The Promise of Messiah in the Old Testament

My thanks to Matt Waymeyer for this:

The promise of the coming Messiah begin in embryonic form in Genesis 3:15 where God promised to remedy the entrance of sin into the world through a future descendant of the woman. Throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, this initial promise is developed and expanded so that the overall picture of the coming Messiah is filled in and revealed more and more clearly. In this way, Genesis 3:15 can be viewed as the initial strokes of paint on the canvas of biblical prophecy. Then, with each new prophecy, more detail and color is added to the canvas and the picture becomes fuller and clearer:

  • He will come through the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15).
  • He will come through the line of Shem (Gen 9:25-27).
  • He will come through the line of Abraham (Gen 12:3).
  • He will come through the line of Judah (Gen 49:8-12).
  • He will come through the line of Jesse (Is 11:1a).
  • He will come through the line of David (2 Sam 7:10-13; Ps 132:11b).
  • He will come from the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
  • He will come as a child and a son (Is 9:6a).
  • He will be born of a virgin (Is 7:14).
  • He will be called “Immanuel” (Is 7:14).
  • He will be called “the Lord our righteousness” (Jer 23:6; 33:16; cf. Mal 4:2).
  • He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Is 9:6c).
  • He will come in humility (Zech 9:9).
  • He will serve as a prophet in Israel (Deut 18:15, 18; cf. John 6:14).
  • He will bring good news to the afflicted (Is 61:1-3).
  • He will crush the head of the Serpent (Gen 3:15).
  • He will wash away the guilt of sinners (Is 4:1-4).
  • He will serve as a channel of divine blessing to the world (Gen 12:1-3).
  • He will be rejected by man, pierced by the Jews, and crushed by God the Father (Is 53:1-12; Zech 11:4-14; 12:10; 13:7; cf. Ps 22; cf. Dan 9:26a).
  • He will die as a substitutionary sacrifice for guilty sinners to provide forgiveness and salvation (Is 53:1-12; Zech 3:9).
  • He will be resurrected from the dead (Ps 16:10; cf. Acts 2:31).
  • He will come again in judgment upon the nations (Is 63:1-6).
  • He will bring destruction to the enemies of Israel (Num 24:15-19).
  • He will reign in perfect peace, justice, and righteousness as King over the entire earth (Gen 49:10; Num 24:17-19; Ps 2:6-12; 110:1-7; Is 9:6b-7; 11:1-16; 42:1-4; Jer 23:5; 33:14-2; Zech 9:10).
  • He will build the Temple of the Lord and rule on His throne as Priest (Zech 6:12-15).
  • He will unify and restore the nation of Israel (Ezek 36:16-38; 37:15-28).
  • He will feed and protect Israel as her divine Shepherd (Ezek 34:23-31; 37:15-28).
  • He will bring salvation to Israel and reign over her as King (Is 49:5-6a; Micah 5:2; Jer 23:5-6; 30:21; 33:16; Ezek 37:15-28).
  • He will be appointed as a covenant to the people and a light to the nations of the earth (Is 42:5-6; 49:6; cf. Is 55:4; cf. Mal 3:1).
  • He will be given glory and everlasting dominion over all the nations of the earth, and His kingdom will be established forever (Dan 7:13-14; 2 Sam 7:10-13; Ps 132:11b).

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

One thought on “The Promise of Messiah in the Old Testament

  1. Palm Sunday

    We needed political action,
    Independence, liberation
    Freedom from foreign forces,
    Occupation’s expulsion.
    We’ve dreamed of deliverers
    Messiah’s and saviours.

    When He rode into the Capital
    We thought it strategically vital
    He brought weapons for arming
    His followers that morning
    But a ‘donkey’, an ass
    With an excitable mass!

    They praised Him that Sunday,
    Branches waved by the way,
    ‘Save now, Oh Lord’,
    As promised by prophetic word.
    But the ‘King’ came in humility
    And wept for our doomed city.

    Some failed to recognise
    And would later despise
    The Servant of the Lord’s suffering
    His sacrifice and offering.
    Meanwhile, money-changers were dispersed
    And the national ‘Fig-tree’ cursed.

    Our religious leaders schemed
    (Through fear and envy it seemed),
    To suppress, arrest, and disown
    His royal kingdom and throne.
    Jesus, the doomed city lamenting,
    His redeemed people was saving.

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