Examples of Christ in the Old Testament

There are exhaustive examples of Jesus the Christ in the Old Testament. The KJV also calls them “ensamples.”

(1 Cor 10:5) But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

“They” are the children of Israel or “all our fathers” of 1 Cor.10:1. Many of them displeased God by not doing His will.

(1 Cor 10:6) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

“These things” were the acts of the fathers recorded in the scriptures.

(1 Cor 10:7) Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This happened when Moses was up on Mt. Sinai, and the children of Israel made a golden calf and worshipped it. See Exodus 32:6. They rebelled against Christ, Who was with them in the beginning (John 1:1&10).

(1 Cor 10:8) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

See Numbers 25:1-9 where the Israelites committed whoredom (idolatry) with the daughters of Moab. They worshipped another other than Christ, Who is God (John1:1).

(1 Cor 10:9) Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

This is a reference to Moses lifting up the brass serpent in the wilderness to save the people from snakebites. See Numbers 21:5-9. Jesus said that He would be lifted up just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14). Those Israelites way back in the Exodus tempted Christ by speaking against him (Num 21:5).

(1 Cor 10:10) Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

See Numbers chapter 16, where the Israelites murmured about food, water, the leadership of Moses and Aaron, etc.

(1 Cor 10:11-12) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. {12} Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Paul advises us to heed the ensamples of the fathers lest we fall. We are to study the scripture to learn these ensamples and not allow ourselves to repeat the same mistakes. Study the scriptures to “show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)

Paul gave those ensamples for us. I would like to give one or two more. The first example I will give will require some knowledge of the Scriptures. Consider the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt, their exodus, and their entry into the Promised Land.

The children of Israel lived in Egypt under the protection of the king because of Joseph. They had a good life in a good land and they were at peace and at leisure. They had everything they needed; indeed they had plenty. Then there arose another king who “knew not Joseph.” The new king put them under bondage.

This is an example of the rebellion of Lucifer. The sons of God (angels) were secure under His protection. Then Satan rebelled, causing turmoil in Heaven. Many followed Satan. They rebelled against God and went in to bondage under Satan. Apparently at least one third of all the angels rebelled. Some are presently “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude Verse 6).

Just as the angels who followed Lucifer are in bondage to him, so are the unsaved in bondage to sin. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). If you are not with Him, that is, if you are not saved, you are in bondage to sin, which necessarily, in my opinion, puts you in bondage to Satan.

The Israelites cried out to God and God heard their cries so he arranged for them to leave Egypt. But before they left, the firstborn of every family who did not apply the blood of the lamb was sacrificed. They then went out into the wilderness where they wandered for forty years.

Just as the Israelites were under bondage to the new king, so we are under bondage to Satan before we are saved. The Israelites were set free after the blood of the firstborn of the Egyptians was shed. We are set free after we accept the blood shed by God’s Firstborn, Jesus. After we are saved, we wander in the wilderness that is the world. Just as the wilderness was not the home of the Israelites, the world is not our home.

Finally, after forty years, which is a period of testing, the Israelites entered into the Promised Land.

After we sojourn in life where we are tested many times, we will enter Heaven, our Promised Land.

So, as you can see, the wandering of the Israelites is an ensample of how we enter into our rest through Jesus the Christ.

Example number two is the example of Jonah. You know the story. Jonah was told by God to prophesy to the Ninevites to save them from destruction. He did not want them to be saved so he ran from God. He boarded a ship, and God sent a storm. The sailors threw Jonah overboard where he was swallowed by a great fish. After three days and nights, the fish spit him up on the shore at Nineva. The Ninevites worshipped Dagon, a god who was half fish and half man. When they saw a fish spit out the prophet they were disposed to listen to him, and they were saved from God’s wrath.

This is an ensample of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. After His resurrection, those who follow Him are saved, just as the Ninevites were saved by listening to Jonah and following his advice.

Jesus Himself spoke of this:

(Luke 11:29-30) And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. {30} For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

There are many, many more ensamples throughout the Old Testament. The more you study the Word, the more you will learn about Jesus, who is the Word of God (John 1:1). What follows is a brief synopsis of Christ in every Old Testament Book.

In Genesis, Christ is the seed of woman who will bruise the head of the serpent. We see Melchizedek the King of Righteousness and Christ is our High Priest “on the order of Melchizedek.” We also have Joseph who, as far as his family was concerned, was dead, but became the king’s right hand in Egypt and was the savior of his family.

In Exodus, The lamb slain whose blood was on the doorposts of the Israelites is a precursor to Christ, the Lamb of God.

In Leviticus, the sacrifices and offerings are symbolic of the sacrifice of Christ and were fulfilled in Him.

In Numbers, the rock and the manna are symbolic of Christ, the Bread of Life and the Rock of our salvation.

In Deuteronomy we see the Prophet who is to come who is “like unto Moses”.

We see the Captain of the Lord’s Hosts in Joshua, an Old Testament manifestation of Christ.

In Judges we have the Angel of the LORD who appeared to Manoah and his wife. We see the many judges who were saviors to Israel.

Ruth shows us the kinsman-redeemer. Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer.

The books of Samuel reveal David, the prince and the king. Jesus will sit upon the throne of David. Jesus is the Root and offspring of Jesse.

The books of Kings show us the earthly kings and their shortfalls. Jesus will be King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is He who is “greater than Solomon” and “greater than the Temple.”

Chronicles shows Jesus as “the King’s son” rescued from the dead and hidden in the House of the LORD to be manifested in due time. This was good king Joash. Read the story in 2 Chronicles 22-23.

In Ezra, Jesus is the “nail in the holy place.”

Nehemiah speaks of the “bread from Heaven” and the water out of the Rock.” Both typify Christ.

The seed of woman (through whom Jesus would come) is preserved in Esther (the Jews were saved by her intervention). The name of the LORD is spelled out in four acrostics in Esther.

Job talks about his redeemer in 19:25 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”

Christ is seen throughout the Psalms. Psalm 22 is the Crucifixion Psalm. Psalm 23 is the Shepherd Psalm, and Psalm 24 is the Resurrection Psalm. In Psa 110:1, David wrote, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This is about Christ. There are many more references to Messiah in the Psalms.

Proverbs tell us about the Wisdom of God, who is Christ.

Ecclesiastes shows Jesus as the “one man in a thousand” among the emptiness of life under the sun.

Song of Songs is about Christ. He is shown as the faithful Shepherd, and the Bridegroom.

Isaiah tells of the Suffering Servant who is Christ who was “wounded for our transgressions,” and “bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah said that “with his stripes we are healed.”

Jeremiah reveals the Righteous Branch.

Ezekiel shows Jesus as the True Shepherd, the Prince, and the Son of Man.

In Daniel, Jesus is Messiah the Prince, who is “cut off.”

Hoseah is Jesus’ namesake, for Hoseah means Yehovah’s Savior just as Jesus does.

Joel speaks of Israel’s deliverer.

Amos speaks of raising the tabernacle of David. Jesus came to earth and tabernacled among us. See John 1:14, where the word “dwelt” actually means “tabernacled”.

Obadiah tells us of the Deliverer on Mount Zion.

Jonah, mentioned above, is the sign Jesus would give the world (three days and nights in the belly of a fish).

Micah speaks of the King passing before them.

Nahum tells us of the Stronghold in Trouble.

Habakkuk talks about the Holy One whose glory covers the sky.

In Zephaniah we are told of the Mighty God in the midst of Zion.

Haggai calls Jesus the “desire of all nations.”

Zechariah speaks of “the Branch”.

Malachi calls Him the Sun of Righteousness.

 Of course, the New Testament or the New Covenant is Jesus Christ. The New Testament is all about Jesus Christ. He is the One overriding factor in the entire Bible.

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