What Old Testament Prophecies Predicted Jesus and the Cross?
The entire Bible points to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Despite the fact that Jesus is more prominent in the New Testament, the Old Testament is ultimately about Him as well (Luke 24:27). It is thought that there are hundreds of predictions about Jesus in the Old Testament, including passages that hint to or prefigure Jesus. These predictions testify to His Messiahship, divinity, and character as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ mission is also foreshadowed by a number of various prophesies, the most prominent of which are those about His death, burial, and resurrection.
The various predictions mentioned in the books of Exodus, Psalms, and Isaiah will be highlighted in particular.
From the Old Testament to the Cross
One of the most well-known prophesies concerning Jesus may be found in Isaiah 53, which mentions “the Suffering Servant” (Jesus the Suffering Servant). “The Suffering Servant took up our sorrow and endured our suffering,” the prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 53:4. (NIV). As the New Testament teaches of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, in which He bore the punishment for mankind’s sins, this is exactly what happened (Hebrews 9:28). In order to bring righteousness to those who believe, Jesus, who did not sin, took on sin and became a sin offering (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we would die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed,'” Peter declared, demonstrating that Jesus had fulfilled this Old Testament promise.
- While the prophet Isaiah did not fully comprehend his vision, it was fully realized and accomplished in Jesus Christ, who properly fulfilled the position of the Suffering Servant in the most perfect way.
- As indicated in this scripture, each individual who is hanged from a “tree” is said to be cursed by God.
- All people are cursed as a result of man’s refusal to follow the Law of the Land (Galatians 3:10).
This prophesy makes it clear that Jesus’ death was sacrificial and atoning because He took on the curse and punishment that were due to erring humanity. He did this in order for everyone who believe in Him to experience eternal life with Him (John 3:15-16).
The Situation of Jesus’ Death
The fact that Jesus died during the week of the Passover celebration may appear to be a coincidental happenstance, the fact is that this date is critical to the fulfillment of Old Testament predictions. During the last plague on the Egyptians, which resulted in the death of the firstborn, God directed the Israelites to slaughter the Passover lamb and spread its blood over the thresholds of their homes (Exodus 12:12-13, 22). Consequently, the Israelites would be spared from death since the destroyer would pass over their homes and not kill them (Exodus 12:23).
- When Jesus died on the cross, none of His bones were shattered, just as the prophet Psalm 34:20 predicted (John 19:33-36).
- Also, Jesus was deafeningly silent in the face of His accusers, exactly as Isaiah said He would be in his comparison of Him to a sheep deafeningly silent before shearers (Isaiah 53:7;Matthew 27:12;1 Peter 2:23).
- While the Passover celebration that took place during Jesus’ crucifixion played an important role in Old Testament prophesy, the splitting up of Jesus’ clothing after he was nailed to the cross played an equally important role.
- They did not, however, rip Jesus’ seamless undergarment, instead deciding to cast lots to determine who would be the recipient of this priceless article of clothing (John 19:23-24).
- This was not a coincidental occurrence, but had been predicted in the Old Testament prior to its occurrence (Psalm 22:18).
The Means of Jesus’ Death
Furthermore, the Old Testament foretold the manner in which Jesus would be killed: he would be stabbed and nailed to a cross of wood. As previously demonstrated, the book of Deuteronomy expressly declared that anybody who was hung from a tree was cursed (Deuteronomy 21:23;Galatians 3:13). While Jesus was not nailed to a real tree, He was nailed to a tree in the shape of the cross’s wooden beams, which served as a symbolic representation of the tree. It is claimed in several texts that Christ would be wounded by “dogs” and “villains” in order to bring about His death, which most likely alludes to His crucifixion at the hands of Gentile Romans, as is the case today (Psalm 22:16;Matthew 27:26).
The prophesy of Zechariah 12:10, which has already been fulfilled by Christ but yet has a future component to it, includes the detail of God being wounded by the sword (John 19:37;Revelation 1:7).
Consider the following: the death of the Messiah by being wounded in the hands and feet was foreshadowed by those who wrote in the Old Testament thousands of years ago.
Jesus’ Words on the Cross
Aside from being fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy, Jesus’ final words on the cross were also fulfillments of predictions from the Book of Psalms. While hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Matthew 27:46). (Matthew 27:46, New International Version) It was because Jesus took on the sins of the world that the Father had to turn his gaze away from Him. These words are a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1, which Jesus recited as he hung on the cross and was crucified.
- In fulfilling this Old Testament prophesy, Jesus demonstrated that He freely and voluntarily offered up His life of His own free choice (Luke 23:46).
- For the last point, an often-overlooked prophesy from the Old Testament predicts that the Messiah would become thirsty on the cross, and that He will be offered bitter vinegar and gall to quench His thirst.
- When Jesus was dying on the cross, the prophet Psalm 22:15 predicted that He would have an extreme thirst, comparing His parched lips to hard bits of potsherd.
- As a result of His willingness to “drink from the cup” that His Father had given Him, Jesus opted to go through the agony of crucifixion without the pain-relieving powers of wine laced with myrrh (John 18:11).
- In this way, Jesus’ remarks on the cross, including a declaration about His thirst, fulfilled major Old Testament predictions concerning the coming Messiah.
Jesus’ Last Words: ‘It Is Finished’
When Jesus screamed out, “It is finished,” He was alluding to the conclusion of His redemptive work on the cross as well as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies that had been fulfilled (John 19:30). Even while hundreds of prophesies speak of Jesus’ life and ministry as well as His status as Messiah, a large number of prophecies also foreshadow His death on the cross. His atoning sacrifice, the circumstances surrounding His crucifixion, the manner in which He died, and His final words all fulfill important Old Testament predictions that are strewn throughout the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets of God.
- Further reading may be found at: What Are the Jesus Prophecies, and How Do They Apply Today?
- Is the book of Isaiah 53, titled “The Suffering Servant,” a prophecy of Jesus?
- The Cup He Drank on Our Behalf Who Is to Blame for the Death of Jesus?
- Read on to find out.
- /artisteer Currently, Sophia Bricker works as a freelance writer, where she likes studying and producing essays on biblical and theological subjects.
- The Bible and her faith in Jesus are two of her greatest passions, and she is presently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry while also completing a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry.
When she is not studying or writing, Sophia likes spending time with her family, reading, painting, and gardening in her spare time.
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 frequently perplexed as to how the Bible’s various stories, people, and events connect to one another—particularly in relation 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.
If that’s the case, where does Jesus appear in the Old Testament?
Answering these questions and showing how every part of Scripture fits together to reveal the glory of Christ Jesus—from Genesis to Malachi, Matthew to Revelation—Christ from Beginning to End will assist Christians in better understanding how to read the Bible as a story and seeing how every part of Scripture fits together to reveal 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.
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). God also assigned him tasks and functions that would eventually be represented in Israel:
- “God spoke directly to Adam, and Adam (in his apropheticrole) was responsible for mediating God’s message by believing in, keeping, and teaching it to his wife and offspring,” according to the Bible. “Adam (in apriestlyrole) was responsible for mediating God’s presence to the world by universally expanding Eden’s borders, filling it with image-bearers, and ruling over creation” (81)
- “Adam (in akinglyrole) was given dominion over the world as a servant king, who was to act as God’s image, his representative, and son” (81)
- “Adam (in akinglyrole) was given domin
Even though he did not have any formal titles or positions of authority, Adam performed the functions of a prophet, priest, and monarch. As the Bible’s tale proceeds, these titles are used to designate other persons who carry on the responsibilities that were originally assigned to them—tasks that all pointed to a larger office holder: the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Hunter and Wellum, these positions represent the deeper function that God intended for people 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.
2) Jesus is testified to by ‘the Law and the Prophets’
As far as the Old Testament is concerned, Paul is unambiguous regarding Christ’s whereabouts: “But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which both 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). As a result, Jesus is prominently featured throughout the whole Torah, as well as the Major and Minor prophetic writings of the Old Testament.
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.
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.
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, 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 book, Hunter and Wellumexplain how Jesus parallels his return and the coming judgment to Noah’s deluge as described in the Old Testament.
- 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).
- This is addressed in Isaiah 54:9–10.
- Hunter and Wellum emphasize that, just as Noah was able to safely pass through the floods of God’s judgment, men and women will be able to pass through the bigger rain of God’s anger as well.
- 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.
- God’s promise will be fulfilled via Isaac, yet Isaac will not be able to save the world.
- The significance of the ram that God supplies is as follows.
- (117–118) Of course, Christ is ultimately the means through which that substitution is provided.
- God presented Isaac with a replacement to die in his place, and Isaac was grateful.
- “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 tale unfolds, they continue, “we discover that it is only through the true’seed’ of Abraham, Christ Jesus, that Christians from all countries can be adopted 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, “well constructed constraints” were incorporated into the Law-Covenant from the beginning “that pointed in the direction of something better 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, various divine patterns emerge that show previous limits and direct us to Christ in a beautiful way.
Christ from Beginning to End is a comprehensive study of the life of Jesus Christ from the beginning to the end.
- 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. It has been said that “in Christ, an even greater exodus from slavery has occurred” (144)
- A Greater Rest. “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, because it was unable to cope with sin, the people were unable to enjoy genuine rest
- Jesus, on the other hand, provides the rest that the Law-Covenant expected. There is a greater Prophet. “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. When it comes to Jesus, Psalm 72 shows how he is found in this section of the Old Testament, which “allows us to look ahead to an even greater David, who will reign as king in the future” (163–164). According to Hunter and Wellum, there are four dimensions to this coming king, Jesus Christ, who is revealed in Psalm 72: He is:
- 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 develop as the Lord takes the initiative to save people all the way through God’s narrative. 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,’ according to Hunter and Wellum (183), a concept that is tied to the traditional concept of substitute — “one who was cast in terms of the previous patterns, but who has now, in himself, completely and permanently solved the problem of sin” (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).
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.
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.
A striking portrayal of Messiah Jesus, our Suffering Servant, is painted by the prophet Isaiah.
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.
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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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.
- The entire room clapped its hands in appreciation.
- None of these preachers in training could explain why they were being instructed to “change gears to Jesus,” but it appears that there was a regulation in place.
- We have a strong sense that we should consider the Old Testament to be Christian Scripture, but we’re not sure why or how.
- Is this true, though?
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.
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. How? 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 was always Messianic faith, based on Christ himself, and this was the case throughout history. 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. It’s astonishing how specific the New Testament authors are about Jesus’ presence in the Old Testament: “Jesus was present in the Old Testament,” they write.
- 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 (John 1:1–14).
True faith does not just abandon itself to a divine design or place hope in distant promises; true faith embraces a promising Person as its center.
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. Could reading the Bible backwards, starting with Genesis and seeing the same Christ-centeredness be a possibility as well? 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.
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 if we aren’t informed which innocent creature died in order to clothe the guilty, the substitutionary pattern is picked up by Isaiah and Paul: we are robed by an alien righteousness — you could say that we are dressed in Christ — in order to be clothed in righteousness (Isaiah 61:10; Galatians 3:27).
When the judgements come tumbling down in the garden, it’s incredible to see anything but the pair is cursed, but it’s not surprising. God, on the other hand, promises “the offspring of the woman.” A miracle birth is implied by this – women do not have seeds (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.
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.
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.
(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.
Edwards, however, believes that the Father is always represented by the Son, citing Colossians 1:15 and John 1:18 as evidence.
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?
- This cherished son is the focal point of all of God’s promises.
- — bring him back to life in order to rescue and bless the entire world, and this would be impossible.
- 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).
- 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? Despite the fact that he has been sent by the Lord, he speaks as the Lord: “By myself I have vowed, says the Lord. I will definitely bless. I will certainly increase.” (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).
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.
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 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 all of Christ’s exodusisa promise is included.
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.
delivered a people from the land of Egypt” (Jude 5).
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. What I believe happened was that they failed to see the significance of Christ, and they also failed to recognize that the Old Testament is already Christian Scripture in its own context and on its own terms. It has already been declared to be a proclamation of the Lord Messiah. Certainly, there are patterns to be seen throughout the Old Testament, and this is a fact. The iconography associated with the gospels was built up over ages, layer upon layer.
- The genuine and better Joseph, David, Jonah (and so on) are all those who have come to know him.
- However, this is not the whole truth.
- 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.
- All of this is correct.
- In addition to these viewpoints, we should consider the Son of God as he is depicted in the Hebrew Bible as well.
- What exists at the intersection of the Old and the New is more than a plan or a promise; it is a Person.
- 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.
- 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.
- He’s been like this since the beginning.
Luke: The Gospel of the Savior for Lost People Everywhere
Luke’s Gospel stands out as distinct from the other Gospels in a number of ways. For starters, it is the longest of the four Gospels, beginning earlier in Jesus’ life than the others (with the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist) and concluding later (with Jesus’ ascension into heaven) than any of the other gospels. When it comes to Jesus’ boyhood, only Luke provides information, chronicling his family’s journey to Jerusalem when he was 12 years old (Luke 2:41–52).
Even more crucially, Luke is the only Gospel writer to include a sequel, the Book of Acts, which is a key distinction. In the book of Luke, the story of Jesus extends beyond his life, death, and resurrection to include the founding and rise of the early church.
The Unity of Luke-Acts
Almost all academics now agree that the books of Luke and Acts are one and the same. The fact that these two works were written by the same author isn’t the only thing we’re referring to (though this is true). We also imply that they are two volumes of a single book, with a common aim, topic, and theology, and that they are published together. It is clear from this literary and theological coherence that Luke was already thinking about Acts when he wrote his Gospel. Moreover, the account he begins in the Gospel is carried on through to the end of the Book of Acts.
- Evidence for this oneness may be found in the Gospel of Mark’s first few chapters.
- Despite the fact that this prophesy is given at the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, it is not fulfilled until the book of Acts, when huge numbers of Gentiles come to faith in Jesus Christ.
- So, what are the ramifications of the oneness of Luke and Acts in this regard?
- Furthermore, while we read Acts, we must bear in mind the concepts that have already been established in the Gospel of Luke.
Luke’s Unique Features and Key Themes
What separates Luke’s Gospel from the other three gospels is not immediately apparent. In addition to having a sequel (Acts), the Gospel of Matthew contains five distinct portions that illustrate his ideas.
The Prologue (Luke 1:1–4): Luke As Historian and Theologian
The books of Luke and Acts include some of the most beautiful literary Greek in the whole New Testament. The Prologue to the Gospel (Luke 1:1–4) serves as an excellent illustration of this. The Prologue, which is written in a formal literary style customary to Hellenistic authors of Luke’s day, establishes the aim of Luke’s writing. Because Luke has meticulously researched and structured eyewitness reports of Jesus’ life and ministry in order that his readers “may know the certainty” of the things they have been taught, he is producing a “orderly” (highly ordered) account of Jesus’ life and career.
He is writing in the manner of a thorough historian, conducting research and meticulously recording the facts in order to establish the veracity of the biblical narrative.
A specific emphasis is placed in this discourse on the continuity that exists between God’s promises made to Israel and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ the Messiah and his Church.
The Birth Narrative (Luke 1:5–2:52): Continuity between the Old Covenant and the New
Luke’s birth tale demonstrates the continuity that exists between the old covenant and the new covenant. Only the gospels of Luke and Matthew provide stories of Jesus’ birth. For both authors, their goal is not simply to fill in the blanks concerning Jesus’ early years for readers who are intrigued about his life. However, these birth tales are more like preludes, introducing topics that are important for the individual Gospels to address. Following his formal literary prologue (Luke 1:1–4), Luke begins his birth account in a completely distinct Hebraic (Jewish) style, evocative of the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament: “In the days of Herod, king of Judea.” (In the days of Herod, king of Judea.) (See also Luke 1:5).
- A change in style is necessary for Luke in order to immerse his readers in the world of Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures.
- Themes from the Old Testament may be found everywhere.
- When it comes to being “just in God’s eyes,” Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, are “blamelessly keeping all of the Lord’s instructions and ordinances” (Luke 1:6).
- Both John and Jesus are born as a result of the intervention of an angel, which is another topic that arises frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 16:11; Genesis 17, 16, 17, 19, and 18:1–15; Judg 13:2–23; compare.
- At several points in the tale, characters burst into songs of praise, which are rich in biblical themes and evocative of Old Testament psalms (see Luke 1:46–55, 1:67–79, and 2:29–32).
- His goal is to demonstrate that this is not the beginning of a new religious movement.
- God’s promises to Israel are being brought to fruition via the person of Jesus the Messiah.
The Journey to Jerusalem (9:51–19:27): God’s Love for the Lost
The “Journey to Jerusalem,” which takes up a significant portion of Luke’s Gospel, is a third segment that is unlike any other. In general, Luke’s plan for Jesus’ public ministry is consistent with Mark’s outline. Starting with a long ministry in Galilee, during which Jesus invites followers, preaches and teaches, performs miracles, and comes into confrontation with the religious leaders (Mark 1–10; Luke 3–9), this is followed by a period of time in Jerusalem. After that, Jesus travels to Jerusalem for Passover, where he encounters increasing opposition from the religious authorities.
- When comparing Mark and Luke, the most notable structural change is what is referred to as Luke’s “Travel Narrative,” “Journey to Jerusalem,” or “Central Section” (Luke 9:51–19:27), which is divided into three sections.
- In Luke, on the other hand, Jesus begins his journey toward Jerusalem in Luke 9:51 but does not arrive until 10 chapters later (Luke 19:28)!
- Nonetheless, Luke reminds the reader on many occasions that Jesus is on his journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51–56, 13:22, 13:33, 17:11, 18:31, 19:11, 19:28, 19:41, 20:11, 20:28, 20:41).
- A number of Jesus’ most famous parables are contained within these 10 chapters of the Travel Narrative, including the Good Samaritan, the Rich Fool, the Great Banquet, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Persistent Widow, and the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, among many more.
- Because so many of the stories and parables in this portion are about God’s love for the lost and the outcast, this section has been referred to as “the Gospel for the Outcast” by some scholars.
- It is through these stories that God demonstrates his compassion for sinners, his desire for sinners to be rehabilitated, and the free forgiveness that is made accessible to those who come to him in repentance and trust.
- In the Roman Empire, tax collectors were seen as traitors due to their collaboration with the ruling class and their reputation for extortion.
- However, as Zacchaeus listens to Jesus’ call, Jesus declares, “Today salvation has arrived to this home, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to rescue those who are lost,” says Jesus in Luke 19:10–11.
This phrase perfectly encapsulates the fundamental idea of Luke’s work. God’s long-awaited end-time salvation has now arrived with the arrival of Jesus the Messiah. This opportunity is open to anybody who responds in faith, regardless of their previous life, socioeconomic class, or race.
The Resurrection: The Vindication of the Suffering Messiah
The narrative of resurrection appearances in Luke 24 serves as a fourth crucial section in Luke’s Gospel that highlights important concepts. According to Luke, a group of women discovered an empty tomb on Sunday morning, similar to what is described in the other Gospels (Luke 24:1–12). He does, however, provide a unique contribution to the resurrection accounts with his account of Jesus’ encounter with two disciples on the way to the village of Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35), which is not found anywhere else.
- When Jesus inquires as to what they were discussing on the trip, they reveal that they were discussing the recent events in Jerusalem.
- They had hoped, though, that he would be more—that he would be the Messiah, Israel’s Redeemer.
- “How dumb you are, and how sluggish you are to believe anything the prophets have said!” says Jesus in response to their errors.
- Jesus claims that it was God’s purpose all along for the Messiah to be crucified and die on the cross.
- For the rest of Luke’s narration, this refrain appears repeatedly, with each repetition becoming more poignant (Luke 24:46; Acts 3:18, 17:3, 26:23).
- The claim is strengthened rather than undermined since it was promised in Scripture and was God’s purpose and plan that the Messiah would suffer and rise on the third day, bringing salvation and forgiveness to everyone who believe in him.
The Ascension: Exalted Lord Empowering His Church through the Holy Spirit
The ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father is the sixth occurrence that is unique to Luke. Acts 1:1–11 provides a more detailed account of the events, which are summarized at the close of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 24:50–51) and in greater detail at the beginning of Acts. Luke’s story is based on the ascension for two primary reasons. First and foremost, it provides as confirmation that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, in conjunction with the resurrection. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter emphasizes that, despite the fact that sinful people executed Jesus, God resurrected him from the dead and elevated him to the right side of the Father as the Son of God and Messiah.
Third, and most importantly, it is from this position as reigning Lord and Messiah that Jesus sends forth the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33).
In Acts 2:16–21, the Spirit’s arrival acts as proof that the end times have arrived (cf. Joel 2:28–32), and it functions as an empowering and directing force for the apostles throughout the rest of the book of Acts, as they spread the Gospel to every corner of the world (Acts 1:8).
Who Was Luke and Why Did He Write?
The author of the third Gospel is not identified expressly in the text, but church tradition has identified him as Luke, a physician (Col 4:14) who worked alongside the apostle Paul (Philemon 24). Several passages in the Book of Acts, referred to as “we” portions, provide indirect evidence for Lukan authorship. In these passages, the author stops referring to Paul and his friends in the third person (“he,” “them”) and instead employs the first person plural (“us”). This shows that the author was in attendance at those events, which is correct.
Afterward, he went back to Jerusalem to meet up with Paul, who was returning from his third missionary voyage (Acts 20:5–21:18).
It is obvious that Luke was an ardent supporter of the apostle Paul, as evidenced by his presence with him during the apostle’s second Roman incarceration (2 Timothy 4:10–11), which culminated in Paul’s death.
This Gentile origin may contribute to Luke’s significant interest in the Gospel’s broad breadth, which may be explained by his Gentile identity.
Theophilus is the name of the guy to whom Luke dedicates his two books (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1).
He may potentially have been a recent Christian conversion, or he could have been an inquisitive nonbeliever.
Despite the fact that Luke’s Gospel and Acts are addressed to Theophilus, Luke is clearly writing for a bigger readership.
These believers are likely to come under attack from others who question the authenticity of their religious beliefs.
The fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel as recorded in the Old Testament is what this is all about.
It was through Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension that sins were forgiven, not just to the people of Israel, but also to all those who respond to him in faith.
In this new era of redemption, the church, which is comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, represents the genuine people of God on the earth.