Jesus in the Old Testament.  by John Oakes.  Apologetics Conference 6/14/2009 Power Point and notes.  See below for the notes.   ppt Jesus in the Old Testament 2.48 Mb

Jesus in the Old Testament

Theme of the Conference:

Despite what the educated and smart-sounding scholars may say, the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jesus of history.  Those who say that the early church reinvented Jesus to fit their particular theology are the REAL reinventers.

The point of this lesson. 

Further evidence that the Jesus of the NT is the Jesus of history is that the Jesus of the NT is precisely the Jesus of the OT.

The "church" did not invent Jesus.  Jesus (in his human form) did not invent Jesus.  God "invented" Jesus.

Two parts to the lesson:

1.  Messianic Prophecy.

2.  Types, prefigures and foreshadows.

Notice the outline of gospel sermons in Acts.

A.  Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies, therefore he is Messiah.

B.  Jesus worked marvelous, public signs, wonders and miracles, and Jesus was raised from the dead, therefore he is Lord and God.

C.  Jesus was crucified as a willing sacrifice to take away your sins, therefore repent and be baptized for forgiveness of your sins.

A.  Messianic Prophecy

Luke 24:44  He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you:  Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Let’s approach this from the point of view of a skeptic.

1. How do I know these OT statements are really prophecies:  written ahead of time?

Answer:  The Dead Sea Scrolls (up to 200 BC) and the Greek Septuagint Version (around 200 BC).

Besides, this is the version of the Hebrew Bible used by the Jews.

2.  How do I know these things really happened?  Maybe the apostles and other NT writers invented these things to make it appear that Jesus actually fulfilled these prophecies.


Josephus    "When Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him

Tacitus:  Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius…

Jewish Talmud.  On the eve of the Passover, they hanged Yeshu.

Seutonius, etc.

Also we have the character of the apostles, each of whom was willing to die for Jesus, none of whom ever retracted a single word.

3.  How do I know these are actually prophecies of the Messiah, rather than just words ripped from their context.

Answer:  Judge for yourself from the context, but many of these were considered messianic by the Jews.

4.  Maybe Jesus, knowing the OT, did these things so that he could make a (false) claim to be the Messiah.

Answer:  We will see that many of these things were definitely not within Jesus power to manipulate.  Besides, if this was the plan, it was a bad plan, because it included his torture and death.

Isaiah 53:   Despised, rejected, not esteemed

                   Pierced for our transgressions   (messianic  by his wounds we

                                                                   are healed)

                   Oppressed and afflicted…   led like a lamb to the slaughter…

                             so he did not open his mouth.

Micah 5:2    From Bethlehem, Ephrathah

Isaiah 9:1,6    From Zebulun and Naphtali    Did the Christians invent the idea that the Messiah was to be "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God… Prince of peace?

Psalm 22:16-18    Pierced hands and feet.  Crucifixion invented by the Persians in 5th century BC.   Nailing to cross invented by Romans about 150 BC.

Count all my bones John 19:31-37

Divided and cast lots for my clothing.  Which???   Both!!!

Zechariah 11:12-13    30…  count them   30 pieces of silver

Throw them to the potter, the handsome price at which they priced me.

Who?   God.  Did the Christian church make up the idea that the Messiah was God in the flesh?

Daniel 9:24-27

Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

          Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Anointed One, the ruler comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’ and sixty two ‘sevens’ 

Decree of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:12-26)  458 BC

458 BC – 490 years = -32   

No zero BC = 33 AD when Messiah will come to Jerusalem

To summarize, in order to claim to be the Messiah-to "fulfill all that was written about me, one must:

•?    Be born in Bethlehem

•?    Be raised in Galilee near Nazareth

•?    Be despised and rejected by men

•?    Be meek and silent before his accusers

•?    Be "pierced"

•?    Be crucified

•?    Have his garments divided and gambled over

•?    Be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver

•?    Come to Jerusalem to make atonement for sin in about AD 33

•?    And many more….

B.  Types, Prefigures and Foreshadows: 

John 5:39,40    The entire OT is about me!!!    We will definitely see that.

OT finds its meaning, its fulfillment in Jesus Christ

Illustrations:   Like a play             Like a mystery book


1.  Foreshadow:  An object, an event, a person or a situation which stands for something similar but of greater significance in the future.

Ex:  Snake on a pole in Exodus.

2.  Prefigure:   Similar to a foreshadow, but a specific thing which stands for another specific thing in the future.   Ex:  Moses a prefigure of Christ.

3.  Type and antitype:  Webster: A person or thing regarded as the symbol of someone or something which is yet to appear.   (Therefore a type prefigures an antitype)

       Webster:  antitype:  That which corresponds to or is foreshadowed by the type.

Our outline:


I.  Historical Prefigures.    Specific historical events which God uses as a foreshadow of a New Testament reality or teaching.

II.  Prefigures of Jesus Christ.   If OT foreshadows the NT and if the theme of the OT is that the Messiah is coming, then there better be lots of prefigures of Christ in the OT.  There are!!!!

III.  The objects in the Tabernacle prefigure NT realities.

IV.  The OT/Levitical sacrifices are foreshadows of the work of Christ.

V.  The festivals celebrated by the Jews are prefigures of our relationship

      with God in the NT.

I.  OT  Historical events as prefigures of NT realities

1.    Ex  Numbers 21:4-9   Why hold up a snake?  God was creating a foreshadow.  

Jn 3:14.    Moses was lifting up the son of man in the wilderness.

The snake stands for sin.  When we are bitten by the venom of sin, it is always fatal.   Romans 6:23  the wages of sin are death.

How could a snake stand for Jesus?  Jesus became sin for us.  We look to Jesus, who took our sin on himself and we are healed from the venom of sin.  Jesus is the antivenom.

2  Cor 5:21  God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us.

Q:  is this just a interesting event which Jesus used as a symbol?  No!!!  God caused this to happen, told Moses what to do because he intended all along to use this as a prefigure.  Not luck!!   The Bible is inspired by God, and the events in the Bible are inspired by God.

Historian seeks patterns in history.

God created patterns in history to tell us a consistent story.  What is that story?

Gen 22:1-6  Take your son, your only son…

Isaac is a type of Christ, and Abraham is a type of the Father.

Abraham got up early the next day.  God is not holding back.

God was willing to give up his only son.

The cool thing is that this actually happened.

By the way Mt. Moriah is the site of the temple and the place where Jesus was condemned to die.  Coincidence?

1 Cor 15:3-4  Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

                       He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.    Fulfilled here!

Heb 11:19  Figuratively speaking Abraham received his son back from the dead.

Look at Isaac.  He carried the wood to be used for his own sacrifice up Mt. Moriah.

Abraham:  You are the sacrifice.   Isaac:  If you say so, father.

II  Prefigures of the Messiah.

The Jews had prophets, priests and kings

Again, let us start with a minor example:    

1.  Jonah.   Matthew 12:39,40

Miraculously delivered from death on 3rd day.

Born in Galilee, in a town right next to Nazareth.

They gambled over Jonah’s fate   (gambling over Jesus’ clothes)

Offered repentance to gentiles  (Luke 11:30-32)  

Evidence:  Remember how prejudiced the authors were.

Jonah 1:12  Pick me up and throw me into the ocean.   Jonah willingly offered his life to save the Gentiles from sure death.

3.  Joseph     King  (actually prince)

His life:   At right hand of Father, became a slave in Egypt, raised to right hand of Pharaoh.

a.  favorite son if Jacob/Israel       Jesus the only son

b.  tended sheep (a recurring theme as Jesus is the good shepherd)

c.  brothers conceived a plan to kill him.    (brother Israelites)

d. betrayed by his brothers for 20 pieces of silver

e.  God brought him to Egypt to protect from jealous brothers  (Jesus from Herod)

f.  God in a dream:   you will rule over your brothers as king    Jesus a king

g.  raised by God to king from very humble situation.

h.  most importantly to be a figure of the Messiah:  saved Israel!!

3.  Moses.   Prophet,  priest (sort of)  and prince (sort of)

a.  Deut 18:17-19.   God told Moses he was a prefigure of Christ.  I will raise up a prophet like you….

b.  death sentence as a baby.  God protected him.

c.  raised from poverty to be prince in King’s house.  Right hand of Pharoah.

e. gave up right hand position with Pharoah to be with God’s people.  Stepped down from exalted position to save Israel.

f. led Israel out of physical slavery.    (led spiritual Israel out of spiritual slavery)

g.  Forty years in the wilderness preparing  (only forty days in the wilderness preparing, but what the heck….  He was God!)

h.  God gave Moses Aaron to prepare the way/speak for him   (John the Baptist)

i.  Israel baptized into Moses in Red Sea.      (Jesus followers baptized.)

j.  Produced bread (manna)   So did Jesus  (Jn 6:1-13,  Jesus is the bread of life John 6:32)

k.  Produced water from a rock.   (John 4:13,14)     Coincidence????

l.  Spoke to God on Sinai     (on Hermon)

8.  Adam, Melchizedek, David, Solomon, Daniel, Cyrus, Ezra, Joshua the priest, Deborah, Esther

III  The Earthly Tabernacle prefigures the Heavenly Tabernacle.

Hebrews 8:3-6  They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and a shadow of that which is in heaven.    A better, spiritual sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:11 Jesus serves in a more perfect tabernacle.

Hebrews 9:23  The things in the tabernacle were "copies" of the heavenly things.

The curtain was torn in two.  Matthew 27:51

Heb 10:19  We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.

The cool thing:  In the heavenly tabernacle, there is no curtain!!!!

1.  The Bronze Altar:    To meet God in the sanctuary, a sacrifice is required.

2.  The Laver.    To enter into a relationship with God, one must be washed in baptism.

3.  The Bread on the right.   Jn 6:35   I am the bread of life.

4.  The golden lampstand.  Menorah Zech 4:1-6    The lampstand = the Holy Spirit which we receive when we are baptized and enter a relationship with God.

On the right:   Jesus

On the left:  The Holy Spirit

In the center:  The Father.

•5.     The golden altar of incense.   Not used for sacrifices or offerings.

Rev 5:8  The altar of incense =  or prayers which come right before the presence of God.

6.  The curtain.    The separation between man and God.  Anyone who peered behind the curtain saw God and died on the spot.

Only once a year, only after sprinkling the blood of a bull a ram and a goat, only the high priest could enter.

IV  The OT Sacrifices Prefigure Sacrifice in the New Testament.

•A.     Sweet-smelling sacrifices.  "An aroma, pleasing to the Lord." Were not for sin.   There is nothing sweet smelling about sin!

•1.     The Burnt Offering (olah)

•2.     The Grain Offering (minchah)

•3.     The Drink Offering

•4.     The Fellowship Offering (shelem)

•B.     The sin sacrifices.

•1.     The Sin Offering (chatat)

•2.     The Trespass Offering (asham)

The Burnt Offering.   =   Total commitment of the worshipper (us!)   Leviticus 1   Sacrificed.    The head burned entire, but the body thoroughly washed then burned.

Why?    The head is Jesus,  we are the body.  We need washing.  Both us and Jesus are expected to make a total sacrifice of ourselves.

Ephesians 5:1,2  Jesus was a burnt offering.

Romans 12:1,2    "in view of God’s mercy."

Our lives are offered voluntarily as burnt offerings as well.  We offer ourselves, not in order to be saved, but as a response because we are saved.

Are you presenting your life right now as a living sacrifice to God?

The Grain Offering    = giving of the first fruits of our labor to God.

A pleasing aroma.

Leviticus 2

Not voluntary

The Drink Offering (nesek)  =  pouring out our life in devotion to God.

Jesus made a drink offering:   Luke 22:20  "Which is poured out for you."

Paul made a drink offering:  (Philippians 2:16,17)   2 Tim 4:6,7

The Fellowship Offering (peace offering)   Leviticus 3   = Celebrating the blessings of  having a relationship with God.     A pleasing aroma.

Sacrifices for sin/blood offerings

Sin Offering  (chatat)    Lev 4:1-5:13

Guilt Offering (asham)


God wants us to party!!  To celebrate our life in him.

A.  The Feast of Trumpets (rosh hashannah)

On the day of the New Moon, the ram’s horn was blown. (Lev 23:24,25)

Jewish tradition:   Rosh Hashannah was symbolic of God’s judgement.

It was a day devoted to reflection and repentance

Foreshadow:   The Feast of Trumpets is a foreshadow of the day Jesus comes again, bringing in the final Judgement.

Matthew 24:30,31    God told us about the second coming of Jesus all the way back in Leviticus!!

1 Thess 4:15,16  …with the trumpet call of God.

B.  THE DAY OF ATONEMENT  (yom kippur)

Yom Kippur is a foreshadow of salvation through the blood of Jesus.

2.  Two goats selected.   One is killed.  His blood for the people.  The body burned outside the camp.

3.  Lay hands on the other goat, symbolically passing all the sin of the people for the entire year onto him.   Send this goat out of the camp into the wilderness.

2.  Jesus was sacrificed outside the camp, representing the putting of the sin of the people outside the camp.  God removes our sin from his presence.

The Day of Atonement is a foreshadow of the day you, personally, are forgiven of all your sins.

C.  The Passover.  

God:   Kill a lamb and sprinkle the blood on the wooden beam above the door of your houses.

Jesus was killed on Passover day!!!!!   Is this coincidence??

The event is a foreshadow of the death of Jesus on the Cross.

The blood of the Passover lamb saved the first born of Israel from physical death.

The blood of Jesus, shed on Passover saves us from spiritual death.

The Passover freed Israel from physical bondage to physical slavery.

The death of Jesus freed spiritual Israel from spiritual bondage to sin.

The Passover required an unblemished lamb.

Jesus was an unblemished lamb.   Jn 1:29  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The blood was sprinkled on the cross-beam over the door.

Jesus’ blood was spilled out on a cross-beam

God:  Do not break any of the bones of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:46)

(Psalms 22:17, Jn 19:31-33)

The Passover Meal is also a foreshadow of the Lord’s Supper.

The Last Supper would better be titled the Last Seder. 

The third cup was shared after supper.  It is the cup of redemption.

D.  The Feast of Firstfruits.    Leviticus 23:9-14.  This was a harvest feast.   They brought the very first green heads of the wheat crop as a confident statement that God will bring in the harvest.   An anticipation-of-the-harvest festival.

What is this a foreshadow of?    The Resurrection of Jesus!!!

Guess what!   Jesus rose from the dead on the day of Firstfruits.

Not a coincidence.   Jesus:   the whole OT is about me.

Jesus is the firstfruits of those who will be harvested for eternal life.

God told us in Leviticus!!!!!

1 Corinthians 15:20,21    The resurrection of Jesus, like the feast of Firstfruits is a promise of a future harvest!

Colossians 1:18  He is the first fruit from among the dead.


The Jesus if the NT is the Jesus of history because he is the Messiah of the Old Testament.  Even if the church wanted to invent a different savior, they could not legitimately because he was defined in almost limitless detail before he was born.

So, what is your response?

Jesus made some outrageous demands and some outrageous claims

John 11:25   I am the resurrection and the life.

He backed it up.  v. 43 Lazarus come out!!!


v. 45  Many of the Jews… put their faith in him.

v. 47-50  Another logical response:  kill him.

What is your response?


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