Christ in the Old Testament (Part II)


Christ in the OT 2 NT Passages and Reflections

NT Passages and Reflections

The NT has some pretty amazing things to say about Christ in the OT. Speaking of Israel in the wilderness, the Apostle Paul says, “All drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1Co 10:4). The Author of Hebrews says of Moses, “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Heb 11:26). Jude, the half-brother of Jesus says, “I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5).[1] The Apostle John says, “Isaiah said these things because he saw [Christ’s] glory and spoke of him” (John 12:41). And finally, Jesus himself says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).

TheSplitRockThough the next three installments will focus on Christ in the OT through prophecy, typology, and law, also vitally important and fundamental is the idea that Christ was himself in the OT. That is what each of these five inspired men teach in one way or another. Christ was the Water Israel drank and the Rock that followed them. Moses did not want to disappoint Christ. Jesus saved the people out of Egypt. Isaiah saw Christ. Abraham saw Jesus’ day. How could this possibly be? It is because Christians believe that Jesus Christ is both man and God. The human nature of Jesus Christ came into existence in Mary’s womb, but the Second Person of the Trinity did not. We will look at this idea much more in later posts in this series in some very particular and perhaps even shocking ways.

Some Questions

For now, I want to finish with a couple of questions. Does your theology of the Second Person of the Trinity allow for him to actually be in the OT? If the answer is “yes,” then have you been looking for him there? Many people are reading the OT like they might read Aesop’s Fables to their children: great stories with a moral ending to help us be better people. Others come to the OT as if it were a divinely revealed leadership, coaching, psychology, science, and even dietary and cooking handbook. Still others have become so bored with it all, that they no longer read it. Christ in the OT is a way beyond the pure moralism, “how-to” manuals, or sheer defeat. For when he is seen as actually being there with those people, suddenly we can say that those with faith came to him that they might have life (John 5:40). What a profoundly thrilling thought. People were saved by Jesus in the OT.

[1] “Jesus” is a textual variant. Metzger says “Critical principles seem to require the adoption of ‘Iesous [Jesus], which is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses.” For more, see my sermon “I Feel Fine.”

(By: Doug Van Dorn)

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