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RE:QUEST

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Jesus: Old Testament Evidence for Jesus

Evidence from History - the Old Testament Scriptures

 

The Old Testament Points to Christ An important piece of evidence to whether the Christian faith can be proven or not is the way the whole Bible points to Jesus Christ - the Old Testament as well as the New.

Individual stories To take just one example, the Old Testament records how God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. On the way to the appointed place, Isaac asks his father, 'where is the animal for the offering?' and Abraham replies, 'God Himself will provide the offering.' To us, this is a peculiar story. It does not make a lot of sense until we see that, at the end, when God has told Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac after all, God Himself provides the sacrifice. We begin to see how this story points forward to God's sacrifice of His only son.

Israel's Deliverance From Egypt However, it is not just individual stories like this that point to Christ. The whole record of Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt is a picture of God delivering His people through Jesus. The Passover lamb itself is another picture of Christ, taken up in the New Testament.

The Sacrificial System The system of animal sacrifices points to the need for a death to take away sin. However, the Old Testament sacrifices never completely met this need. Rather, they point forward to the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus.

The Kings of Judah - David's Descendants The Kings in the Old Testament also point forward to Jesus, the one true divine ruler. God told King David, 'I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong ... I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son.'  That is why in the New Testament it is so important that Jesus is a descendant of David. Matthew introduces his Gospel with the words, 'This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of King David ...' and Luke draws our attention to the fact that Jesus's legal father Joseph was also a descendant of King David.

Prophecies in the Old Testament Of course, the prophetic books in the Old Testament also point forward to Christ. Prophecy reaches its peak in passages like Psalm 110. This Psalm is one of the parts of the Old Testament most frequently quoted in the New, and it is always applied to Jesus.

Or we could think of the 'Servant Songs' of Isaiah. The best known of these is in Isaiah 53, where it says: 'It was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God for His own sins! But He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us were like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the guilt and sin of us all.'

So the Old Testament points to Jesus through individual stories like Abraham and Isaac, through the sacrificial system, through the Kingship of David's line, and through the words of the prophets.

These pages have been produced by David Couchman MA (Cantab), MSc. The material is taken from the Facing the Challenge course and is used with permission.