There are some who teach that the Old Testament didn’t point to Jesus as the Prophet, as the Messiah or as the Savior of a sinful mankind. And this is nothing new. The church was born by this very controversy. Paul even called it a scandal (check out the Greek word that’s used for “stumbling block” in 1 Corinthians 1:23 when describing the gospel of a crucified Christ). But regardless of one’s feelings toward Jesus’ relationship with the Old Testament, Jesus himself plainly taught that Moses (the Law), the prophets and even the Old Testament books of poetry pointed to him as the Prophet, as the Messiah and as the Savior of a sinful mankind:
- “And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Matthew 26:51-56)
- “Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.” (Mark 12:10-12)
- “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)
- “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. “I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”” (John 5:39-47)
Some may be mistaken about Jesus’ relationship to the scriptures, but Jesus isn’t one of them. And if an individual fails to pay attention to what Jesus said about himself coming to fulfill the scriptures of God, then they will fail to pay attention to what the Law, the prophets and even the books of poetry said about his sinless life, his atoning death and his triumphant resurrection.
“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”” (Luke 16:31)