Christ in the Old Testament:

By Jerelyn Wright Pearson


As you know I have been interested in learning more about Christ in the Old Testament for a while. More recently, to pass the quarantine time, Jay and I have been putting together a few challenging jigsaw puzzles. There is a picture of the puzzle on the cover of the box. Each piece is a detail of the big picture. Referring to the big picture on the box makes it much easier to focus on the details and see more clearly how the pieces fit together to complete the puzzle.

Today we are going to take a look at the big picture of our relationship with the Lord and examine some of the details that make it complete. The Christ in the Old Testament is really the Christ of eternity. At the same time he is the piece that fits perfectly in the moment we need it.

How important to God is relationship? I’ll begin by saying that the perfect relationship literally came first. Relationship has always existed. Before the creation of the world, before the creation of man and woman, there was a relationship between God and the Word: The Word who was with him in the beginning, by whom and for whom all things were made.

John 1:1-5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Verse 14 leaves no doubt about who the Word is.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

There are many puzzle pieces scattered about that reinforce the truth that Christ was in the beginning. One is found in Micah. (Sometimes little gems seem to be just tossed about randomly into a different context. Recently Tim used this scripture to show prophesy foretelling Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus.)

Micah 5:2 (emphasis added)
2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

(This phrase jumped out to me. There are many more of these gems sprinkled throughout scripture. It’s always a thrill to find one!)

That eternal relationship between God and the Word was in the beginning before anything else. Out of the void a setting was created to be an environment for relationship. Then God created man in his own image. Male and female created he them. Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate personal relationship with God and the Word in the Garden of Eden. Through their disobedience, their relationship changed. Because of sin they no longer lived in the garden full of light, but in a world where darkness abode also. God didn’t stop loving them. He continued to provide for them and protect them and to unfold his plan for reconciliation to restore an intimate relationship. Adam and Eve’s disobedience didn’t change God’s plan. It changed the nature of their relationship with him. God’s plan continued to unfold throughout the Old Testament.

This is a quote from Matthew Henry:

“The eternal Word, as Mediator, shone in the darkness of the Old-Testament types and figures, and the prophecies and promises which were of the Messiah from the beginning. He that had commanded the light of this world to shine out of darkness was himself long a light shining in darkness. There was a veil upon this light…”

Sometimes I think we have the idea that the work of the Messiah began when Jesus walked the earth. But clearly, he was with God in the beginning, has been and is involved in every aspect of god’s eternal plan. It really helps me to keep the idea of the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son in my mind when I study the Bible. The central focus of that eternal plan is reconciliation of that close relationship that was broken by sin.

Throughout the Bible there is overwhelming evidence that God desires a personal relationship with humankind. In the Old Testament, God the Father and the Word/Mediator/Messiah who we know as Jesus Christ communicated with select individuals who lived real lives in real circumstances and also as pieces of a puzzle represented types and figures, with prophesies and promises which would be revealed far into the future. Many of these prophesies were hidden shadows of the physical life of Jesus who left his glory to live on earth as a man and accomplish eternal reconciliation between God and humankind.

God desires a personal relationship with each person. He gives each one opportunity to accept his offer. None is without excuse. Only through Christ can one be reconciled with God. When we become Christian, we became a new creature, receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit, free from the bondage of sin, to walk in obedience to the Lord. Not only have we been rescued from sin and death, but we are also being changed so that our lives become more fruitful and our relationship with the Lord grows deeper. God works all things for our good even our times of difficulty. This is the kind of relationship he has with us and we with him.

Developing a relationship is an ongoing process. Through our relationship with the Lord we get to know him better. As we get to know him better, our relationship grows closer. Our relationship with the Lord is learning who he is and becoming more like him.

Let’s examine a few pieces of the puzzle that work together to strengthen and grow us in our individual relationship with the Lord. As I was preparing this part of the teaching, I was often reminded of a particular hymn that expresses the same truth. I find hymns to be an important part of learning and remembering truths taught in the Bible. I will include some of them and encourage you to add your own favorites that apply.

He is Love

Romans 5:8-11 (emphasis added)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

In 1 John 4:19 we learn that "We love him, because he first loved us." Our relationship with God is based on love. He loved us first, even when we were his enemies. How can we not love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?


“The Love of God” (is greater far than tongue or pen could ever tell)
“Love Lifted Me” (I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore)

He is Our Friend

We were his enemies. He is our friend.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 

I’ve always thought of this verse as a call to salvation, which it is. But it is more than just that. It speaks of our ongoing relationship. One of the things we enjoy in our fellowship with each other is eating a meal together. There are many examples of Jesus sharing a meal and socializing with others. It was part of his relationship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. On his way to raise Lazarus from the dead, he took time to call Zacchaeus down from the tree to visit in his home.

As we open the door and feed on his word we grow in relationship with him.


“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
“Jesus is All the World to Me” (He’s my friend)

He Is Our Saviour

2 Timothy 1:9-10 (emphasis added)
9 Who (God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

He saved us to live a life in relationship with him so that we through obedience and trust can fulfill his purpose for us and be with him eternally.


“I Know Whom I Have Believed” (and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day.)

He is Faithful

Hebrews 10:22-23
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

There is no doubt that the Lord is faithful to us. He gives us the desire and ability to stay faithful to him.


“Have Faith in God”
“My Faith Looks up to Thee”

He is our Mediator

1 Timothy 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


“Jesus Paid it All” (All to him I owe)

He is our Intercessor

Romans 8:33-34
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

It is comforting to me picture Christ at the right hand of God making intercession for me.

He is our Hope

Hebrews 6:18-19
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;


“The Solid Rock” (My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness)

He is our High Priest

In the next verse we see Christ as our High Priest.

Hebrews 6:20
20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

This reference to Melchisedec foreshadows the unchangeable priesthood of Christ. If you are not familiar with Melchisedec, I encourage to explore his story in more detail. The following verses explain the unchangeable priesthood of Christ.

Hebrews 7:24-28 (emphasis added)
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Hebrews 8:1 (emphasis added)
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Here again is that picture I like to hold in my heart: Jesus Christ seated on the right hand of the throne God. It is comforting to know that we have a High Priest that has experienced the feeling of our infirmities.

Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus Christ is…

Our Friend
Our Savior
Our Mediator
Our Intercessor
Our Hope
Our High Priest.

These are only a few pieces of the puzzle of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They are eternal, ongoing truths. The timeline of eternity goes both ways. God and his Christ were in the beginning, are now, and ever shall be. Our lives here are temporary, but in God’s eyes we were part of creation from the beginning and will be with him throughout eternity world without end. Amen

I’ll leave you with one more Hymn

Glory Be to the Father
And to the Son
And to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be
World without end. Amen. Amen.


Presented July 26 in French Settlement, Louisiana