Bible Study

Righteousness Points To Jesus | Christ In The Old Testament

I know there are many people who have never heard about this before. I certainly did not always know how to see the truth of Jesus and the Gospel message in the Old Testament (aside from prophecies), But, my friends, once you are able to identify these truths, you are going to see them everywhere in the Old Testament!

When we read scripture in the Old Testament but we do not see the message of the Gospel, the truth of Christ, and His importance, we are missing a major piece of the puzzle and context.

It is important to see Christ in the Old Testament.

To truly understand the Gospel message, we need to understand how hopeless and helpless we are without Jesus. We need to understand how righteousness plays such an important role in the Gospel message and how only Christ is the answer.

The Old Testament shows us that we cannot save ourselves. We are not perfect because we all share the curse of Adam, sin. The Jewish people were selected to be set apart and from the Jewish bloodline, from the line of David, a Messiah would rise up. It is through the recorded history of the Jewish people that we see how mankind cannot appease God on his own.

Thus, animal sacrifices were used because blood was needed to atone for sin. The reason why is because blood represents life, and the wages of sin is death. Therefore, every sin needs to be paid with life. This is the cost of sin. This is what justice demands because we have turned away from what is right and good. All the more reason why the Gospel message is so humbling and beautiful. The Messiah atoned for our sins on the cross by becoming a curse on the tree. He paid off our ransom with His blood, His life. He was innocent, while we were not.

This is the heart of the Gospel, understanding that we are not sufficient in saving ourselves, but Jesus Christ is. This is the grace and love of God. Taking our punishment when we deserve the consequences. Showing us grace and mercy, knowing there is nothing we can do to pay Him back.

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In the Old Testament, we can see a ton of references to this. We are going to begin by looking at the importance of righteousness in the Old Testament.

(ESV) Proverbs 12:28, “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”

Notice what was said earlier. The wages of sin is death. Yet, the path of righteousness is life. We cannot have both. We need the wages of sin to be paid in full. God will not be with sinners. God is separated from sin, it has no part with Him. In order for sin to be paid, the individual either takes on the wrath of God (which no sinner can pay off because they are not righteous) or have someone who is sinless, be an acceptable atonement sacrifice on behalf of the sinner. Only the righteous can be sinless.

Humans cannot fulfill this. Which is why we need Jesus Christ, the God Man, to impute His righteousness to us. We need Him to take the curse of sin off of us, which means, He needs to pay the cost of sin in our place. He needed to die, if He wished to pay off our debt.

(ESV) Romans 3:22, “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction.”

When we understand that we cannot obtain righteousness on our own, but only through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, then we will start to see this message repeated constantly in the Old Testament.

We need to turn to Jesus Christ because He is righteous. Faith has a connection to truth and righteousness.

(ESV) Proverbs 8:20, “I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice.” (Wisdom is talking in this chapter, and Wisdom has been connected to Jesus Christ. Christ is speaking here.)

Jesus tells us in John 14:06, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (ESV)

Jesus is the way. What is the way? The Old Testament says the way is righteousness, which is the path of what is just. (See Proverbs 8:20 above)

Jesus is the truth. Scripture says truth is freedom (John 8:31-32). The truth sets us free. Truth is associated with justice, which means truth is righteous.

Jesus is the life.

(ESV) Proverbs 10:21, “The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
(ESV) Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.”
(ESV) Proverbs 13:25, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.”

Righteousness fills us. Righteousness will be able to sustain us. Fruit from righteousness is from the tree of life. Words of righteousness saves lives because it is the truth that sets people free. What are the words of righteousness about?

The words of righteousness are about Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior because Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Only the righteousness of Christ can fully atone for our sins. Only Jesus can open our eyes to the truth. Only Christ can help us love God and love others the way we are suppose to.

The Old Testament talks about righteousness being the tree of life. Righteousness is life, it’s eternal life. Which means some references of the tree of life in Revelation connect to Christ, which is really awesome!

Jesus is the tree of life – (Revelation 21:06)

Jesus is the Living Water – (Revelation 22:01, John 4:10)

Jesus is the Living Bread – (John 6:50-51, John 6:33)

Next time you are reading in the Old Testament, think about how the Gospel message connects to what the scripture is saying. Think about the fruit that righteousness produces in all who put their faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done.

Faith is so much more than just desiring to go to Heaven. It’s about understanding and loving the Savior, putting our trust and love into what He did for us, while we were still a sinner. It’s about the fruit of righteousness which blooms and transforms our life because this righteousness is not our own, but Christ’s.

(ESV) John 6:47, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

Some resources to check out:

Mike WingerA 26 video playlist on How To Find Christ In The Old Testament, including Who Is The Angel Of The Lord | How To Find Jesus In The Old Testament & How Jesus Is Like The Tabernacle of Moses

One For Israel Jewish Man Turns To Jesus And Explains Why In A Way You’ve Never Heard Before

Reminder for Comment Rules

Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) 
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?

Community Prayer – August ‘21

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Luke 11_39-40, _...so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside_

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