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I'm aware of the prophecy in Genesis about someone who will crush the serpent's head, as well as the parts of Isaiah, especially the Suffering Servant. Which other parts of the Old Testament point to Jesus?

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This would be a huge answer. Could you narrow it down a bit? Also, Googling it will give you many good answers. –  Wikis Sep 20 '12 at 9:53
    
Thanks for the link. I'm checking it out. –  Joebevo Sep 20 '12 at 10:05
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Isaiah 53 is another huge one, but there are literally hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. Psalm 22 was quoted from the cross. Jesus was called 'Elijah', hence you look at 1 Kings. I could go on, but you get the idea. –  Affable Geek Sep 20 '12 at 10:09
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@AffableGeek: indeed. Perhaps it's easier to point out the parts that don't point to Jesus. It all does, really. –  Wikis Sep 20 '12 at 10:29
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@Wikis There are FOUR lights! –  Affable Geek Sep 20 '12 at 10:30

3 Answers 3

Prototypes of Jesus can be thought of as falling into the following categories:

  1. Prophecies

    In these kinds of references, a man of God delivered a message which would be fulfilled in Jesus. Isaiah 53, to quote one famous example, speaks of a suffering servant who would be "beaten for our iniquities and wounded for our transgressions." "By his stripes, we would be healed." Isaiah 7 speaks of a virgin* who would conceive. (The asterix b/c I know the issues involved in that.) Jonah foreshadows Christ in that a man who was (bascially) dead for three days ("in the belly of the whale") comes to preach repentance. As Yul Brenner would say, 'etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.' Hosea marries a prostitute who keeps leaving him, prefiguring Jesus coming to his own, and his own receive him not.

    The primarily prophetic books would be: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets

  2. Ceremonial / Law Fufilment

    The Torah - aka the Pentetuch - and especially the latter half of Exodus and all of Leviticus and Deuteronomy - record the sacrifices, rules, and details about worship collectively called "the Law." Jesus said that he came "not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it." He came as the sin offering. He came as the Jubilee. He came to "cleanse people from their sins," and so on. When Jesus' parents "redeem" him at the Temple, bringing the sacrifice the poor person is supposed to offer, Jesus identifies with the lowly. In these parts of the Old Testament, the types of Christ are ceremonialily pre-figurative. This is made explicit in Matthew, when John initially refuses to baptize Jesus, but Jesus insists, saying, "this is necessary to fulfill all righteousness."

  3. Literary Allusion / Symbolism

    In the "Ketuvi'im" or the Writings (Joshua - Song of Solomon), Jesus is most often seen as the target of an allusion. In Song of Solomon, a woman is erotically charged as she comes to greet her lover - and for years the church has insisted this is typical of the relationship between Jesus and his bride. In Psalm 22, a forsaken man cries out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" the same words that Jesus cries from the cross.

  4. Historical Parallel

    The Book of Exodus, of course, is God rescuing and redeeming his people. As just one example, the Passover meal is later used by Jesus to prefigure his death, and is later appropriated as what is now called "Communion" or the "Eucharist." In 1 Samuel - 2 Chronicles, a kingdom is established through David, over which Jesus would rule forever. The idea is that the grand sweep of history is often summarized as "Creation. Fall, Redemption" and is seen as the "story of God"

In all of these things, Jesus is said to be the one prefigured, because the book is about Him. Scholars disagree over the exact numbers of references, but most agree that Jesus is prefigured in every book of the Old Testament. (The more liberal ones would say that there are symbols to which Jesu appropriates or s at least alludes when he comes.) To list them all, however, would be a book.

One final little allusion, however, that bears some consideration, is the story commonly called "the Transfiguration." Jesus goes up to a mountaintop, whereupon Elijah and Moses greet him. Now, you should know that Jews refer to the Old Testament in two categories - "the Law" and "the Prophets." Moses, as the "lawgiver" who brings the 10 commandments off of Mount Sinai. Elijah was the most famous of the prophets, working miracles and boldly declaring God's truth to a wicked King. In standing between and amongst these two, Jesus himself declares himself to be "the Law and the Prophets," a nice little picture saying that indeed, Jesus is the Word this Old Testament has been preaching all along.

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Just to be clear - I didn't pull that outline out of a book or anything. I wouldn't be surprised if people find more categories - I just wanted to frame some biggies that came immediately to mind. –  Affable Geek Sep 20 '12 at 10:34
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If you ever write a book, your nom de plume should be "Affable Geek." –  San Jacinto Sep 20 '12 at 12:28

The entirety of the Old Testament predicts, foreshadows, or reveals Jesus in some way. I've heard it said, "The New [Testament] is in the Old, concealed; the Old is in the New, revealed."

There's actually a really cool song that goes through all of the books of the Bible, telling how Jesus is revealed in each. (I have to admit, though, I've never tried to answer a question with a song before.)

They lyrics to that song are as follows:

  • In Genesis, He's the breath of life.
  • In Exodus, the passover lamb.
  • In Leviticus, He's our high priest.
  • Numbers, fire by night.
  • Deuteronomy, He's Moses voice.
  • In Joshua, He is salvation's choice.
  • Judges, lawgiver.
  • In Ruth, the kinsmen redeemer.
  • 1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted prophet.
  • In Kings and Chronicles, He's sovereign.
  • Ezra, a true and faithful scribe.
  • In Nehemiah, He's the rebuilder of broken walls and lives.
  • In Esther He is Mordecai's courage.
  • In Job the timeless redeemer.
  • In Psalms He is our morning song.
  • In Proverbs, wisdom's cry.
  • Ecclesiastes the time and season.
  • In the Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream. He is, He is, He Is.
  • In Isaiah, He's the prince of peace.
  • Jeremiah, the weeping prophet.
  • In Lamentations, the cry for Israel.
  • Ezekiel, He's the call from sin.
  • In Daniel, the stranger in the fire.
  • In Hosea, He is forever faithful.
  • In Joel, He is the Spirit's power.
  • In Amos, the arms that carry us.
  • In Obadiah, He's the Lord our Savior.
  • In Jonah, He's the great missionary.
  • In Micah, the promise of peace.
  • In Nahum, He is our strength and our shield.
  • In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's the leading for revival.
  • In Haggai, He restores the lost heritage.
  • In Zechariah, our fountain.
  • In Malachi, He's the Son of Righteousness rising with healing in His wings. He is, He is, He is.

  • In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God, man, Messiah.

  • In the book of Acts, He is the fire from Heaven.
  • In Romans, He's the Grace of God.
  • In Corinthians, the power of love.
  • In Galatians, He is freedom from the curse of sin.
  • Ephesians, our glorious treasure.
  • Philippians, the servant's heart.
  • In Colossians, He's the Godhead Trinity.
  • Thessalonians, our coming King.
  • In Timothy, Titus, Philemon, He's our mediator and our faithful pastor.
  • In Hebrews, the everlasting covenant.
  • In James, the one who heals the sick.
  • In 1st and 2nd Peter, He's our shepherd. -In John and in Jude, He's the lover coming for His bride.
  • In the Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is, He is, He is. The Prince of Peace, the Son of Man, the Lamb of God, the great I AM. He's the Alpha and Omega, our God and our Savior. He is Jesus Christ the Lord. and when time is no more. He is, He is.

There are several places on the web that summarize this. Here's one of them:

  • Christ is the Seed of woman and in Genesis 3:15 we are told He will one day crush Satan.
  • In Exodus we find the story of the Passover Lamb, and Christ is the sacrificial Lamb given for us.
  • In Leviticus we read of the high priests making sacrifices for the people, and Christ has become our High Priest, making the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins.
  • In Deuteronomy Moses prophesied of a prophet who would come that would be greater than Himself. Jesus is that Great Prophet.
  • In the book of Joshua, Joshua met the Captain of the Lord's host. That man is Jesus Christ.
  • In Judges, the leaders were judges who delivered God's people, each of them typifying the Lord Jesus.
  • Boaz, the kinsman who redeemed Ruth's inheritance, is a picture of Christ. David, the anointed one, pictures Jesus and Jesus is described as being the Son of David.
  • In 2 Samuel when the king is being enthroned, the entire scene is descriptive of the Lord Jesus.
  • The books of Kings speak of the glory of God filling the temple and the Chronicles describe the glorious coming king, both referring to Jesus, the King of Kings. Ezra depicts Jesus as the Lord of our fathers.
  • Job says clearly that the Redeemer is coming!
  • Esther offers a picture of Christ interceding for His people.
  • Christ appears time after time in the Psalms, including when David describes Him as "the Shepherd."
  • Isaiah details His glorious birth.
  • Jeremiah reveals that He will be acquainted with sorrows.
  • Joel describes Him as the Hope of His people.
  • Amos tells us that Jesus is the judge of all nations.
  • Obadiah warns of the coming eternal kingdom.
  • Jonah offers a picture of Jesus being dead for three days, then coming back to life to preach repentance.
  • Zephaniah says that He will be the king over Israel.
  • Zachariah is the prophet who speaks of Jesus riding on a colt.
  • Malachi is the one who calls Him the Son of Righteousness.

I realize that long quotes from other places are not typically accepted here. It just seems that these answered the question all too well.

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Am I miss-reading that or shouldn't that say: "The New [Testament] is in the Old, concealed; the Old is in the New, revealed." –  Andrew Sep 20 '12 at 21:18
    
@ashansky Yep. Thanks. –  Narnian Sep 21 '12 at 11:41

The most profound types in the Old Testament are the ones alluded to on Easter Vigil Mass and read in the daily office during the season of Lent (which is heavy on the Suffering Servant, which you mentioned).

  • The Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15 NABRE)

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.

  • Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac

Carrivagio - Binding of Isaac

The 3 day journey to Moriah, the ram with it's head stuck in a thicket, God demanding the sacrifice of Abraham's only son, are all indicative of Christ's sacrifice

  • The contents of the Ark of the Covenant (Hebrews 9:4)

in which were the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In it were the gold jar containing the manna, the staff of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant

The three items represent Jesus as priest (the Rod representing the Aaron's priesthood), prophet (the bread which comes from Heaven to feed God's people) and king (the tablets indicative of a Law Giver)

Also, the sacrifice of Melchizedek in Genesis is stated in as a type for Christ in Hebrews 7:1

This "Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High," "met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings" and "blessed him." And Abraham apportioned to him "a tenth of everything." His name first means righteous king, and he was also "king of Salem," that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, 4 thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

But, the @Narinan is the most correct in that long litany of where Christ is in the OT, because the entire New Testament is a fulfillment of the Old in Christ. If you liked that list, you might also be interested in this one from some English Monks it has a few more books in it :)

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