MAJ-1 - Jesus in the Old Testament
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MORE ABOUT JESUS
“And the angel said to Mary, ‘And you shall call his name Jesus for He will
save His people from their sins,’” Matthew 1:21.
Welcome to our series of lessons entitled: “More About Jesus.” When
people think about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we often think about
Him in terms of the New Testament. All of us want to shape our lives to
learn more about Jesus and know more about His life. We want to follow in
His footsteps, 1 Peter 2:21.
But as we initially think about learning more about Jesus, we want to
realize that Jesus also is an amazing figure who plays a big part in the Old
Testament scheme of redemption, in both planning and prophecy.
As we think about Jesus in the Old Testament, it's not really an idea that
we often associate with Christ. When people think about studying about
Christ, we often turn to the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew,
Mark, Luke, or John. And naturally, they tell us about the birth, the life, the
death, and resurrection of Christ.
Today we want to initially think about learning more about Jesus as we
look at Him in the Old Testament. Did you know that Christ was in the Old
Testament? He played an active part from Genesis all the way to the close
of the Old Testament in the prophecies and planning of God's scheme of
redemption. One might think, ‘Well, I never much hear the words Jesus or
Christ in the Old Testament.’ Friend as we bring that together, as we bring
the Old Testament prophecies and images together with their fulfillment in
the New Testament, Christ becomes a major figure in those writings.
Let me introduce it this way, when we think about Christ in the Old
Testament, do you realize that you can see His Majesty and power at
creation? That's right! Jesus was there and an active part of creation. For
example, when you hear the words in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God
created the Heavens and the Earth.” Who do we naturally think of? Well
naturally, we think of the Father. We think of His creative power; we think
about God, the Father, the master mind and architect of design. Did you
know that the New Testament records as well that Jesus was an active part
Let me direct your attention to Colossians 1. I want you to notice verses
15 and 16. The Scripture records, “He, Jesus, is the image of the invisible
God, the Firstborn over all creation,” now notice this, “for by Him,” by
Christ, “all things were created that are in Heaven that are on earth visible
and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers
all things were created through Him and for Him.” That brings so much new
light to the words of Genesis 1:1! When I hear, “God created the Heavens
and the Earth; God spoke and the world came into existence,” with this
information in the New Testament, I realize that Christ was there at
creation, God and the Son. He was an active part in that. God used Him in
creation. “All things were created by Him, through Him, and for Him.”
Listen to the words of Hebrews 1:1-2, the Bible says “God who at
various times in various ways spoke in times past,” talking about the Old
Testament, “spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these
last days spoken to us by His son, whom He appointed heir of all things”
listen now, “through whom also He created the world.” And so again,
confirmation and verification that Christ was an active part.
When I think of creation and Christ, I think about the Majesty and power
of God speaking and the world coming into existence, and I need to include
Christ into those thoughts. It was His Majesty, His power, His divine nature
that played a big part in that as well.
Do you remember the words that initiate the gospel of John? “In the
beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was
God, all things were made by Him. Without Him there was nothing made
that was made.” Jesus again is seen as playing an active part in creation.
What's amazing about this is that you really don't have to look to the New
Testament to understand that it wasn't just the work of the Father in
Let me illustrate. Take your mind back to Genesis 1 again. Genesis 1
teaches us all about creation. “God created the Heavens and the Earth.
The Earth was without form and void, the spirit of God hovered upon the
face of the deep.” Now do you remember Genesis 1:26, what does that
passage say? “God said,” listen now, “let Us make man in Our image.” Wait
a minute, who is that “Us”? The Scripture uses a personal plural pronoun to
describe God. Who is that? The Father, Genesis 1:1. The spirit hovering
upon the face of the deep, the Holy Spirit, Genesis 1:2. And according to
Colossians 1:15-16, it is also the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And so as I think about Christ in the Old Testament, as I think about His
Majesty and power at creation, how's that practical to us today? Friend if
Christ had the Majesty and the power to speak, to be an active part, and
the world coming to existence, imagine what that Majesty and power can
do in my life and yours today if I'll only let it!
“Christ stands at the door and knocks,” Revelation 3 clearly teaches if
we're willing to let Him come into our life, let Him live and abide, and His
word have its free course in our life, can you imagine what Christ's Majesty
and power can do in my life? Couldn't we say as Paul said in the close of
the Philippian letter, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
Now as we also think about Christ in the Old Testament, let's realize
that not only is He found in Genesis 1 in the initial pages of creation and
the very first part of that, but I want you to see Christ as we began to work
God's plan and God's scheme of redemption for saving man into God's full
plan. Do you remember Genesis 3? Adam and Eve are living in the
beautiful, luscious Garden of Eden. God gave them a command, “Of every
tree of the garden of Eden you shall freely eat, but of the tree of the
knowledge you got good and evil you shall not eat it, for the day that you
eat it you shall die there in.”
And so God says, ‘You can have anything in this garden. I've made this
special for you; just don't eat the tree in the middle of the garden known as
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ As things begin to unfold that
serpent, Satan, enters the picture. Satan tempts Eve. ‘Why did God say
that? He doesn't want you to be like Him.’ She looked at that tree with a
longing eye and saw that it was good to eat and make one wise, and she
ate of that. She gave it to her husband Adam. He also ate of that. Then
their eyes were opened, and they realize they were naked. They realized
they had sinned.
And friend, from that time, from that point in time when sin enters the
world, Christ has been seen as coming into the world to save man from sin.
Let me illustrate look in Genesis 3. I want to direct your attention to
verse 15. Here is God speaking to the serpent about what's going to
happen to him. Genesis 3:15 records, “And I will put enmity between you
and the woman and between her seed and your seed, he,” now notice this,
the seed of a woman, “he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his
heel.” When I think of those words to Satan, and I think about God making
a plan and God says to Satan, ‘I'm going to put enmity and put division
between you and woman, between you and the seed of woman, between
him and you; he's going to bruise your head. You're going to bruise his
heel.’ I can't help but hear the words Paul said to Christians in the First
Century, who through Christ were overcoming Satan, “God shall crush
Satan under your feet shortly.”
When Jesus died on the cross, and He through death overcame him
who had the power of death, Hebrews 2:14, Jesus dealt that deathblow to
the head of the serpent. Yes His foot was bruised, yes He suffered; He had
to die, but look at God's plan, even from the early days of Genesis, in the
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God's plan unfolding in the early chapters of
Genesis not only includes Christ as the seed of woman destroying Satan,
but He's the one that you see that will bless all nations.
Let me direct your attention to another passage in the Old Testament
that clearly pictures Christ. Look in Genesis 12: 1-3. The Bible records,
“Now the Lord had said to Abram, ‘Get out of your country from your family
and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make you
a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be
a blessing.’” Now watch, “I will bless those who bless you. I will curse him
who curses you and in you,” the idea in your seed, “all the families of the
Earth shall be blessed.” Here we've got that great promise to Abraham.
God gives him a command. ‘I want you to leave your land. I want you to
leave your family. I'm going to send you a new place. I'm going to start a
whole nation through you, and in your seed all nations are going to be
Now for a long time Israel missed that principle. In fact in John 8 when
Jesus said, ‘God's able to raise up a seed to Abraham from these stones,’
that the Jews will respond by saying ‘We've never been in bondage to
anybody. We're children of Abraham. We're the sons of promise. We've got
that seed promise.’ And so, they thought anybody who was a descendent
of Abraham naturally was going to receive that promise. But they missed
something very big. God did not say, ‘in your seeds all nations will be
blessed.’ God said, ‘in you, in your seed.’
Now Paul makes that point in Galatians 3 and clearly drives home that
the fulfillment, the ultimate fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, can only
be had in Christ. Notice Galatians 3:16. The Bible says, “Now to Abraham
and his seed were the promises made,” watch this and he does not say
and to seeds as of many, but as of one watch this, “and to your seed who is
Christ.” That seed promise, ‘in your seed all nations the earth be blessed.’
Who was that? Not plurality but in a singularity. One person was going to
be that chosen one, who all nations of the earth, not just the Jews, all
nations could be blessed and to your seed who is Christ.
Friend when we think about Christ in the Old Testament, we need to see
Him as the ultimate and final plan that God set in motion, through whom all
nations could be blessed. Do we see the blessing of being a child of God?
I'm not living in the day and age nor are you where we are looking forward
to something better. I'm not living in a day and age where prophecies
haven’t been fulfilled. I'm not looking forward to someone greater coming.
We’re living in the reality of God's greatest plan and the unfolding of that in
Christ Jesus. What a blessing it is to be a child of God.
Ephesians 1:3 ties in with Genesis 12 and the nations being blessed.
Ephesians 1:3 says, “All spiritual blessings are ours in Christ Jesus.” Who’s
he talking to? Christians, members of the Lord's church in the First Century.
And so not only do I see Jesus and His majesty and His power at
creation, I see Him as the world's greatest blessing and the ultimate
fulfillment of all plans that God set in motion.
I want to direct your attention to a passage also in the book of Genesis.
In Genesis 49 where the sons of Isaac are being blessed and Israel is
giving those blessings to His children I want you notice what the Scripture
will say about one of those in Genesis 49:10. As these blessings unfold and
as the prophecies are given, here we have the blessing that's going to
come to the tribe of Judah and specifically to Jesus. Notice Genesis 49:10
the Bible says Jacob speaks to his children and says, “The scepter shall
not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh
comes and to him shall be the obedience of the people.”
Here we see Jesus as the peace-bringer. “Until Shiloh comes,” that
word Shiloh literally means peaceful one or peace bearer. You see there
had been a great enmity, there’d been a great division, and there’d been a
great separation between God and man throughout the ages because of
sin. You remember that separation. Isaiah 59:1-2, “Lord's ears not heavy
that He cannot hear His arms not shortened that He cannot save, but our
sins and our iniquities have separated us from our God.” It's something all
men face, Romans 3:23. Nobody can claim righteousness in and of
themselves, Romans 3:10. But the good news is that although yes there's
been that separation, that chasm has existed, Jesus is the peace bringer.
He brings God and man together in Himself. He is able to make of the two,
1 new man and thus making peace, Ephesians 2:14-16 and Colossians
And so I see Christ, when I hear the Angels, Jesus comes into the world
he's born, we've got His birth and in Luke 2 the Angels sing at His birth
“Peace on Earth.” There is the fulfillment of Genesis 49:10, “Peace on
Earth and goodwill toward men.” And so, Christ in the Old Testament is that
one who is going to bring peace between God and man, to bridge the gap
and to put us back in the good will of the Almighty
We also see Christ in the Old Testament in a parallel to Moses as the
deliverer of His people. You remember Exodus 1-12 where God raises up a
deliverer by the name of Moses. Moses comes out of the wilderness of the
backside of Midian to bring God's people out of Egyptian bondage with the
help of his brother Aaron. The 10 plagues are unleashed on the Egyptian
nation, and as result of Moses, that great deliverer is able to bring His
people out of Egyptian bondage and with His guidance and encouragement
and a little prodding, they head toward that promise land. Now the next
generation is actually the one who inherits that promise land. But Moses is
seen as a deliverer, as one who brings God's people out of bondage, and
who ultimately takes them into the promise land.
Now I want you to see the parallel in Scripture between Moses and one
who has risen, who is greater than Moses. Hebrews makes this parallel in
Hebrews 3. As we think about why Christ is greater, some of the things
about Jesus that are indeed better. The Hebrews writer will show us that
Christ is indeed greater than Moses. Hebrews 3:1 the Scripture records,
“Therefore holy brethren partakers of the heavenly calling consider the
apostle and high priest of our confession Christ Jesus,” now watch, “who
was faithful to him, who appointed him as Moses also was faithful in all his
house, for this one has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses
inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house for
every house is built by someone, but he will build all things is God.”
There's no doubt that in the mind of the Hebrews writer he parallels
Christ and how He's greater than Moses. Moses did great things, great
miracles, a great deliverer, a great leader right up to the edge the promise
land, but Christ is so much greater as a deliverer of His people. Think about
what Moses did; Moses delivered God's people out of Egyptian bondage.
That was a wonderful thing, don't get me wrong, but Christ does he not
deliver us from a greater bondage? Romans 6:17-18 tells us, “God be
thanked though you were the slaves of sin yet you obeyed from the heart
that form of doctrine, to which you were delivered.” Verse 18 says that if
you give yourself to sin, in essence, you're a slave of sin. When Christ
came into the world there was a greater bondage. It was not bondage to
Pharaoh; bondage to brick making, no it was bondage and slavery to sin
and Satan. Christ delivers us from that bondage. Romans 6:23, “The
wages of sin is death.” But listen to the release, “the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When we hear the words of Acts 2:38
“Repent and be baptized,” here's the release, “for the remission of your
sins.” There's the freedom from sin that Christ gives all men. Christ, as a
type of Moses, is leading us toward that promise land itself. If I walk in the
footsteps of Jesus, 1 Peter 2:21, Revelation 14, I'm headed toward that
great home in the sky, that great heaven that we often think of, so many
beautiful images, and what a wonderful picture that we have as Christ, as a
type indeed of Moses.
But now I want you to see Christ as the ultimate sacrifice, that spotless
Lamb of God in the Old Testament seen in the types of the animals and
shadows, but in Christ in its ultimate fulfillment. In the book of Leviticus, as
one enters into thinking about and study sacrifice and sin in the Old
Testament, in the book of Leviticus there was a way to be redeemed from
sin that was no doubt depended upon Christ, Hebrews 9:15-17 teaches,
but there were sin offerings. If one sinned under the Old Testament there
could be a lamb, there could be a heifer, there could be two turtledoves,
offered for that sin. And it was indeed a bloody sacrifice and what stands
out as striking about this are the words of Hebrews 10:3-4 “the blood of
bulls and goats can never really take away sin.” I love the words of John as
he sees Jesus approaching. In John 1:29 John sees Jesus, in essence he
says ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’
That's Jesus! Hebrews 4:15, “He was tempted in all points as we are yet
without sin.” He was spotless. 1 Peter 1:18-19, “Knowing that you are not
redeemed from your aimless conduct by tradition or things laid down by
your father's, but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without spot or
blemish he was for ordained before the foundations of the world but was
manifest in these last days for us.”
When I think of Christ in the Old Testament and the multitude of animal
sacrifices that were made, Christ stands out is that one eternal sacrifice
made for all men. How do we know that? Listen to the words of Hebrews
10:12 the Hebrew writer as he thinks about the Old Testament, as he thinks
about the multitude of bloody sacrifices that were made says this, “This
man, Jesus, after he’d offered one sacrifice for sin forever sat down at the
right hand of God.” Christ made one sacrifice not a multitude. He's that
perfect, spotless Lamb of God who gave Himself as a sacrifice for all men
so that they indeed could be saved.
Now the final thing that we mention about Jesus in the Old Testament
is clearly seen in the major prophet Isaiah. Isaiah reveals to us some great
details about Jesus in the Old Testament as that suffering servant who
would make the ultimate sacrifice for all men. Isaiah 53:3 the Bible says,
“Of this one he is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief, we hid as it were our faces from him. He was
despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely He is born our griefs, carried
our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.”
Listen, “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our
iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes
we are healed.”
Who is this suffering servant in Isaiah 53 whose bruised, smitten, who
is looked upon in a negative light, and does all of it for someone else?
Friend a perfect parallel to the words of Isaiah 53:5 is found in 1 Peter 2:24.
Peter identifies that suffering servant by saying, “He was bruised for our
iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, by His stripes we
are healed.” The Bible says “He Himself bore our sins in His own body
upon the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24.
And so as we initially begin to think in this series of lessons about more
about Jesus, we hope that you'll study deeper in the Old Testament that it
will give you and give us a richer understanding of God's plan, of what
Jesus went through, of His leaving Heaven to come to this Earth, and of the
multitude of things that were fulfilled about Him in the Old Testament.
Friend most of all, as we began by saying when the angel said to Mary
“You will call His name Jesus, He'll save His people from their sins,”
Matthew 1:21, we ask you today: has Jesus had the opportunity to save
you from your sins?
Have you allowed Him to do just that? Have you heard the message
about Christ? Romans 10:17. Do you believe Jesus is God's son? John
8:24. Would you change your life and repent? Luke 13:3. Would you make
that good confession, ‘Jesus is the Christ’? And would you be immersed in
water for the forgiveness of your sins? Acts 2:38.
We hope you’ll continue with us as we study more about Jesus.
Study Questions for: “More About Jesus: Lesson 1”
1. According to Matthew 1:21, who will save people from sins?
2. Whose steps should we follow in according to 1 Peter 2:21?
3. According to Colossians 1:15-16, by who were all things
4. Through whom did God create the world according to
5. Genesis 1:26 “Let ________ make man in _________ image.”
6. Who overcame death according to Hebrews 2:14?
7. All what are ours in Christ according to Ephesians 1:3?
8. According to Isaiah 59:1-2, what separates us from God?
9. According to Romans 6:23, what are the wages of sin?
10. Where do we find eternal life according to Romans 6:23?