From Genesis 1:1 all way through Bible to last verse of Revelation, there is a plan by which man can receive salvation and promise of God for eternal life with Jesus Christ. This plan is like a scarlet cord which runs all way through Old and New Testaments. This plan is embodied in life, ministry, and deity of Jesus Christ. In this article we shall examine this scarlet cord; Christ of Old and New Testament.
Many uninformed Christians believe that Jesus Christ "appeared" on scene in book of Matthew and that New Testament is about Christ and His teachings. They also believe that Old Testament is an account of history and laws of Jewish people before time of Christ. They do not see or recognize relationship between two testaments. The relationship is Christ.
As early as Genesis 3:15 we see Christ in Old Testament. The Old Testament is replete with prophesies about coming Messiah, and God begins to tell His people these in first book of Bible. In Genesis 3:15 we see that Christ is seed of woman; in 4:25 we see that He is from line of Seth; in 9:27 we see that line continues through Shem; in 12:3 line continues through Abraham; in 21:12 line continues through Isaac; in 25:23 through Jacob; and in 49:10 we see that Christ shall be of tribe of Judah.
Another way we see Christ in Old Testament is through types. A "type" is a historical fact that illustrates a spiritual truth. For example, Adam is said to be a type, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to likeness of transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Romans 5:14) How is Adam a type of Christ? Both entered world through a special act of God as sinless men. We think of Adam as being head of first creation, physical creation of man. Jesus is head of new creation. Through Adam, sin was introduced to world, through Jesus sin is made null and void.
There are also what I like to call "pictures of Christ" in Old Testament. An example of this is Abel's acceptable offering of a blood sacrifice which points to or "pictures" Christ as being acceptable blood sacrifice for all mankind's sin. In like manner, Cain's murder of Able pictures death of Christ; both were a result of jealousy.
Joseph is also a type of Christ. Both Joseph and Christ were objects of special love by their fathers, both were hated by their brothers, both were rejected as rulers over their brothers, both were sold for silver, both were condemned though innocent, and both were raised out of their humiliation to positions of glory by power of God.
Not all Old Testament books contain direct messianic prophecies. Some books which may not have direct prophecies will be full of types and/or pictures of Christ. Let's take a look at each Old Testament book following Genesis to see what of Christ we can see in each of them.
EXODUS: Exodus has no direct prophecies but is full of types. Some of these types are: Moses, Passover, seven feasts, exodus, manna and water, tabernacle, and high priest.
LEVITICUS: Leviticus is also brimming with types and allusions of person and work of Jesus. Some of more important are: five offerings, high priest, and seven feasts.
NUMBERS: In Numbers there are several pictures of Christ. Some of these include: a bronze serpent on a stake (a picture of Crucifixion), rock that quenches thirst of multitude, daily manna, pillar of cloud and fire, and six cities of refuge.
DEUTERONOMY: The most obvious picture of Christ is found in 18:15, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear." Also we see Moses as a type of Christ as described above. Also note that Moses and Christ were only ones to fill three offices of prophet, priest and king (remember that Moses was never named a king, but fulfilled duties of a king as ruler of Israel).
JOSHUA: Joshua himself is a type of Christ. Joshua led Israel into their promised land, and as such he pictures Christ as One who will bring "many sons to glory" (see Heb. 2:10). Joshua succeeded Moses and realized victory which was unattainable by Moses, and in like manner Christ realized victory which was unattainable by law. The "Commander of army of Lord" which we see in 5:13-15 is evidently a preincarnate appearance of Christ.
JUDGES: The judges fulfilled two roles, that of spiritual savior and political ruler. These two roles picture role of Christ as our Savior and King. The seven judges also functioned individually somewhat differently. Some are warrior-rulers, some priests, and one (Samuel) was a prophet. These different functions all picture three offices of Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King.
RUTH: The book of Ruth shows redemption of Ruth by her kinsmen. This kinsmen-redeemer relationship is a picture of relationship which Christ has with us. Also, Ruth was Great-Grandmother of David and therefore a blood relative of Christ.
I & II SAMUEL: Samuel is a type of Christ as he holds offices of prophet, priest and judge. However we see more of Christ in life and person of David in these two books. David is born in Bethlehem, serves as a shepherd, and rules as king of Israel. David is forerunner of messianic King, and New Testament calls Christ "seed of David according to flesh" (Romans 1:3) and "the Root and Offspring of David." (Revelation 22:16)
I & II KINGS: Solomon is a type of Christ in a number of ways. His wisdom points to Christ; his fame, glory, wealth, and honor also point to Christ. Solomon was indeed considered great, however Christ said of Himself, "indeed a greater than Solomon is here." (Matthew 12:42) In northern kingdom there were nine different dynasties. However, in southern kingdom dynasty of David is preserved and thereby also linage of David of which Christ comes. Elijah is more a type of John Baptist than Christ but he reminds us of Christ in that he stressed repentance.