Eager anticipation dominated the Christmases of my childhood. All the traditions of the season promised the arrival of the big day – the tree, the brightly wrapped packages, the lights, and the music. These things by themselves were not Christmas, but they signaled its coming. When I woke on the morning of December 25th all these traditions found their full expression.
Although I loved all the Christmas activities, I did not appreciate their full meaning until years later. (If you’re interested, here’s a great article from the Crosswalk.com archives that gives the spiritual significance of many well-loved Christmas traditions.)
Like the Christmas activities point to Christmas, so the Old Testament points to Jesus.
The Law, the sacrificial system, the feasts, and prophecies all find their full expression in the person of Christ. The Old Covenant that God made with the Israelites anticipates the New Covenant found only in the Son.
For the last three weeks here at Scripture Dig we have been exploring the “I Came” statements of Jesus. As we celebrate His birth, we did not want to miss the reason Jesus came. Here is what we’ve discovered:
- Jesus came to obey the Father
- Jesus came to preach about the Kingdom of God
- Jesus came to call sinners and to heal the sick
- Jesus came to seek and to save the lost
- Jesus came to give abundant life
- Jesus came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many
- Jesus came to be King and to bring truth
Today, on our final post of this series, we see that Jesus came to “fulfill” the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). Everything in the Old Testament pointed to Christ. Jesus was the goal, the purpose of the Law and the Prophets. Here are a few examples:
- The Passover – Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
- The Sacrificial System – Jesus, the “once for all” sacrifice, provided what the blood of bulls and goats never could (Hebrews 10:1-10).
- The Day of Atonement – Jesus is our High Priest who enters the actual Holy of Holies on our behalf (Hebrews 9:11).
- Manna, bread in the wilderness – Jesus is the Bread of Life, the true bread from heaven (John 6:30-32).
Jesus has always been God’s plan for establishing a relationship with His people. Jesus was not the backup plan when all else failed. Even before God created the world, He determined that Jesus would die to provide salvation for mankind (1 Peter 1:20). The Old Testament – the Law and the Prophets – anticipate the fulfillment of God’s plan. They find completion and full expression in Christ. Finally! He’s here!
What is your favorite picture of Christ in the Old Testament?