3.4.4 References to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament

The Old Testament already provides references to the coming Messiah, Saviour, and Redeemer. For example, we find the first reference to a coming Redeemer in the curse of the serpent immediately following the fall into sin (Genesis 3: 15).

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews sees a reference to Jesus Christ in the acts of the royal priest Melchizedek, who brought Abraham bread and wine and blessed him (Genesis 14: 17-20; Hebrews 7).

The Son of God accompanied the chosen people of Israel throughout their history. Apostle Paul expressly attests to Christ's presence during their wandering through the desert: "Our fathers ... all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10: 1-4).

Old Testament prophets refer to concrete details associated with the appearance of the Redeemer:

  • Isaiah describes Him with names that underline His uniqueness: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9: 6).

  • Micah announced the place of the Lord's birth: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting" (Micah 5: 2).

  • Malachi prophesied of a way-preparer for the Son of God: "'Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,' says the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3: 1). The one preparing the way here is John the Baptist (Matthew 11: 10).

  • Zechariah described the Lord's entry into Jerusalem: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9: 9).

Thus the incarnation of the Son of God, as well as His walk upon the earth, were already foretold in the Old Testament.

See also