The Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that the Old Testament spoke of Him, stating: 'You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me' (Jn 5:39). My recently published book, '400+ Prophecies, Appearances, or Foreshadowings of Christ in the Tanakh (Old Testament),' is a conscientious effort to take Jesus at His Word and to discover Him in pages of the Old Testament.
Many people have the idea that the Old Testament was written BC ('before Christ'). It was indeed written before Christ's incarnation-but not before Christ, the Son of God. Nothing was 'before' Christ. In fact, He is the Creator of all-including even time itself. Thus, Jesus often even appears in the OT pages. In addition, there are many prophecies of His coming into the world to fulfill His unique role as Messiah. God in His grace also gave object lessons in anticipation of His Son's arrival. The brazen serpent on a pole is one example, and every sacrifice of an undefiled lamb was a foreshadowing of Calvary.
There are at least 117 prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowings (PAF's) of Christ in the Law, at least 144 PAF's in the Writings, and at least 153 PAF's in the Prophets. A minimal total for the entire Old Testament, therefore, is 414.
Dr. John Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research, wrote the forward to Mr. Humber's book, saying: 'This book continues in the discerning tradition of careful Bible study and submission to its truth. It provides a ready handbook for the Christian student and evangelist. My friend Paul Humber is a gifted teacher, champion of Scripture, and has a long track record of fruitful, effective ministry.' Credit: Paul Humber
The purpose of the book is to honor God Triune, to encourage His people, and to encourage unbelievers to become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The author recently engaged in two debates with an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, which took place in Queens, New York, on May 22, 2011. The basic question considered was, 'Is Jesus Prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures?' That debate served as an additional impetus for my book, and DVD copies of the debate are available online.1
Let us briefly consider a few passages from the Old Testament. First, consider Exodus 17:1-6 from the Torah/Law. This solemn scene is a remarkable preview of Calvary. The translation used renders verse 6 with 'I will stand there before you by the rock,' but perhaps more appropriately it should read, 'I will stand there before you on the rock' (cf. Judges 13:19 and other translations). The staff had previously been used to strike the waters of the Nile. It is as if the LORD placed Himself on trial before the people (reversing proper roles). Judgment fell on the rock, and water came forth. To summarize, the staff of judgment fell on the rock (prefiguring judgment at Calvary); today, those who receive the gift of water from the Rock, Jehovah Jesus, never thirst again.
Judges 2:1-2 is a passage from the Ketuvim/Writings. Imagine a mere angel speaking of his covenant with God's people! These words would be blasphemous unless they were uttered by an angel who was also divine, and this is exactly the case. The angel of the LORD here is both distinct from God and yet identified with God. The same distinction/identification tension is revealed in the New Testament. Jesus is distinct from God (the Father), yet He is God (the Son).
Hosea 12:4-5 is from the Nevi'im/Prophets, recalling Genesis 32:24-30: 'He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there-the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name of renown!'
This passage makes it explicit that 'the angel' Jacob struggled with (Gn 32:24-30) was the LORD (Jehovah) God. This is yet further confirmation that one 'angel' referred to throughout the Old Testament is not a creature. The word means 'messenger,' and the Lord Jesus Christ was and is the Father's Messenger to earth, par excellence. The fact of the matter is that God really is Triune. The doctrine of the Trinity is believed by the Church not because men have worked out all the details to their full understanding, but because it is revealed in the Bible. The 'angel' and 'angel of the LORD' passages are part of that revelation. Jesus appeared in the Old Testament as the Angel of the LORD, and there are various passages in the Old Testament that also reveal the Trinity-the Three Persons-including the Holy Spirit.
In the ultimate sense, every verse of Scripture points in one way or another to the promised Messiah, because the entire Bible describes the coming of God into human history to establish His righteous kingdom over Satan, his demons, and unredeemed humanity. I hope you find this work uplifting and encouraging.
1 See: 'NY Debate between Rabbi Tovia Singer and Pastor Paul Humber' (off site link).
Paul G. Humber is an author, educator and pastor. He has taught on the faculties of a number of schools, including the University of Phoenix, the Haverford School (24 years), and Rutgers University (Camden, NJ). A pastor at Living Saviour Church in Philadelphia, he has also been promoting Christian Released Time in Philadelphia public schools since 2002.