Jesus in the Old Testament - Part 1

SERMON TOPIC: Jesus in the Old Testament - Part 1

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 9 September 2012


Sermon synopsis: It has been said of the Old and New Testaments. The New is in the Old contained - The Old is in the New explained. The New is in the Old concealed - The Old is in the New revealed.
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Chiefly Christian theology a figure, episode, or symbolic factor resembling some future reality in such a way as to foreshadow or prefigure it. 1

A figure, representation, or symbol of something to come, such as an event in the Old Testament that foreshadows another in the New Testament. 1


One that is foreshadowed by or identified with an earlier symbol or type, such as a figure in the New Testament who has a counterpart in the Old Testament. 1

1 " antitype"> antitype


It has been said of the Old and New Testaments:

The New is in the Old contained - The Old is in the New explained

The New is in the Old concealed – The Old is in the New revealed.






The events in the Old Testament serve both as examples and warnings.

Paul says the following about Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness:

1 Cor 10:11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

The Old Testament (Covenant) contains shadows – the New Testament has the realities:

Heb 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.

Col 3:16-17 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Let us consider some of the types or shadows of Jesus found in the OT.


When Adam and Eve sinned and realised their nakedness, they attempted to cover themselves with fig leaves, something which was not a very adequate covering.

Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.


But we read further that “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Gen 3:21)

This is a classic example of typology in the OT:

Their nakedness symbolises our sinfulness.

Rev 3:17 … But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Their own poor attempts to cover their nakedness speaks of our own efforts to over our spiritual nakedness with “good works”.

Isa 64:6 … all our righteous acts are like filthy rags

In order for garments of skin to be provided an animal would have had to die. This is typical of the fact that only the blood sacrifice of Jesus can cover our sin.

Heb 9:22 … without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.


Gen 4:2-7 … Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.


The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.

So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Cain brought an offering of the fruits of the soil which were the products of his own efforts as a farmer. This again speaks of an attempt to offer a sacrifice of our own efforts in the form of “good works”.

The offering of Abel was again a blood sacrifice, which was the only offering acceptable to God because it typified the later sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Rev 5:6,9 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders … And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”


How did Abel know that the only acceptable sacrifice was a blood sacrifice? We are told that his actions were a result of his faith.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

So too the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is only effective for us - if we combine it with faith in him.

Rom 3:25-26 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood… he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.


Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (Gen 4:8)

Angry that his own sacrifice was rejected, and despite the gentle warning from God where he speaks of sin personified trying to master him, Cain subsequently murders his brother Abel.

In the same way people who have found salvation through faith in Jesus will be hated and persecuted by the world, which consists of people who generally believe that they are acceptable to God because they are basically “good people”.

1 John 3:12-13 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.


Abel’s blood cried out to God for vengeance and Cain was placed under a curse.

Gen 4:10-12 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

“Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

In this sense, Abel was not typical of Jesus:

Abel’s blood cried out from the earth while Jesus’ blood speaks from heaven.

Abel’s blood cried out for justice while Jesus’ blood cries out for mercy.

Abel’s shed blood resulted in a curse while Jesus’ blood freed us from the curse.

Heb 12:23-24 … You have come to … Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…


The curse resulted in Cain becoming a “restless wanderer”. Likewise those who follow “the way of Cain” and try earn salvation through their own efforts, are doomed to a spiritual restless wandering. In contrast, Jesus gives us “rest for our souls”:

Matt 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

and rest from our attempts to earn salvation by works:

Heb 4:9-10 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.


Then we read of Noah who was saved from the judgment of God by entering the ark. All outside the ark perished in the flood.

Gen 7:20-23 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.


The ark is a type of Jesus. Just as those inside the ark were the only ones to be saved from God’s judgment, in the same way only those who put their trust in Jesus’ will escape the judgment of God.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)

There were no animals or people born on the ark, despite the fact that they spent a year inside.

Likewise it has been said that God has no grand-children; He only has children. You cannot rely on your parents’ relationship with God to save you.

Ezek 18:20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.

If you were baptised as an infant, you are in error if you think that a parent can believe on behalf of a child – you have to have your own relationship with God.


According to extra-Biblical Jewish writings, Noah was mocked by others.

Quoting apocryphal and rabbinical literature, the Jewish Encyclopedia says of Noah:

On being informed of the end of the world, Noah exhorted his contemporaries to repentance, foretelling them that a flood would destroy the earth on account of the wickedness of its people….When the people asked him for what purpose he prepared so many trees, he told them that he was going to make an ark to save himself from the Flood which was about to come upon the earth. But the people heeded not his words, they mocked at him, and used vile language; and Noah suffered violent persecution at their hands.1

1 Sanh. 108a, b; Pirḳe R. El. xxii.; Gen. R. xxx. 7; Lev. R. xxvii. 5; "Sefer ha-Yashar," l.c.; see also Flood in Rabbinical Literature. SOURCE: " articles/ 11571-noah"> articles/ 11571-noah


Likewise some scoff at the coming judgment of God, having “forgotten” the previous judgments of God.

2 Pet 3:3-7 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.


2 Pet 3:8-12 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.


The ark had a door to let in those who were to be spared the wrath of God. But one day the ark’s door was closed by God and we are told that “Then the LORD shut him in.” (Gen 7:16)

Jesus is “the door” to salvation.

John 10:9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…” (NASB)

But one day the door will be closed.



Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.

After the flood we read in Gen 8:20-21

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

Noah’s sacrifice was a “pleasing aroma” to God and prompted him to resolve to never again destroy all living creature because of man’s sin.

Likewise Jesus’ sacrifice of himself on the cross was a “fragrant offering” to God:

Eph 5:2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


The sacrifice of the “clean” animals by Noah pleased the Lord. Again it was a blood sacrifice, but only certain “clean” animals were acceptable.

Jesus too, was the only acceptable sacrifice to remove sin (not just cover it as in the OT). The “cleanness” speaking of his sinlessness.

1 John 3:5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.


Gen 22:1-14 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”


Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.

God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.

Father. The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?

And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.

He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Human sacrifice is always condemned in the Bible. Abraham realises that God is testing him and in faith tells Isaac in advance that “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Gen 22:8)

We know from Hebrews that because Isaac was the covenant son through whom God had promised that his seed would come, Abraham believed that God would even raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfil his promise:

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (Heb 11:17-19)


After seeing Abraham’s implicit faith in the promises of God, God does indeed provide a substitute sacrifice to take the place of Isaac.

In the same way Jesus is our substitute sacrifice. He takes our punishment and dies in our place:

Gal 1:3-4 … the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age…

But like Abraham we too must have faith to receive the sacrifice.

Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.


We read the following account of Moses leading the Israelites through the wilderness.

Exodus 17:1-4 … They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarrelled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?” But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”


The LORD answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exodus 17:5-6)

Later on in the book of Exodus we see that the people again complain because of lack of water. God instructs Moses, “Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.” (Num 20:8) But Moses is frustrated with the Israelites’ continual grumbling and instead of speaking to the rock, he strikes it twice instead:

Num 20:10-11 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.”

Although God still provides the water, he is angry with Moses and Aaron for their disobedience and they are told that they will not enter the Promised Land (Num 20:12)


Paul tells us that the rock was a type of Christ:

1 Cor 10:2-4 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Now we too have a spiritual thirst and only Jesus can quench that thirst. Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman of the “living water” that only he could give (John 4:10) and then went on to say in John 4:13-14:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


The command by God to strike the rock speaks of Jesus’ death for us. It was God’s will that he be “struck” so that we could drink of the “living water” and satisfy our spiritual thirst.

Isa 53:8,10 For he was cut off from the land of the

living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken… Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering …

But it was only necessary for Jesus to be struck ONCE. That is why God was angry with Moses and Aaron – they broke the “type” of Christ that God was portraying.

Heb 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people…

Heb 9:12 … he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

Heb 9:26 … But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Heb 10:10 … we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


Again in the book of Numbers we find the Israelites making the same old complaints about their lot in life:

Num 21:4-7 They travelled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.


The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. (Num 21:8-9)

Speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus explains that this bronze serpent on the pole was a type of Christ on the cross:

John 3:14-15 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

The plague of snakes, sent by God because of the grumbling of the Israelites, speaks of the judgment we deserve because of our sin.

Rom 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death

Jam 1:14-15 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


The pole was a type of the cross and Jesus repeatedly used the term “lifted up” as a reference to his death on the cross.

John 12:32-33 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

Note that lifting Jesus up is a reference to his crucifixion, and not to praise and worship as it is sometimes incorrectly applied.


The serpent is always associated with sin and Satan. And so it might seem like a strange type of Jesus. But on the cross Christ became “sin” for us. Although he was sinless, God placed our sin on him.

2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Rom 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


Just as those who looked at the bronze serpent were delivered from certain death, so we are delivered from God’s judgment and the second death in the lake of fire by “looking” to Jesus. This speaks of putting our trust in him.

John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


When Joshua sent two spies to Jericho, they took shelter in the house of Rahab. The king of Jericho discovered their whereabouts and demanded that Rahab bring them out. But instead out of fear for God, she hid the men and sent their pursuers on a false trail. (Joshua 2)


Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.

But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.

Rahab then requested an oath of mercy.

Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you.

Our lives for your lives! If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land.

So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.

This oath will not be binding unless you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought all your family into your house.

And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

And so the invading Israelites spared the family of Rahab when they saw the scarlet cord which was of sign of their covenant with her.

The scarlet cord typifies the blood of Jesus. Just as Rahab was spared death when the Israelites saw the scarlet cord, so God will spare and forgive us when he ‘sees’ the blood of Jesus (which justifies those who are parties of the New Covenant).

Rom 5:9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…


This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt 26:28)

We’ve learnt from God’s Word that we are sinners who have rebelled against God.

Because of our sin, we are going to face God’s judgment (of the second death in the lake of fire).

God loves us and has provided a way of salvation through his sinless Son Jesus Christ, who took our sin on himself and died as a substitute and took our punishment.

But we need to accept what Jesus has done, put our faith in him, ask God to forgive us from our sin and then turn our back on our sinful life.

Like Rahab we must have the covenant sign (Jesus’ blood) to spare us from the coming judgment of God.



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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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