Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The gospel, which is, the good news concerning God’s glory and humanity’s salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, didn’t start in the New Covenant but rather it has its beginnings in the book of Genesis. The revealing of God’s redemption plan started in Genesis 3:15 when God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
From beginning to end, the Bible is one extensive narrative explaining in detail the need for the gospel, the power of the gospel and the end result of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the Old Testament, Jesus is concealed in the mystery of the Jewish laws, sacrifices and in the roles of the priests, kings and prophets. In the New Testament, Jesus is revealed and is seen as the fulfillment of all the Jewish laws, sacrifices and leadership roles. In the Old Testament the gospel is concealed in types and shadows and in the New Testament the gospel is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:1-3).
Scholars note, “The Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His life, death and resurrection. Mathematically speaking, the odds of anyone fulfilling this amount of prophecy are staggering. Mathematicians put it this way: 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 and 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies is 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power. And 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies… only Jesus!”
Though all the Old Testament books, especially Ezekiel and Jeremiah, spoke about the new relationship God was going to have with His people, the most famous prophecy about Jesus comes from Isaiah 53. Isaiah wrote his prophecy around 700 years before Jesus was even born. When most people read it today they think it was written after Jesus’ crucifixion- that is how accurate it is.
As a result, when Paul wrote Ephesians 1:9-10 he taught us how to see the gospel through the Old Testament, he said, “9 He [God the Father] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment— to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Therefore, as you read the Old Testament do so through the lens of Jesus Christ and the gospel and understand the “mystery” of God’s will for all of humanity.
Can you see Jesus and the gospel concealed in the Old Testament stories and prophecies when you read them?
- Take time to read Isaiah 53.
- As you read the Old Testament write down the times you see Jesus concealed in the text.
- Pray and ask the Father to use you to reveal Jesus and the gospel to the world!