Bright Shadows (2): Preaching Christ From The Old Testament -- By: David Murray

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 01:2 (Jul 2009)
Article: Bright Shadows (2): Preaching Christ From The Old Testament
Author: David Murray


Bright Shadows (2): Preaching Christ From The Old Testament

Dr. David Murray

In the last issue of this journal, we examined Christ’s view of the Old Testament by considering His words on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:25 –32). In this article, we will probe the prophets’ view of the Old Testament, as described to us by Peter (1 Pet. 1:11-12). This will further underline Christ’s view of the Old Testament—that it testified of Him. Specifically, we will learn that Christ and His salvation were anticipated by the prophets, announced by the apostles, and analyzed by the angels.

Anticipated By The Prophets

Peter taught that Old Testament prophets made predictions, studied these predictions, and understood them. Let’s investigate these three stages of prophetic experience.

The Prophets Predicted

1 Peter 1:10-11 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

The “Spirit of Christ” was in the Old Testament prophets (v. 11). This term, “the Spirit of Christ” is used interchangeably with “Spirit of God” in Romans 8:9, and, in Acts 16:7, “the Spirit of Jesus” is the same as “The Holy Spirit” (v. 6). So, just like the New Testament apostles, the Old Testament prophets were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Wayne Grudem goes further to argue that the title “Spirit of Christ” “suggests that predicting the coming Messiah was the primary focus

of his [the Holy Spirit’s] activity in the Old Testament prophets.”1 This unbreakable bond between all Scripture, Christ, and the Holy Spirit is described succinctly by the Apostle John: “t he testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

We should not, therefore, be surprised to read that the Old Testament prophets, like the New Testament apostles, were focused on “salvation” and “prophesied of the grace that should come” (v. 10). Indeed, not only did they preach salvation by grace, but they also preached the way this would be accomplished—by a suffering Messi...

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