Jesus in the Old Testament

Bob Roane Jesus Christ, Joy and Peace, Loving and Trusting God

When Christ came into the world, He said: Here I am– it is written about me in the scroll– I have come to do your will, my God….To the Jewish leaders, Jesus said, You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (Heb 10:5-7; John 5:39-40)

From “Christ is Everything to His Followers” at Christ EPC; Belhaven University (OT & NT Survey); Bible in 90 Days; other teaching, mentoring, counseling.

Jesus is the central character of the whole Old Testament (“OT”). If you carefully study the OT, book by book, all of it points forward to Christ’s first and second comings as our Lord and Savior. Here is one way to illustrate that.

Law of Moses

In Genesis, Christ is the Creator and the woman’s offspring who crushes the serpent’s head (Gen 1:1; 3:15). In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb, slaughtered to save us (Ex 12:21). In Leviticus, Jesus is our Priest who reconciles us to God (Lev 1). In Numbers, He is our guiding cloud and fire (Num 9). In Deuteronomy, Christ is the coming Prophet like Moses who fulfills God’s law (Deut 18:15-18).

Historical Books

In Joshua, He is Commander of the Lord’s army who leads us into His Promised Land (Josh 5:13-15). In Judges, Jesus is the Deliver of His disobedient people (Judges 4:9). In Ruth, He is the ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer from David’s tribe (Ruth 3). In 1+2 Samuel, Christ is the promised Son who fulfills God’s covenant (2 Sam 7). In 1+2 Kings, He is the Righteous Sovereign (2 Kings 17:21-23). In 1+2 Chronicles, Jesus is the Holy King greater than Solomon (2 Chron 9; Luke 11:31). In Ezra, He is the true and faithful Scribe (Ezra 7:10). In Nehemiah, Christ is the Re-builder of broken down lives (Neh 2). In Esther, He is our Royal Advocate for such a time as this (Est 4:14).

Wisdom Books

In Job, Jesus is the Mediator and Redeemer of His suffering people (Job 9:33;19:25-27). In Psalms, He is God’s Kingly Son and our Shepherd (Psalms 2, 23). In Proverbs, Christ is God’s Wisdom in creation and our pattern for living (Prov 8). In Ecclesiastes, He is Judge of all the earth who always does right (Ecc 12:13,14). In Song of Songs, Jesus is our beloved Bridegroom who loves us deeply (Song 1).

Major Prophetic Books (Longer)

In Isaiah, He is the Mighty God and suffering Servant who saves us from our sins (Is 53). In Jeremiah, Christ is the Bringer of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34). In Lamentations, He is the Weeping Prophet who gives new mercies every day (Lam 3:22-24). In Ezekiel, Jesus is the Resurrector who makes dry bones and dead hearts come alive (Ezek 37:1-14). In Daniel, He is the Son of Man who rules the world (Dan 7:9-14).

Minor Prophetic Books (Shorter)

In Hosea, Christ is the Forever Faithful Husband despite our sinfulness (Hos 1). In Joel, He is the Giver of the Spirit who calls us to repentance (Joel 2:28-32). In Amos, Jesus is God’s plumb line who shows us God’s social justice (Amos 7:7-8). In Obadiah, He is our Savior-King (Ob 21). In Jonah, Christ is the International Missionary who seeks and saves the lost (Jonah 4:1-11). In Micah, He is the eternal Ruler and Peacemaker from Bethlehem (Mic 5:1-6). In Nahum, Jesus is our Avenger and Punisher of His enemies (Nah 1:1-15). In Habakkuk, He is God’s Righteousness who helps us live by faith (Hab 2:1-4). In Zephaniah, Christ is the Mighty Warrior who is with us, saves us, and delights in us (Zeph 3:17). In Haggai, He is the Desire of All Nations who comes to restore us (Hag 2:7). In Zechariah, Jesus is the King riding on a donkey to rule over all (Zec 9:1-10). In Malachi, He is the Sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2).

So What? (Application)

When you feel so down that you think you have nothing to be thankful for, when the world seems against you, when nobody loves you, when you can’t see a way out, read this list and ask the Holy Spirit to help you rejoice in the Lord and ask Him for help (Phil 4:4). If you are not a a Christ follower, ask the Lord to save you and give you righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. (Augustine of Hippo, 354-430)

Note: This list was suggested by Aaron Jeoffrey’s song “He Is”. I also draw on Proclaiming the Word: Bible Study Guide (by Peter Lillback).