After His resurrection, Jesus met Cleopas and another disciple on the Road to Emmaus and explained to them everything the Old Testament said about Himself. To understand the Old Testament themes that were fulfilled in Jesus, we need to understand Old Testament thought.
F.F. Bruce reveals the context of the New Testament writers’ understanding of the Old Testament by focusing on seven Old Testament themes. “These and other themes,” he says, “are fulfilled in Jesus.”
• The rule of God over all creation is fulfilled in Christ’s kingship.
• The salvation of God, which is demonstrated in the Exodus, is fulfilled in
Christ’s death and resurrection.
• The victory of God, which is promised over Israel’s enemies and the
return from exile, is fulfilled in Christ’s victory over sin and death.
• The people of God, established by His covenant with Israel, is fulfilled in
Christ’s calling twelve disciples to be the beginning of a “New Israel.”
• The son of David and the promises God gave to David’s kingship are
fulfilled in Christ’s kingship.
• The servant messiah, especially as found in Isaiah 40-55, is fulfilled in
Christ, who came “not to be served, but to serve.”
• The shepherd king, especially as found in Zechariah, is fulfilled in Christ
who presented himself as the Shepherd of Israel.
With an almost poetical voice, Bruce says, “In Jesus the promise is confirmed, the covenant is renewed, the prophecies are fulfilled, the law is vindicated, salvation is brought near, sacred history has reached its climax, the perfect sacrifice has been offered and accepted, the great priest over the household of God has taken his seat at God’s right hand, the Prophet like Moses has been raised up, the Son of David reigns, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated, the Son of Man has received dominion from the Ancient of Days, the Servant of the Lord . . . has accomplished the divine purpose, has seen light after the travail of his soul and is now exalted and extolled and made very high.”
This short book is jam packed with insight. It serves as a valuable guide to the complexities of messianic prophecy and opens the enormity of Old Testament proclamation about the Messiah.