Finding The Gospel Of Jesus In The Old Testament

When we think of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the heart of Christianity – we don’t often think about the signs of Jesus in the Old Testament. Instead, we usually think of the New Testament, where we read about God’s Son coming to earth as a baby and thirty-three years later bringing God’s plan of salvation to fruition by allowing Himself to be sacrificed on the cross for the sins of the world. 

But do you know that the essence of the Gospel was planted and deeply embedded in the pages of the Old Testament, and is actually present in every book of the Bible? Let’s take a journey through some Old Testament Scriptures to discover some place where we see these seeds of the Gospel message that were sown long before Jesus appeared bodily. 

Is Jesus In The Old Testament?

It’s a question that stirs curiosity and debate among believers and skeptics alike. But Christ didn’t just pop into the book of Matthew, unexpected and unannounced. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been right there in the entire Bible all along. 

God’s plan of salvation was not a surprise that suddenly appeared in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You see, God wrote the gospel message into the Scriptures from the beginning of time. The story of redemption is woven throughout all of Scripture, not just where it is obvious. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what connects the beginning with the end of all time. Let’s take a look throughout the pages of Scripture to read some of these signs of the Gospel, written by the hand of God through many different human authors.

Beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, The Bible is an entire connected story, woven perfectly together and dedicated to introducing God’s plan of salvation for all people. This salvation plan, or the Gospel message, is the purpose of the entire Bible. It is the Good News that God wants His children to know, told over and over again, through many different presentations

Signs of Jesus In The Old Testament

Early in the Old Testament, the first humans, Adam and Eve, have eaten of the forbidden fruit, and find themselves banned from Eden.

God pronounces an edict that is significant to the entire Scripture and the world for eternity. He puts a curse on the serpent (Satan) and introduces Adam and Eve to the realities of life outside of paradise. 

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” 

Genesis 1:27-28 (NLT)

God’s plan for all time started with the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. He cared for them and gave them some important assignments to populate and take care of the world. But the human heart is sinful, and we find that these first humans were no different than we are in that aspect.

“And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, and between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, and you shall [only] bruise His heel.”  

Genesis 1:15 (AMP)

This hostility has nothing to do with fear of snakes. This Biblical concept speaks of the incredible evil that will infuse the world, working hard to trap every single human that will ever live, Eve being the first. 

But God would provide the One who would crush the head of the serpent – Jesus. Yes, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, Satan was defeated. God’s plan has allowed the devil and his evil to continue temporarily on the earth, but the end of time will bring an end to all of his evil and he will finally be destroyed by – none other than Jesus Christ.  

Adam and Eve went on to have offspring after their eviction from Eden, and after hearing God’s words to the serpent, do you think Eve thought one of her male children would be this offspring that He had spoken of, who would crush the serpent’s head? 

It wasn’t until many, many years later that this prophecy would be fulfilled, but in the waiting, it was probably not uncommon for a woman in ancient Israel to wonder what it would be like if she were to be the mother of this coming Messiah. 

Prophecies Foretelling Jesus In The Old Testament

Besides the above notice in Genesis, there are many other prophecies, or foretellings, of the birth of the Messiah that were given in the Old Testament, spoken by various people and by God Himself, centuries before Jesus was born in the flesh. 

As we look backward from our vantage point in time, we can see how the below Scripture prophecies have already come to pass with amazing accuracy. Our faith is strengthened when we can look back and see these things written ahead of time. 

"I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing."  

Genesis 12:2 (HCSB)
"And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command.”  

Genesis 22:18 (HCSB)

God gave Abraham the responsibility of being the father of the Israelite nation. God’s plan wasn’t thwarted even though he and his wife, Sarah, were childless and old. They became the parents of the nation when they were around 100 years old.

He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” 

Isaiah 49:6 (NLT)

The lineage of Jesus, the Messiah, is traced back to Abraham, who fulfilled God’s plan, and as we know, every nation and family on earth is now blessed by having the opportunity to accept Jesus. 

Although God brought this about through Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelite nation, He made a way to extend the offer to everyone, foreigners, Gentiles, and sinners of all backgrounds. Because of Abraham’s obedience, everyone on earth (not only the Jews) has access to the saving grace of the Gospel. 

Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity. 

Micah 5:2 (HCSB)
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel. 

Isaiah 7:14 (HCSB)

Jesus’ name and place of birth were determined by God and foretold by the prophets Isaiah and Micah in the Old Testament. Through the prophets, God told us hundreds of years ahead of time where the Savior would be born, and it was passed down through the generations in the Holy Scriptures. 

We can look back from the present time to see that God’s plan all along was to bring us the Gospel of Christ. He knew even then what it would take to heal our hearts and save our souls. 

The Gospel Of Jesus In The Old Testament

The word gospel is derived from both a Hebrew and a Greek word that means “good news” or “good telling”. The Biblical concept of Good News, or the Gospel, is the story of the rescue of God’s people, bringing us from slavery to sin into an eternal life of joy and perfection, in our promised land, the Kingdom of God – heaven.

The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal  the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners. 

Isaiah 61:1 (HCSB)

​This is the mission God gave Jesus to do – to set free the hearts of all who would believe in Him, and to save them from their sin, the thing they could never do for themselves.

This is the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that all believers are commanded to go and to spread, the mission that God’s faithful people will give their very lives to carry out until the end of time.

May desert tribes kneel before him and his enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and the coasts and islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. Let all kings bow down to him, all nations serve him. 

Psalm 72:9-11

​This is a double prophecy – in its fulfillment, the shepherds in the fields on the night of Jesus’ birth would run to find Him, kneeling before Him. And later a star would lead the wise men (kings) to find Him, and they would bow before Him as they offered their gifts. 

The days are coming  — this is the Lord’s declaration — “when I will raise up a Righteous Branch of David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land.  

Jeremiah 23:5

​Both David and his father Jesse are named as ancestors in the family line of Jesus. God knew David as ‘ a man after My own heart’, and God rewarded him by carrying David’s line all the way to the Savior of the world. 

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. 

Isaiah 53:5-6 (MSG)

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s the same no matter what a person has done in the past: God gives the same incredibly generous offer to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” Romans 10:13 (MSG)

Many of the Jewish people didn’t realize that as they were being brought up in the Torah and the Jewish customs, they had been spending time all their lives learning the mystery of the Messiah, the Son of God, who was foretold from the beginning of time.

I can only imagine the joy of the disciples and the new Christ-followers when they put it all together and realized that what they had been taught had come to pass. 

We too, can look back on these prophecies, seeing them fulfilled in the history of the nation of Israel. In the present time, we have the New Testament that tells us the rest of the story of God’s plan and shows us how He prepared His people for this Messiah. 

He brought Jesus Christ, who would do for us what we could never do for ourselves – save us from sin. And He brought to us the Holy Spirit, who lives in the hearts of all true believers and helps us in this present time as we live our lives for the Gospel of Christ. 

For further reading on God’s Word throughout the Bible, read The Living And Active Word Of God.

More Signs of Jesus In The Old Testament

Many key elements in the Scriptures reveal signs and symbols that preceded and even introduced Jesus throughout the Old Testament writings. Once you see their significance, it’s nearly impossible to miss:

  • When Adam and Eve sinned for the first time in the perfect garden they tried to hide their sin and nakedness. But God killed and skinned the animals whose hides He clothed them with, and they learned something about forgiveness and the covering of sin. (Genesis 3)
  • When Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only son at God’s command, but was provided with a ram in the brush to sacrifice instead, he learned something about sacrifice and substitution. (Genesis 22)
  • When God’s miraculous works led Moses and the Israelites out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt, they learned something about freedom from bondage. (Exodus 1-40)
  • When they built the Tabernacle in the wilderness for the Presence of God to dwell in, God’s glory came down and filled the Tabernacle. As He led them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they learned something about His presence, “God with us”. (Exodus 13, specifically verses 21-22)
  • When they offered daily animal sacrifices of unblemished livestock as a sin offering on the altar according to God’s exact instructions, they learned something about atonement, the saving power of the perfect blood sacrifice. (Leviticus 1:34:322:18-24Deuteronomy 15:21)
  • And when bread called manna fell from heaven to nourish them, yet rotted if they tried to provide for themselves by gathering extra, they learned something about God’s daily provision. (Exodus 16)

From the beginning of the history of the nation of Israel until the present time, we can trace the arrival and work of the Gospel of salvation in the Bible.

12 Free Printable Bible Verse Cards For Renewal And Hope

The story starts with the creation of humans in God’s image, the devastation of sin, the animal sacrifices attempting to atone for that sin, the birth and life of Jesus, the victory over death by His death and resurrection, the spread of the Gospel, and the increase in believers throughout the world despite terrible opposition. 

Isn’t it exciting that no matter where we start reading the Holy Scriptures, we will come across the message of the Gospel, just as God planned? 

The story of the saving of all humankind spans from Genesis to Revelation. It is a story nurtured by God’s own heart and in God’s perfect timing, a great reminder of our loving Father, reaching through centuries and told for ages even before the Savior, Jesus, actually appeared in the flesh. And to think – that message was sent specifically for every one of US!

Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.

Isaiah 60:1-3

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