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Where Does it Mention Jesus in the Old Testament?

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As we know, the Bible is made up of the Old and New Testament.

The Old Testament is based on the Law of Moses, and the New Testament is the salvation we receive through Jesus Christ.

But have you ever wondered how the two books are connected?

If Jesus is mentioned in the Old Testament?

There are indeed several prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. Some are straightforward bible verses, while others are stories that replicate the sacrificial life of Jesus, without compromising His diety.

In fact, Jesus Himself explained to His disciples that He was mentioned by Moses and all the prophets in the Old Testament.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27

The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ was before the foundation of the world. This means He existed before all creation and thus no surprise that He is mentioned in the Old Testament.

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20

While the Old Testament does not mention Jesus by name, there are references to Him throughout the text which we will explore in todays post.

Below, is a concise list of the many Old Testament prophesies of Jesus.

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Is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament

Powerful Verses about Jesus in the Old Testament

1. Jesus is God

In the book of Isaiah 45:22-23 from the Old Testament we read;

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

This same verse is spoken about Jesus in the books of Philippians 2:10 and Romans 14:11.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

Here we see the unity of Jesus as one with God the Father. So if Isaiah says there is only one God and no other, and the New Testament shows us that every knee shall bow and confess that Jesus is Lord, giving glory to the Father, this not only makes a compelling statement that Jesus is God, but also explains the unity of the Father and Son in deity.

2. My Sheep Hear My Voice

In the New Testament, when we look at the Gospel of John, we see Jesus telling the Pharisees that He is the gate of the sheep, and whoever enters through Jesus will be saved (John 10:7-9).

John 10:27-28 – My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 

He further goes on to consider the sheep – His people – who hears His voice. Jesus speaks with authority here, telling the Pharisees that no one can take the sheep out of His hand.

Now when we go back to the Old Testament, we see in Psalm 95 that we are the sheep of the hand of God Almighty.

Psalm 95:6-7 – Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if only you would hear his voice,

In Deuteronomy 32:39 of the Old Testament, we also see the same reference made by God, but even more reassuring in two instances;

  • There is no God besides Me
  • There is none that can deliver out of My hand

But in John 10:28, we see that Jesus can? This is another reference from the Old and New Testament that talk about the deity of Jesus.

3. My God, My God why have You Forsaken Me?

What does Jesus actually mean?

But after reading the passage about Jesus as God, and then we read the following passage where Jesus cries out to God from the Cross, it can seem confusing. But lets read on to see what Jesus actually means with this statement.

In the book of Matthew 27:46, Jesus said these words before His death on the Cross,

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

While it may appear as Jesus is crying out for help, He is actually fulfilling an Old Testament prophesy. Take a look at Psalm 22. Reading through the entire chapter will show you how the death of Jesus, had already been prophesied in the Old Testament.

Psalm 22:1 – My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

The same Chapter continues on to describe how Jesus would die.

Psalm 22:16-18 – Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

4. Water from the Rock

When the people of Israel were thirsty in the wilderness they cried out for water. Moses took their plea to the Lord and according to His instructions, Moses struck a rock from which water came out for the people to drink.

The Rock here is significant.

The First time the Rock was struck 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 17:6

The Second time the Rock was struckThe Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” – Numbers 20:7-8

Notice the first time God told Moses to strike the Rock, and the second time He commanded Moses to only speak to that Rock.

Jesus Christ is our spiritual Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). When the soldiers pierced Jesus on the cross, out of Him flowed blood and water (John 19:34). But Jesus was only struck that one time, now we simply speak in the name of Jesus to receive healing, deliverance and breakthroughs.

5. The Bronze Serpent

This is one of the best Old Testament prophesy of the salvation through Jesus Christ.

When the people of Israel were growing impatient in the wilderness, and spoke against God, the Lord sent venomous snakes that killed many Israelites. (Numbers 21:4-5)

But when Moses repented for their sins and prayed for the Lord to take their sins away, God told him to make a bronze serpent on a pole.

Numbers 21:8-9 – 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, they lived.

After seeing how Moses was able to speak to the Rock to receive an abundance of water.

Now, we see God asking him to make a snake on a pole and whoever saw it was healed. This very clearly signifies Jesus on the Cross, that whoever believes in His finished work on the Cross can receive salvation, and have eternal life.

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

6. Birth of Jesus Prophesied in the Old Testament

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Micah 5:2 – But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

Isaiah 11:1 – A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

Rightly so, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all reveal the birth of Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary, in the town of Bethlehem. Revelation 5:5, also confirms to us that Jesus is from the tribe of Judah and from the root of David.

7. King Herod’s Orders

Jeremiah 31:15 – This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

This was also mentioned in the New Testament in Matthew 2:17-18

8. John the Baptist Prepares the Way for the Lord

Isaiah 40:3 – A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

We see this in the New Testament in Matthew 3:1-3, where John the Baptist spoke the same words of Isaiah the prophet, that Jesus is our God who has come to save us from our iniquities. This comparison is also clearly mentioned in the Bible.

9. Lamb of God

John the Baptist, also declares that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world in John 1:29.

In the book of Genesis, we see that Abraham was ready to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice according to God’s instructions (this was to only test the faith of Abraham – Genesis 22:12). But when Isaac asks his father where is the sacrifical lamb offering, Abraham makes a stunning statement, He says, God will provide.

Genesis 22:7-8 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”, “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

Little did we know that the Lamb offering the God will later provide, would be His own Son Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice, to save the world from sin.

Another incredible detail that can be missed, is that God withheld the sacrifice of Abraham’s son, and offered up God’s only begotten Son Jesus, instead. Such is the love and compassion of God for His children, yet we tend to draw away from Him when we give in to the distractions of the world.

10. Blood of the Lamb

When Israel was under the rule of the Egyptians, God used Moses to bring them out of the Egypt and into the Promised Land.

After multiple attempts by Moses under the instructions of God, tried to convince Pharoah to allow the Israelites to leave the land, the final attempt was the Passover Lamb that is found in Exodus 12.

God ordered through Moses, that each family must take a male lamb without defect (Genesis 12:5), and apply it’s blood on their door posts, so that they are not destroyed but will be saved.

Have you seen this pattern anywhere in the New Testament?

1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

The above verse from 1 John is just one of the many comparisons, the blood of the lamb in the Old Testament, makes with the blood of Jesus Christ, including Matthew 26:28;

Jesus said, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

11. Passover Lamb

1 Corinthians 5:7, tell us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb;

Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

In the Old Testament, one of the restrictions of the Passover Lamb that was followed, was that no bones must be broken.

Exodus 12:46 It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.

Why is this significant?

John 19:33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 

When Jesus was hung on the cross, the soldiers broke the legs of the other two who were crucified beside Jesus to check if they were dead. But did not do the same to Jesus, which fulfils the Old Testament prophesy (Numbers 9:12).

12. Messiah from the Tribe of Judah

Genesis 49:10 – The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Revelation 5:5 – Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

13. The Lords Anointed One

Psalm 2:7– I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.”

14. Jesus Spoke in Parables

Psalm 78:2 – I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old.

Most, if not all of Jesus’ teachings were in parables which we see mentioned in Matthew 13:35.

15. Despised and Rejected

Isaiah 53:3 – He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

16. Humbled and Mounted on a Donkey

Zechariah 9:9 – Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

We see this take place in the New Testament in Matthew 21:5.

17. The Money to Betray Jesus

Zechariah 11:12 – I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.

This prophesy is fulfilled in Matthew 27.

18. Humiliation

Isaiah 50:6 – I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

This Old Testament prophesy of Jesus can be found in Matthew 26:67.

19. Jesus Bore Our Sins on the Cross

Isaiah 53:4-5 – Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 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.

20. Crucified Among Criminals

Isaiah 53:9 – He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

21. Jesus Christ The Lamb of God

Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

22. Jesus Died for Our Salvation

Isaiah 53:12 – Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

23. Jesus Our Good Shepherd

Micah 5:4 – He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

24. The Messiah

Zechariah 6:12-13 – Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.

25. Salvation Through Jesus Christ

Isaiah 59:20-21 – The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord. “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

26. Rose from the Dead after 3 Days

Jonah 1:17– Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jesus mentioned this in Matthew 12:40.

Final Words on Jesus in the Old Testament

Theses are just a handful of verses that mention Jesus in the Old Testament. By diving deeper into the Word of God, we can learn and understand how there have been hundreds of prophesies of Jesus in the Old Testament that talk about the coming of the Lord. Often we may confuse scriptures, when we read through it superficially, but on cross referencing and being led by the Holy Spirit, I believe our eyes will be opened to the truth.

John 8:31-32 – To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Free PDF of the Gospels Bible Study Pack for Beginners

Learn about the life of Jesus and His teachings throughout the Gospels, along with study notes and key verses to memorize:

Gospel of Matthew Bible study Notes
Gospel of John bible study notes
Gospel of Luke bible study notes for beginners
Gospel of Mark bible study notes for beginners

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