Isaiah 53:5, “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.”
The gospel, the “good news” concerning God’s glory and humanity’s salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, didn’t start in the New Covenant. The story of God’s redemption started in the book of Genesis and literally runs through every book in the Old Testament, Genesis 3:15.
The best way to understand the two testaments and the gospel is as follows; “In the Old Testament Jesus is concealed in the mystery of the Jewish laws and sacrifices and in the roles of the priests, kings, and prophets. And in the New Testament Jesus is revealed and is seen as the fulfillment of all the Jewish laws, sacrifices, and leadership roles.” The New Testament book of Hebrews presents this truth powerfully, Hebrews 1:1-3.
That is why there are over 40 major prophecies about the coming of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah (God’s anointed servant and king) in the Old Testament. For a person to have fulfilled just eight of them is 1 chance in 10 to the 28th power, which is 1 with 28 zeros after it, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! A person would have a better chance of flipping a coin 50x and having each flip land on heads than “accidently” fulfilling these prophecies by random chance.
Though all the Old Testament books, especially Ezekiel and Jeremiah, spoke about the new relationship God was going to have with His people, the most famous prophecy about Jesus comes from Isaiah 53. Isaiah wrote his prophecy 700 years before Jesus was even born and when most people read it today they think it was written after Jesus’ crucifixion!
Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:9-10, “9 he [God the Father] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment— to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Therefore, as you read the Old Testament do so through the lens of Jesus Christ and the gospel!
Can you see Jesus and the gospel when you read the Old Testament stories and prophecies?
- Take time to read all of Isaiah 53.
- As you read the OT write down the times you see Jesus concealed in the text.
- Pray and ask God the Father to use you to reveal His Son Jesus and His gospel to the world through you!