This is a new study I developed at Faith Baptist Church on Wednesday Night. Let me hear what you think.
A Picture of Christ in the Old Testament
Session One: In the Beginnings
Genesis 1:1 says In the Beginning
John so beautifully tells us that “in the beginning was the Word” – logos¬ – John 1:1
The first to use this word for a force in life was a philosopher from Ephesus, Heraclitus, about 500 BC. He described the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe as “the logos”. It is literally “a word uttered by a human voice, the embodiment of a concept or idea”. It can mean “word, account, principle, plan, formula, measure, proportion, or reckoning”
Heraclitus says “no man steps in the same river twice” … He was often called “the Obscure” because his concepts were hard to understand. He was also called “the weeping philosopher”. Maybe it was because it is hard to put this life together. He understood that life and this world always change. He said “ever newer waters flow on those in the same rivers”. Plato quotes him as saying “all entities move, nothing remains still”. Elsewhere he says “we both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not.” Sounds like a fly fisherman to me … he also sounds a bit confused. I can understand why he was always crying. Without Christ you can’t understand this life. And so without Christ you cannot understand the Old Testament.
Heraclitus in Ephesus introduces a concept that was picked up by Socrates, Plato, Stoics, and on. Then 600 years later, in Ephesus, the Apostle John, an old man, says “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” So that’s where we start with Jesus, in the Beginning. While the river ever changes … Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Genesis 1:1 – In the Beginning God
That statement is not just God the Father. That is Father, Son, and Spirit. Standing when time began is a God who Is. The Uncreated Creator God, in his Triune Glory … always existed.
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth
I believe that Father is the Purpose of God on the Throne; and the Action, Creating, happened by the Word of God. Jesus, speaking, “God said ‘Let there be …’ and there was …” And you see the Spirit of God v3 “hovering over the water” How? I can only speculate, but John tells us in John 1:3 through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”
So, there is Jesus … The Word of God … Speaking the world into existence, according to the Purpose of God, by the Power of the Spirit
Genesis 1:26 – So God created light, water, sky, seas, vegetation, planets and stars, sea creatures, birds, land animals … and it was all good …
Then God said …” v26 “let US make man in OUR own image … 27 So God created man in his own image … male and female”
There is the Trinity, there is Jesus, as we are created in his image, in their image, the image of God. “Us” is not the Heavenly hosts’ image, it was God’s Image, and that is wonderful
Psalm 8 (NIV84)
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David. 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Oh how majestic that while Jesus spoke all things into existence “amar” … yet there in the middle of day six … He stopped and stooped to the dust and “created” “bara” (shaped / formed) 1:27 and “created” yatsar (squeeze into shape) and he FORMED MAN … from the dust.
That was Jesus … The same hands that would bled for us on the cross, got dirty as he “squeezed and formed” us into shape from the dirt
But man couldn’t just follow the rules could we?
Genesis 2:17 “but of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
Then God makes Eve and together they live and work. Until the day satan questions the word and goodness of God and Eve eats of the tree and gives to Adam and he eats
Genesis 3:7 then their eyes opened and they knew they were naked
They then made an attempt to cover themselves … clothes never mattered till sin entered. Clothes are evidence that we are naked without God’s Righteousness to cover us, and our covering is always insufficient.
So God comes to find them hiding … they make a weak human finger pointing confession …
And God pronounces judgment first on satan … God’s desire is to banish sin first and deal with sin. If we will let him deal with sin, he will deal with us graciously as we respond in faith, even when there are consequences.
So, in judgment on satan / the serpent we have the 1st promise of Jesus coming
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman and your offspring and her offspring” the word “zerah” literally means “sowing seed” … This is an interesting statement. Criswell says that Jewish Theologians have struggled with this for 1000s of years. Why? Because women do not have “seed”, men have “seed”. So God, who means every word in scripture, says the “seed of the woman”. Why? Because the virgin will be with child and bear a son and his name will be called Immanuel (God with us) Isaiah 7:14
So, in Genesis 3:15 – we are promised God with us, Immanuel. But not only that but he will bruise the head of the serpent .. .Not the Tail … but the head … the place he can do damage, the sting, the bite, the venom is crushed by Christ.
Wow there is Jesus in the 1st three chapters of Genesis
Well we move quickly forward THE Ark
Genesis 6:5 (NIV84)
5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
And so the Lord was going to start again so he found the only blameless man on earth, Noah … Noah preached repentance and the coming of Judgment. Jesus came preaching repentance “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
Noah built an ark, that was the only salvation for those who would come in. So, if anyone is IN CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17) and there is NO OTHER NAME by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12) … and There is no condemnation for those IN CHRIST (Romans 8:1)
So Noah created an ark that COULD save ANY, but ONLY SAVED those who entered in. Jesus Came … the only Righteous one called us to repent and then provided a way for ANY who would COME IN, and they could be saved from God’s coming Judgment.
Going forward to Genesis 12 … God comes to a man living in Ur of the Chaldeans … A long way from the Land of Promise … and says
Genesis 12:1–3 (NIV84)
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
There it is … in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed – v3
V4 So Abram Went – oh the simplicity of Faith … Abram WENT … he said “OK” he didn’t ask to understand it all … he went as the Lord had told him
And that simple act resulted in the birth of Isaac, and Jacob, and his 12 Sons … And a people and a King, David, and a woman Mary, and her Seed was a Baby, Immanuel, Jesus, in her by the Spirit, not by the seed of her husband … and the world has been blessed. And there is 2000 years in a paragraph …
And so one night in my bed, I received Christ by faith, and all that God has is mine, though I haven’t received it all yet … but it will come in time.
So a few pages forward to Genesis 14 … Abraham wins a battle and then Melchizedek enters … The King of Salem, carrying bread and wine. His name means “King of Righteousness”. His title was King of Salem (Peace) and he was a priest of God. And he blesses Abraham and receives tithes from Him and he seemed to have no parents … Though of course he did.
So Jesus … seemingly came from nowhere … truly he had no parents genetically on this earth, nor in reality. Hebrews 7 tells us he also is a priest not by the law, but by his life. He was not a Levite but a Judahite … He was a priest but also a King. He brings us Peace with God
Romans 5:1 (NIV84)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
He is the King of Righteousness, and having battled sin … he comes to us with Bread and Wine … his Body broken, his blood spilled
Then Genesis 16 … “The Angel of the Lord” appears to Hagar … we will see that this person is always Jesus … he is always the manifestation of God to Us
16:13 – “you are the God who sees me”
Then Genesis 18:1 “The Lord appeared to him by the Oaks of Mamre” … then we see 3 men … is this the Trinity? No … I believe it is JESUS, the Lord, and 2 Angels because we see the 2 Angels in chapter 19 in Sodom. They come, though only in this passage, as 3 together. This is serious 1) Isaac is announced 2) judgment is announced on Sodom/Gomorrah
The Lord asks v17 “shall I hide this thing from Abraham” … What a close relationship Abraham has with God … one James calls a friend of God
So Isaac is born and then as a teen in Genesis 22
God tells Abraham to Sacrifice his Son … Not for Sin … but he just asks him to give it back to him.
V7 “Dad, we have fire, wood, where is the Lamb?”
V8 God himself will provide the Lamb
He then bound his son on Mt Moriah to the altar, raised his knife … but God stopped him … wait … WHO stopped him … 22:11 – The Angel of the Lord called out to him … BY NAME …
Oh it is Jesus who calls out to us by name, and offers that we don’t HAVE TO DIE …
V13 there in a thicket he saw a ram caught … he took and sacrificed. And Abraham called the place “The Lord has Provided”
So, then Isaac long promised finally came. So Christ long promised finally came
Isaac was willing to offer himself. So Christ …as Isaac was led like a lamb to slaughter Isaiah 53 says of Christ also led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Isaac had two sons … you can read the story. But Jacob, the younger, was estranged from his brother Esau … And on his way home after a long time away in Genesis 32
V24 a man wrestled with him till daybreak
V25 the man touched his hip and dislocated it.
V26 I will not let you go unless you bless me (make me happy)
The man asks “what is your name” – Jacob = supplanter.
Your name will be “Israel” = strives with God
He spent his life striving with everyone for happiness until he wrestled with Christ and found his peace, God’s happiness.
And he never walked the same again. Christ blessed him there and he named the place Peniel because he saw God face to face and lived.
V31 the sun rose on him as he passed Penuel LIMPING because of his hip
Jacob had 12 sons, his favorite was Joseph
Joseph was most loved by his father.. So Jesus was the beloved ONLY son of God.. Joseph was hated by his family and turned over to Gentile people. So Jesus was given over to the Romans by his own who hated him.
Joseph suffered unjustly but then became ruler of all
So Jesus, suffered death on the cross but has been given a name, LORD. Then all things will be under his feet and now he is at the right had of the father in heaven.
Joseph saved the region from death by famine
Jesus saved the world from death to sin
Joseph forgave his brothers
Jesus forgave his executioners and all who will come to him
So Let me take you back to Genesis 3:21
After the consequences of sin pronounced v21 says:
the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them …
The same hands that had squeezed them into shape from dirt, brought them garments. They had clothed themselves but inadequately.
What kind of clothes did the Lord bring? Animal Skins.
Where did they come from? Dead Animals.
Who killed the Animals? Jesus.
He who formed them now came … I believe with hands still stained by the blood of sacrifice … He offers them clothes.
Romans 13:14 clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:22 (NIV84)
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
They could have stayed with their own clothes … but I believe by Faith they received Christ
The Lord who had dirty hands to make us … Had blood stained hands to clothe them.
One day those same hands were stained again to clothe us in God’s righteousness at the Cross. Those hands forgave and offered us cleansing and to bring us to the family of God … can you see his hands reaching out?
IN the Beginning was Jesus, The Word