3.4.9.6 Old Testament references to Jesus' suffering and sacrificial death

Isaiah 53 describes the suffering servant of God who is abased. This refers to Jesus Christ, who was "despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (verse 3). His abasement culminates in His bitter suffering and death: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; ... the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (verses 4-5). This is a reference to Christ's path of suffering and His sacrificial death.

After the death of Jesus, one of the guards pierced His side with a spear, thereby fulfilling the words of Zechariah 12: 10: "... then they will look on Me whom they pierced." In contrast to what they did to the criminals crucified with Him, the soldiers did not break the legs of Jesus. This was foreshadowed in the first Passover in the commandment of God concerning the way in which the lamb should be eaten (Exodus 12: 46; John 19: 36).

These examples show that the Old Testament does not simply describe the history of the people of Israel. Viewed in retrospect from the cross, it becomes clear that the Old Testament is oriented to Jesus Christ and that it finds its fulfilment in Him (see also 1.2.5.2).

See also