The New Testament Scriptures are the primary witness of Spirit-enlightened men to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the implications of that story for humankind. These Christian writings also are a reflection upon the meaning of the older, Hebrew Scriptures in the light of Jesus Christ. All the Old Testament Scriptures — the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, as the Jews divided their Bible — foreshadow and prefigure the Messiah and the great rescue he would accomplish (Luke 24:27, 44-48).
Reading the Old Testament points us to Christ, beginning with Creation (Gen. 1; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:14-15) and Adam (Gen. 3:15; Phil. 2:5-9; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:20-22, 42-49), and Noah and the Flood (Gen. 6-8; Matt. 24:36-39). The patriarchs point to Christ, whether Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:8-9; Gen.14:17-20; Heb. 7; Gen. 17:5; Rom. 4:17, 23-25), Isaac (Gen. 22:2ff; John 3:15; 8:56) or Jacob (Gen. 28:10-12; John 1:47ff; Gen. 49:10).
The great story of Joseph points to Jesus (Jesus’ adoptive father was also a son of Jacob, both Josephs were chaste men, both were dreamers, both saved lives by escaping to Egypt). Moses prefigures the Messiah in details of his birth (wicked king, dead babies, magi/magicians, special child; see Ex. 1-2; Matt. 1-2; Luke 1-2); in his journey from Egypt through the water, into the desert and to a mountain (Matt. 1-5); the wondrous rock which provided water (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:1-4) and in Moses’ prophetic role (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:19ff). So also do the Tabernacle with the Glory of God (Ex. 25-40:34; John 1:14; Heb. 9:1-12), the priesthood (Ex. 28; Heb. 7:26-8:2); and the sacrifices (Lev. 1-5; Hebrews 9-10).
The pagan prophet Balaam spoke of the distant-coming Christ (Numbers 24:15ff). Finally, Israel’s covenant with God prefigured Jesus Christ, with its covenant stipulations which Jesus kept, its covenant blessings which Jesus earned, and its covenant curses which Jesus bore (Deut. 28; Gospels). And Joshua, the successor to Moses, pointed to Jesus Christ, whose Hebrew name was the same as his, and who led God’s people to their promised land (Deut. 31:7; Matt. 1:21).