Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus appeared to two disciples on their way home to Emmaus. Verse 27 says, “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” You cannot turn a page of the Old Testament without finding something about the birth, the ministry, the death, the resurrection, or the return of Jesus Christ. What are some of the things the Old Testament tells us about Jesus Christ?
The Old Testament gives us the prediction of his birth. When Jesus said that Moses testified of Christ, what was He referring to? Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament. To explain the prophecies, Jesus could have turned to Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy; but I imagine Jesus started at the beginning, the very first mention of Jesus in the Old Testament, which is found in Genesis 3:15.
The setting of Genesis 3 is the fall of man. Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, and God was pronouncing judgment upon them. He told Adam that because of his sin, he would have to work harder than he ever imagined. Work is not a curse from God, but having to work harder than normal is a curse, and there was going to be pain involved in work. Then God turned to Eve and said that because of her sin, there would be pain associated with childbirth. Then He turned to the serpent who had lured Adam and Eve into temptation. God spoke not only to the serpent but to the power behind the serpent, Satan himself. Notice what He predicted: “I will put enmity between you and the woman” (v. 15). Perhaps he was referring to the natural animosity between people and snakes that would occur. The serpent was a beautiful creature originally, but after the fall, the serpent became a slithering creature on the ground.
Then God goes beyond that. He says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.” That word “seed” refers to Eve’s descendants–especially one of her descendants. “He shall bruise you on the head”–that is, He will deliver a death blow to Satan–“and you shall bruise him on the heel.” This is the first prediction of Jesus Christ: a descendant of Eve would someday conquer the power of Satan. Jesus the Messiah was born to conquer Satan. As soon as evil entered the world, God said it wouldn’t last forever. He said, “One of your descendants, Eve, will conquer Satan and put an end to evil. He will bruise Satan with a death blow on the head, but Satan will only nip at His heel.” In theology, we call this verse the “protoevangelium.” “Proto” means first. “Evangelium” means the good news, the gospel that evil would not prevail. Genesis 3:15 is the “first gospel.” That is the first thing I think Jesus pointed out about Himself to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christmas on the Road” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.