- According to Genesis 12:3, Abraham’s query was answered when God invited him to travel from Ur of Mesopotamia to Israel, and God declared that he would be a blessing to all nations on the planet.
For the tribe of Judah, the scope of this promise may be whittled down even more.Father Jacob’s fourth son would be the one God would anoint with the scepter of rule, and he would be the one from whom God would down the line of the Messiah (Gen 49:8-12).As a matter of fact, this one from Judah would be ″a light that would rise out of Jacob, a scepter that will rise out of Israel″ (Num 24:17).Furthermore, the Messiah who would come would be both a ″prophet″ (Deut 18:15) and a ″king,″ according to the Scriptures (Ps 72).
The book of Job contains four texts that should be added to the six texts found in the Pentateuch if the book is placed in the time of the patriarchs (c.2100 – 1800), as we believe he should be placed.Messiah is referred to be a ″angel″ and a ″Mediator″ in that context (Job 33:23-28).
Additional Messianic predictions can be added to these ten direct Messianic prophecies from periods both previous to and during the Davidic period.In 1 Samuel 2:1-10, he is referred to as the ″Anointed One,″ and in 1 Samuel 2:35-36, he is referred to as the ″faithful Priest.″ However, the Davidic Covenant text found in 2 Samuel 7 (repeated in 1 Chron 17) and elaborated on in Psalm 132, which pointed to the dynasty/house of David as the location where God would establish his throne, dynasty, and kingdom for all time, is by far the most outstanding text in the whole of the Bible.In 2 Samuel 7:19c, King David exclaimed, ″This is the law/charter for humanity,″ referring to the promise made to him by the Lord.In other words, God had only recently bestowed on David an extension of the promise he had made to the patriarchs thousands of years before.
5 Even though he would be rejected (Ps 118), betrayed (Ps 69, 109), die and be resurrected (Pss 22, 16), and die and be resurrected (Pss 22, 16), he would come as Conqueror and Enthroned Ruler (Pss 2, 110), as Planner and Groomsman (Pss 40, 45), and as Triumphant King (Pss 40, 45), he would arrive (Pss 68, 72).In addition to the previous 15 direct allusions to the coming Messiah, the Old Testament prophets make a total of 39 prophesies about the Messiah’s appearance.These details would be included in a sample of these announcements made prior to the events taking place.First and foremost, it was prophesied that Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14; cf.Mt 1:33).In accordance with Micah 5:2, his birthplace would be Bethlehem (see also Mt 2:1, 6), and John the Baptist would be his forerunner (Isa 40:3-5; Mal 3:1; cf.
Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4-6).It was also proclaimed ahead of time that Messiah would enter Jerusalem in triumph as the throng chanted ″Hosanna″ (Praise be to God) (Zech 9:9-10; Ps 118:25-26; cf.Mt 21:9; Mk 11:9; Lk 19:38; Jh 12:13).His trust would be broken in less than a week, though (Ps 69:25; cf.
- Acts 1:20).
- Zechariah 12:10 predicts that Messiah’s side will be pierced, and he will be made to suffer vicariously for the sins of the world (see also Jh 19:37).
- (Isa 53:6, 9, 12; cf.
- I Pt 2:21-25; Rom 4:25).
- Even more spectacularly true was the fact that Jesus would be crucified with the ″wicked″ (Isa 53:9a, note the plural word in Hebrew), yet he would be buried beside the ″wealthy″ (Isa 53:10).
- (Isa 53:9b, note its singular form in the Hebrew).
But that was not the end of the story for the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, for the Messiah would return to earth a second time (Daniel 7:13; cf.Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27), and he would one day rule in the city of Jerusalem as King of kings, as the nations would flock to that city to be taught in his ways, never again ″training for war″ as they had done in the past (Isa 2:3-4).The case for Messiah in the Old Testament is one of strong continuity and progressive revelation, and there is a strong continuity and progressive revelation between the Old and New Testaments on this point.The fundamental seeds of the idea of Jesus’ person and activity are planted and grow in the New Testament, despite the fact that the Old Testament frequently included seminal seeds of much that later emerged out of the Old.
- What a kind, revealing God, and what a beautiful blessing it is to have a Savior who has come to earth just once, but who will return again in all his completeness and majesty!
- Original artwork created by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2009.
- All intellectual property rights are retained.
Is Jesus in the Old Testament?
Answer to the question Jesus appears frequently in the Old Testament, but not always under that name or in the same physical shape as we see Him in the New Testament.Nonetheless, He is present.Christ is the central idea of the whole Bible.The fact that Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament was confirmed by Him Himself.
- John 5:46 records Jesus’ explanation to several religious authorities who had disputed Him that the Old Testament was speaking about Him: ″If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.″ (John 5:46) According to Jesus, God’s dealings with mankind since the beginning of time have all pointed to Him.
- Another occasion on which Jesus demonstrated that He is present in the Old Testament was on the day of His death and resurrection.
- ″Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he recounted to them what was stated in all the Scriptures concerning himself,″ Jesus remarked as He walked with two of His followers (Luke 24:27).
- Prior to His execution, Jesus had pointed to Isaiah 53:12 and said, ″It is written: ‘And they counted him among the transgressors,’ and I tell you that this must be accomplished in me.″ Yes, the things that have been written about me are coming to fruition″ (Luke 22:37).
- According to some estimates, more than 300 Old Testament prophesies lead directly to Jesus Christ and were fulfilled by Him during His earthly ministry.
- Among these are predictions regarding His unique birth (Isaiah 7:14), His earthly ministry (Isaiah 61:1), and even the manner in which He would die (Isaiah 61:1).
(Psalm 22).When Jesus stood up in the synagogue of Nazareth and read fro