Jesus Christ makes the amazing claim that he was written about in all of the Old Testament. After his resurrection Jesus said to his disciples, ““These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (The Gospel of Luke 24:44-47). He says that Moses wrote about him. The other prophets wrote about him. And David in the Psalms wrote about him.
It is amazing to see all the ways in which our Lord Jesus is spoken of in the Old Testament. One way is through the life of the prophet Elisha (who came immediately after the prophet Elijah [Elias in Greek and Arabic, though with different pronunciations]). Bruce Waltke has a great (and short) article showing some of these connections as he simply walks through his meditation of the Old Testament. Quoting Augustine he says the Bible is, “shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim.” So true.
Here are some of his observations about how the prophet Elisha points to Jesus Christ.
But now let’s really swim by comparing Elisha and the Lord Jesus. Both are designated by a prophet, whom the general populace recognized as a true prophet. Both receive the Spirit on the other side of the Jordan (2 Kings 2:7–15; John 1:28); are surrounded by more disciples than their predecessors; are itinerant miracle workers; give life in a land of death; cleanse lepers (2 Kings 5; Mark 1:40–45); heal the sick (2 Kings 4:34–35; Mark 8:22–25); defy gravity (2 Kings 6:6; Matt. 14:22–33); reverse death by raising dead sons and restoring them to their mothers (2 Kings 4: 1–7; Luke 7:11–17); help widows in desperate circumstances; are kinsman redeemers to save from slavery (2 Kings 4:1–7; Luke 4:19); feed the hungry (2 Kings 4:1–7; Mark 8:1–12); minister to the Gentiles (2 Kings 5:1–16); prepare (2 Kings 6:20–23) and sit at table with sinners (Luke 5:29); lead captives (2 Kings 6:18–20; Eph, 4:7–8); have a covetous disciple (Gehazi and Judas); end their lives in a life-giving tomb from which people flee (2 Kings 13:20–21; Mark 16:1–8).
He covers a lot. This is not a list that you easily read through and fully understand the first time. It is worth going through theses texts carefully and slowly. Truly Jesus Christ is revealed through the Law of Moses and the Psalms of David. Lord willing, in the future I will write more ways that I have seen the Lord Jesus in the writings of the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before he was born. In the mean time, I’d love to hear from you how you’ve seen him revealed in the Old Testament.
HT: Justin Taylor