The Gospel in the Old Testament

In his Survey of the New Testament, Robert Gundry, traces out various fulfillment themes in the New Testament. As the old saying goes, “The New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.”

Here is a summary of the main themes of both direct and indirect typological fulfillment in Matthew and the rest of the New Testament; Jesus fulfilled the activities of the Lord himself as described and predicted in the Old Testament (Matthew 1:21; 3:3-4 par[i], 11:5 par, 13:41; 24:31 par, 27:9-10). Jesus was the foretold messianic king (Matthew 1:23; 2:6, 23; 3:17 par.; 4:15-16; 21:5; 22:44 par; 26:64 par), the Isaianic Servant of the Lord (Matthew 3:17 par.; 11:5 par.; 12:18-21; 1 Peter 2:22-25), and the Danielic Son of Man (Matthew 24:30 par.; 26:64 par.; 28:18). He brought to a climax the line of the prophets (Matthew 12:39-40 par.; 13:13-15 par., 35; 17:5 par.; 1 Corinthians 10:2; 2 Corinthians 3:7-18), the succession  of righteous sufferer since the Old Testament times (Matthew 21:42 par.; 27:34-35 par., 39 par., 43 par., 46 par., 48 par.), and the Davidic dynasty (Matthew 12:42 par.). He reversed the work of Adam, who pluged the human race into sin (Matthew 4:1-11 par.; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49; Hebrews 2:5-9; compare Luke 3:38). He fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:16). Since he was the ideal Israelite, his own personal history recapitulated the national history of Israel (Matthew 2:15, 18; 4:4, 7, 10 par.).

                Melchizedek prefigured the priesthood of Christ, as did also, in an inferior and sometimes contrasting way, the Aaronic priesthood (Hebrews 7-10). The paschal lamb and other sacrifices symbolized his redemptive death (John 1:29, 36; 19:36; Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9-10; 1 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 5:6-14), as well as Christian devotion and service (Romans 12:1; 15:16; Philippians 2:17). Jesus is life-giving bread like the manna God provided in the desert during Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan (John 6:35; 1 Corinthians 10:3), the source of living water like the rock in the desert (1 Corinthians 10:4; compare John  7:37), the serpent lifted up in the desert (John 3:14), and the tabernacle and temple of God’s abode among human beings (John 1:14; 2:18-22; compare Colossians 1:19).

                John the Baptist was the predicted forerunner of Jesus (Mark 1:2-3). Jesus inaugurated the foretold eschatological period of salvation (John 6:45) and established the new covenant (Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:16-17). Judas Iscariot fulfilled the role of the wicked opponents of the Old Testament righteous sufferers (Acts 1:20). The church is, or individual Christians are, the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:10), the spiritual seed (=offspring, descendants) of Abraham by incorporation into Christ (Romans 4:1-25; 9:6-33; Galatians 3:29; 4:21-31; Philippians 3:3), the new Israel (Romans 9:6-33; 11:17-24; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:9-10), and the new temple (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22). The Mosaic law prefigured divine grace both positively and negatively (John 1:17; Colossians 2:17; Galatians). The deluge (Noah’s flood) stands for the Last Judgment (Matthew 24:37-39 par.) and for baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21). The passage through the Red Sea and the rite of circumcision foreshadowed baptism (1 Corinthians 10:2; Colossians 2:11-12). Jerusalem stands for the celestial city (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21:1-22:5). Entrance into Canaan prefigures the entrance of Christians into heavenly rest (Hebrews 3:18-4:13). And proclamation of the gospel to all people fulfills God’s promises to Abraham and prophetic predictions of Gentile salvation (Acts 2:17-21, 3:25; 13:47; 15:16-18; Romans 15:9-12, 21).

Now that will preach!


[i] Par = parallel(s) in the other Synoptics.

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Posted on October 7, 2011, in Great Quotes, The Gospel, Typology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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