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Jesus in the Old Testament

Query for the Month

of September 2002

Next up-date: October 1st 2002 (God willing).

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John 5:

39 [Jesus said] “Search the scriptures [the Old Testament]; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.”  

What evidence is there that Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament?


The first words we can profitably look at regarding the position of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament are these:

Genesis 2:

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens . . .  

John 1:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 

3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

 And He said of Himself:

Revelation 22:

13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” 

Here we have the messages that Jesus Christ is God, that He is an eternal One, that He is the Creator, that He is our Saviour.

If we tie that with the following thought:

John 1:

18 No man has seen God [the Father] at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. 

then we have the fact that He is the only Person of the Godhead who appears openly in the Old Testament record. This is backed up by the use of the word LORD on most occasions when the divine One is addressed or mentioned.

Luke 24:

25 Then He said to them [to some of His disciples, after His resurrection],“O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken [in the Old Testament]: 26 ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses [Genesis to Deuteronomy] and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. . . .

 44 And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me.”

45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer [Psalm 69:20-21], and to rise from the dead the third day [Leviticus 7:15-18]: 47 and that repentance [1 Kings 8:47] and remission of sins [Psalm 103:12] should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” [Acts 1:8.]

So we have these words in the Old Testament which give the first intimation of Jesus’ work.

Genesis 3:

14 And the LORD God said to the serpent [the devil’s agent], “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: 15 and I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [the church], and between your seed [Satan’s followers] and her seed [God’s people]; it [the enmity] shall bruise your head [a fatal blow], and you shall bruise His heel [a temporary wound].”

Then, as time went by and more information was needed, it was followed by:-

Genesis 49:

10 The sceptre shall not depart from [the tribe of] Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Tranquil] come; and to Him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding His foal to the vine, and His ass's colt to the choice vine; He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes . . .

Zechariah 9:

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King [the Messiah] comes to you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and [yet] riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 

Matthew 21:

1 And when they drew near to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village over against you, and straightway you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them to Me. 3 And if any man say ought to you, you shall say, ‘The LORD has need of them’; and straightway he will send them.”

4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5  “Tell you the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”

Some centuries later, Moses was commissioned to lead the people from Egypt into the Promised Land.

Exodus 3:

13 And Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, ‘What is His name?’  What shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM [the everlasting One]”: and He said, “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”

John 8:

56  [Jesus said] “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.” 57 Then said the Jews to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” [Genesis 18] 58 Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I AM.”

59 Then took they up stones to cast at Him [for blasphemy]: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Apart from the direct word of God there were also many rituals and ceremonies which showed the work of the Messiah.

Exodus 29:

38 “Now this is that which you shall offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually [all day long]. 39 The one lamb you shall offer in the morning; and the other lamb you shall offer at even  . . . 42 This shall be a continual burnt offering [24/7] throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there to you.” 

John 1:

29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” 

This was the way in which the gospel was preached to the Old Testament people, mainly through sacrifices and rituals, but also through the seventh-day Sabbath. 

Hebrews 4:

1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest [the Sabbath], any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For to us was the gospel preached, as well as to them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said . . .

4 For He spoke in a certain place [the Old Testament] of the seventh day on this wise, “And God did rest the seventh day from all His works.” 5 And in this place again, “If they shall enter into My rest.”

6 Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: . . . 9 there remains therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.

It was the same gospel that we see in the New Testament, the good news of Jesus as the Taker away of sin (the slave-master within), and promising that we can then “rest” in Him for obedience. 

Matthew 11:

28 “Come to Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you [let Me lead you], and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

The problem for the Old Testament people was the same as it is for us – to have faith in Christ’s redeeming power as shown in the pictures – to see the reality behind the ritual or the day.

Here are some other scriptures (and there are many) which show the Son of God as the Messiah of the ancient/ writings:

Hebrews 1:

5 For to which of the angels said He at any time, “You are My Son, this day have I begotten You?” Psalm 2:7.

And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?” Psalm 89:26.

6 And again, when He brings in the Firstbegotten into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” Psalm 97:7. . . .

8 But to the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your kingdom.” Psalm 45:6-7.

9 “You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.” Isaiah 61:1.

10 And, “You, LORD, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands [Psalm 102:25]: 11 they shall perish; but You remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment; 12 and as a vesture shall You fold them up, and they shall be changed: but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail.” Isaiah 34:4. . . .

13 But to which of the angels said He at any time, “Sit on My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool?”  Psalm 110:1.  

There were prophecies made which He fulfilled:

Numbers 24:

8 God brought Him forth out of Egypt; He has as it were the strength of a unicorn [He was to be single-minded]: He shall eat up the nations [who are] His enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with His arrows [of love].

Hosea 11:

1 When Israel was a child, then I loved Him, and called My Son out of Egypt.

Matthew 2:

15 And [He] was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”

Isaiah 53:

1 Who has believed our report?  And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Matthew 27:

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask [for] Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

Matthew 8:

34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought Him [demanded] that He would depart out of their coasts.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Matthew 20:

18 “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, 19 and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge [whip], and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.”

7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.

Matthew 26:

62 And the high priest arose, and said to Him, “Answer You nothing?  What is it which these witness against You?”  63 But Jesus held His peace.

Psalm 22:

7 All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 “He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him”.

Matthew 27:

39 And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, 40 and saying, “You that  [say that You can] destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save Yourself. If You be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’.”

Psalm 22:

1 . . .  A Psalm of David. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My roaring?” [crying out]

Matthew 27:

46 And about the ninth hour [3pm] Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”  That is to say, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Isaiah 53:

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation?  For He was cut off out of the land of the living [Daniel 9:27]: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.  9 And He made His grave with the wicked,

Matthew 27:

38 Then were there two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 

and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

Matthew 27:

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Zechariah 13:

6 And one shall say to Him, “What are these wounds in Your hands?”  Then He shall answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.”

John 20:

25 The other disciples therefore said to him [Thomas], “We have seen the LORD.” But he said to them, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you.” 27 Then says He to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and behold My hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.”

28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My LORD and my God.”

And there it stands!



What evidence is there that Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament?

Jesus was the Messiah of the Old Testament and lived His life in the New Testament in accordance with the specifications of the Old. More than that, He was the only visible God in those times.

Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next thought. To be discussed from October 1st 2002.

Matthew 4:

3 And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If  You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Deuteronomy 8:

2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments, or no.  3 And He humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live. 

 How can we live by the words of God?


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