Discovering Christ in the Old Testament

Discovering Christ in the Old Testament is designed to take the reader on an Emmaus walk! Although I was encouraged a long time ago to submit the work for publication, that has not yet happened. I am aware that, whilst the work gave me great joy and interest to do, the topic is also very well covered by other authors.

Copyright © Timothy J Cross. These excerpts are from a pre-published work. For permission to cite, please contact the author.




Chapter One : God’s First Gospel Promise (Genesis 3:15)

Chapter Two : The Clothing Which God Provides (Genesis 3:21)

Chapter Three : The Blessing of Abraham (Genesis 12:2,3)

Chapter Four : Mysterious Melchizedek (Genesis 14:8)

Chapter Five : The Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:13)

Chapter Six : Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:12)

Chapter Seven : The Coming Ruler (Genesis 49:10)

Chapter Eight : Joseph – a type of Christ? (Genesis 50:20)

Chapter Nine : The Blood of the Lamb (Exodus 12:13)

Chapter Ten : The Soul-Atoning Blood (Leviticus 17:11)

Chapter Eleven : The Feast of the First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10,11)

Chapter Twelve : The Annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27,28)

Chapter Thirteen : The Serpent Lifted Up (Numbers 21:8,9)

Chapter Fourteen : The Blessed Star of Jacob (Numbers 24:17)

Chapter Fifteen : The Divine Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18)

Chapter Sixteen : When Joshua met Jesus (Joshua 5:13-15)

Chapter Seventeen : The Risen Redeemer (Psalm 16:10)

Chapter Eighteen : The Sacred Garments of the Sacred Saviour (Psalm 22:18)

Chapter Nineteen : The Ascended One (Psalm 24:7)

Chapter Twenty : Betrayed (Psalm 41:9)

Chapter Twenty One : The Eternal Priest (Psalm 110:4)

Chapter Twenty Two : The Stone (Psalm 118:22,23)

Chapter Twenty Three : The Christ from Heaven (Proverbs 30:4)

Chapter Twenty Four : The Virgin Born Saviour (Isaiah 7:14)

Chapter Twenty Five : The Universal Saviour (Isaiah 49:6)

Chapter Twenty Six : Isaiah’s less well known glimpse of Christ (Isaiah 50:4-6)

Chapter Twenty Seven : ‘In my place, condemned He stood’ (Isaiah 53:5,6)

Chapter Twenty Eight : Is it nothing to you? (Lamentations 1:12)

Chapter Twenty Nine : The Coming Good Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:23)

Chapter Thirty : The Seal of both Vision and Prophet (Daniel 9:24)

Chapter Thirty One : Jonah (Jonah 2:3)

Chapter Thirty Two : O Little Town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

Chapter Thirty Three : Palm Sunday (Zechariah 9:9)

Chapter Thirty Four : The Promised Cleansing Fountain (Zechariah 13:1)

Chapter Thirty Five : The Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)



The Lord Jesus Christ is central to both the Old and the New Testaments which comprise the one Bible – that Book which Christians believe to be the very Word of God written. Christ and the Bible are inextricably bound. The inspired Word and the incarnate Word – the Word in print and the Word in Person – just cannot be separated. If we would know Christ, we must know the Bible. When we read the Bible, it is there that we encounter Christ. It is the Person of Christ Who unifies the whole Bible.

That Christ is central to the Old Testament as well as the new, may be less obvious, and even come as a surprise to some. As we shall see shortly though, Christ is as latent in the Old Testament as He is patent in the New. Augustine’s ditty was a happy one when he said of the Bible that: ‘The New is in the Old contained, the Old is by the New explained.’

It is a high claim, but the studies which follow have both apostolic mandate and the seal of approval of the Saviour Himself! We say this because the Acts of the Apostles closes with the apostle Paul in jail proclaiming Christ from our Old Testament Scriptures: trying to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses and the prophets (Acts 28:23). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, of our Old Testament Scriptures: ‘It is they that bear witness to Me’ (John 5:39). The Risen Saviour explained ‘that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms (that is, our complete Old Testament) must be fulfilled (Luke 24:44). And whilst walking the Emmaus Road, to two privileged hearers, in arguably the greatest Bible study of all time, Christ beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures (that is, all our Old Testament Scriptures) the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). We glean the response of those two disciples to this Bible study from their testimony: ‘Did not our hearts burn within us, while He opened to us the Scriptures?’ (Luke 24:32).

In the following chapters, we will be undertake the same. We will, as it were, ‘walk the Emmaus Road’ and set about Discovering Christ in the Old Testament and glean some Glimpses of the Saviour BC.

My prayer is that the pages which follow will prove to be both food for your mind and fuel for your soul, and also, by your careful and prayerful consideration be truly ‘heart warming’. May these thirty five chapters increase your love for and devotion to the ever blessed Christ of God Who is revealed to us in the pages of the inspired, Holy Scriptures.


More about Jesus let me learn

More of His holy will discern

Spirit of God my teacher be

Showing the things of Christ to me


More about Jesus in His Word

Holding communion with my Lord

Hearing His voice in every line

Making each faithful saying mine


More, more about Jesus

More, more about Jesus

More of His saving fullness see

More of His live Who died for me.


I thus commit this labour of love to the Triune God – the one true God – praying that He will use it to bring blessing to souls and glory to His Name.


Timothy Cross, Barry, South Wales




‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel’ (Genesis 3:15).


Genesis 3:15 is known as the ‘proto euangellion.’ Here, at the dawn of time, and in only the third chapter of the divine revelation, we have the first Gospel promise – a promise made by none other than Almighty God Himself. The promise and prophecy points us to the Lord Jesus Christ both in His first and second comings into the world.


The Context


The context of Genesis 3:15 is not a happy one. The bad news precedes the good, as drastic circumstances necessitated a divine remedy. Satan had tempted our first ancestors to sin – to disobey God’s Word, and they succumbed to his temptation. In doing so, they lost the blessed fellowship with God their Creator which  they had previously enjoyed. Now there was a barrier between them and their Maker. Something had died. Satan seemed to have gained a victory. Whilst his subtle suggestion to go against God did not initially seem of great consequence, it actually brought a ruin. The disharmony of our present world was caused ultimately by the rupture between creature and creator which began here as the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God (Genesis 3:8).

When all seemed lost and hopeless though, in amazing grace, God intervened. He promised a Redeemer. He promised One Who would come and undo the destructive work of Satan, and restore men and women to fellowship with Himself. He thus announced and pronounced to Satan, the enemy of the human soul: ‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel’ (Genesis 3:15).

This first Gospel promise here in Genesis 3:15 is evidence that the God of the Bible is a God of sovereign grace. He shows favour to the undeserving and ill-deserving. He did not have to show grace to Adam and Eve, for He owed them no favour at all. They had sinned against an eternal God, hence the gravity of their offence. God would have been perfectly just if He had consigned them  – and us – to eternal condemnation for their disobedience. Rather than issuing a pronouncement of condemnation, inexplicably, He issued a promise to save and bless instead. Truly, The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8 et al.).


The Seed of the Woman


Unusually, the promise of Genesis 3:15 specifically concerns the seed, or descendant, of a woman and not of a man. Normally in the Bible – as well as in the wider middle eastern setting of the Bible – genealogy was always masculine. See for instance the genealogy of Genesis 5, with its refrain ‘He became the father of . . .’ But here is a unique exception – an early glimpse of the Redeemer, Who would be born of a woman – a virgin woman – in due time. Hence the apostle Paul could write: When the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4).

In the fullness of time, the promise of Genesis 3:15 was surely fulfilled. God sent His Own Son to undo the ravages which sin and Satan had wrought. When Christ came into the world, He came with a specific mission to pay the penalty for our sin, and to restore the fallen men and women to harmony with their Creator. Likewise, the Bible also promises that Christ will one day come again and destroy Satan for ever, bringing in the new heavens and the new earth where peace and harmony will dwell eternally.


Christ’s First Coming


At Christ’s first coming, Satan received a mortal blow. John explained the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). When the Lord Jesus ministered here on earth, He disarmed Satan’s power. His disciples could testify ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!’ and He said to them ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven . . .’ (Luke 10:17,18).

Satan’s greatest blow however happened when Christ died on the cross in a moment of seeming weakness and defeat. Speaking of His impending death by crucifixion, Christ stated Now is the judgement of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out (John 12:31). Paul explained that at Calvary’s cross, Christ disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15). For it was at Calvary that Christ undid the ravages Satan wrought – He crushed his head, giving him a mortal blow, bruising His Own heel in the process as He was bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).

Satan had caused a rupture between us and God, but Christ’s death on the cross for our sins alone can heal this rupture. The cross of Christ and the Christ of the cross alone brings the forgiveness of sin, peace with God and reconciliation to Him for time and eternity. How Satan must rue the cross of Christ! Christ crucified . . . The power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23,24).

Christ’s incarnation was with a view to His immolation. He was born to die. It was by His death that He crushed the Serpent’s head and broke his deadly power over the human soul – that through His death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14). Christ’s work on the cross undid the work of the devil in Eden.


Implications and Consequences


In entering into the benefits of Christ’s redeeming work, believers can testify He has delivered us from the dominion of darkenss and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). Whilst Satan is mightier that the strongest believer, by virtue of belonging to Jesus, he has no claim over even the weakest saint. Christians are out of Satan’s grip. Hence James can give exhort with Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). In the ‘Battle of Mansoul’ the Christian can exclaim Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).  By way of further application, we can also say that evangelism involves praying to God that others will enter into the good of Calvary too. We are powerless to save a soul, but we can pray to the One Who can – that God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:25,26).

Genesis 3:15 then had its fulfilment in the first coming of Christ into the world to redeem His people.


Christ’s Second Coming


Genesis 3:15 actually has two facets. Paradoxically, whilst having been fulfilled in Christ, it also awaits its final fulfilment in Christ. In Romans 16:10 we read that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. At Calvary Christ wrought the personal redemption of all who believe in Him, undoing the ruin and heartache which Satan wrought on us personally. The Second Coming of Christ though will bring in cosmic redemption and see Satan banished finally and for ever. Yes, there is peace with God now for the believing soul. Satan has no claim on us if we belong to Jesus. Christians have indeed escaped from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). Yet it would be naïve to deny that Satan is not active in the world at large. The local and national media alone is enough to inform us of his trail of havoc and destruction. Hence Peter warns even Christians Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). When Christ comes again though there will be no need for such vigilance, for Satan will then be finally crushed. The last book of the Bible, with prophetic foresight, tells us that at that time the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur . . .  and there will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10). We thus await a trouble free, devil free, perfectly harmonious world, similar to the one our ancestors originally enjoyed in Eden before the Fall. The promise of Genesis 3:15 – God’s first Gospel promise – makes this as sure as sure can be, for God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19). According to His promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). The theme of ‘Edenic Restoration’ may be traced right through the Bible, and this cannot be divorced from the work of Christ.


The First Gospel Promise


So thank God for the first ever Gospel promise, recorded for us here in Genesis 3:15. And thank God for the Lord Jesus, the incarnate fulfilment of this blessed promise. He spared Himself no bruising and bleeding in coming to crush Satan’s head, that is, to undo the dreadful and damnable havoc Satan had caused. Thank God too that this same Christ  will one day come again and bring this sinful world to its Satan-free, blessed consummation, when The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15).


Come, Desire of nations come

Fix in us Thy humble home

Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed

Bruise in us the serpent’s head

Now display Thy saving power

Ruined nature now restore

Now in mystic union join

Thine to ours and ours to Thine!



And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).


Sin and Shame


Sin and shame are inextricably linked. Sin is an uncomfortable state. The possession of a guilty conscience is a dreadful and a damnable handicap. Even on an ordinary, human level, a guilty conscience can make normal living  intolerable until  peace of heart and mind are restored.

Sin and its consequent shame have their ultimate root in the Garden of Eden. No sooner had our first ancestors sinned than the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons (Genesis 3:7).

Just as with Adam and Eve, our personal sin prevents our enjoyment of the holy presence of God for which we were designed. The kind of people we are, and what we have done, make us embarrassed and uncomfortable in His presence. The Bible states that before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13). We cannot hide or cover up our sin from God’s all-seeing eyes. If we could only cover our sin completely, we could approach God confidently and unashamed. All religion is concerned with this in one way or another – is there any way in which a guilty sinner can be made acceptable to God?


Human Remedies


Adam and Eve’s initial instinct was to deal with their nakedness themselves. They sowed fig leaves together and made themselves clothing (Genesis 3:7). This remedy was ingenious, but unavailing. The Bible relates next how they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God (Genesis 3:8). Why did they do that? Adam’s own words to God provide the answer: ‘I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself’ (Genesis 3:10). For all the fig leaves, Adam was still naked! All mere human remedies are the same – they are ‘fig leaf remedies’ which seek to make us acceptable to God, but always fail. Self improvement? It’s a fig leaf. Religion and ritual? It’s a fig leaf. Outward respectability? It’s a fig leaf. Nothing we do can give our guilty conscience peace. Nothing we do can cover over the sins we have committed in thought, word and deed.


God’s Mercy : Blood Sacrifice


When Adam and Eve’s feeble efforts failed miserably, God in mercy intervened. Our text tells us that the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). Covered by the clothing God Himself provided for them, they could at last stand in His presence unashamed.

Adam and Eve’s clothing was given to them freely yet paradoxically, it was provided at a cost. Their spiritual comfort came at the expense of the life of an animal or animals. The animal was killed – its blood was shed – and from the dead animal’s skin the welcome human clothing was crafted. This leads us to an eternal principle – a principle which runs throughout the Bible. The principle is central to the Biblical revelation, and may be stated thus:-

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22), and It is the blood that makes atonement (Leviticus 17:11).

Adam and Eve were clothed, but only because an innocent animal had been sacrificed on their behalf. Here, at the dawn of human history, we are given a clear glimpse and foreshadowing of Christ. How may the guilty sinner today enjoy peace with God? How can we be sure that we are fit for God’s presence? The Bible tells us.  These things are achieved not through anything that we do, but because of what God has done for us in Christ. Christ’s sinless life was sacrificed on Calvary’s cross to atone for our sins. Just as God was responsible for the first bloodshed and sacrifice, so also God was ultimately responsible for the death of His Son. God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and. He . . . did not spare His Own Son but gave Him up for us all (Romans 8:32). Christ’s Own precious blood was shed at Calvary’s cross so that our sins might be forgiven – He died the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).


The Garments of Salvation


Not only does Christ’s death atone for our sins but, as Adam and Eve were clothed with the skin of the sacrifice, so those who trust Christ for salvation are clothed in His perfect righteousness. It is this that enables us to stand before God unashamed. One of the most profound verses in the whole Bible summarises it thus: For our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

One way in which the Bible pictures salvation is that of a clothing. Salvation involves wearing the clothes which God has provided. This was so in the case of Adam and Eve, and it is so in the spiritual sense for all who belong to Jesus. Woe betide any who seek to weave a robe of their own righteousness for We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6). Salvation is of God. It involves wearing the garments that He provides us by His grace and mercy in Christ. Can you echo Isaiah’s sentiments and say sincerely: I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)?


The necessity of the right garments


Apart from the robe of Christ’s perfect righteousness, we are unfit for heaven. The Lord Jesus issued a warning to this effect in His ‘Parable of the Wedding Feast’ in Matthew 22:1-12. Here He taught:-

‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast …’ (Matthew 22:1-3).

The parable concludes in a way we might not have expected however. The parable is a ‘bitter-sweet’ one. It has a twist in its tail. The joyful wedding feast was not without its sadness. V.11 ff. relates:-

‘But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants. ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’

            In the time of the Bible, it was customary to issue a wedding garment to the guests at a middle eastern wedding. The garments were ‘egalitarian’. They had the agreeable effect of making all the guests – whatever their economic background – seem equal. Gathered around the table, they were all attired the same way. In the Saviour’s parable however, one man – for reasons known to himself – declined to wear the wedding garment offered. He would not abide by the rules. Possibly he preferred his own clothing … His refusal to wear the wedding garment however cost him dearly. It forfeited his enjoying the happiness and ‘fellowship’ of the occasion, and saw him cast out of the gathering into the outer darkness.

            In the Bible, heaven itself is likened to a wedding feast. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). If we aspire to attend this feast in the garments of our own supposed righteousness however, and decline to wear the garments of grace freely given – that is, the garment of Christ’s perfect righteousness – we too, like the man in the parable, will be eternally cast out into the outer darkness of hell – eternally outside (Revelation 22:15).

The necessity of being clothed in the righteousness of God’s Own provision is thus seen early on in the Old Testament revelation in our verse from Genesis 3:21. The theme however remains just the same as the Old Testament canon draws to a close. The teaching of the Bible is one. Zechariah 3:3 ff. also enunciates both the damnable garments of human sin and the glorious garments of divine salvation: Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said …’Remove the filthy garments from him.’ …’Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel.’ … So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments …


The all-sufficiency of the clothing God provides


We have seen therefore that salvation is as simple and as profound as putting on the clothes which God in Christ has provided for sinners. We are talking here of no mere ‘fig leaf’ religion and remedy. God’s garments will avail us for time and eternity. We have proof of this in the glimpse of heaven which John was given. Notice carefully his inspired description of the redeemed in glory: They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night within His temple  (Revelation 7:14,15).


Jesus Thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are my glorious dress

Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed

With joy shall I lift up my head.


Copyright © Timothy J Cross. These excerpts are from a pre-published work. For permission to cite, please contact the author.