Where’s Jesus in the Old Testament? Start with These 12 Verses.

open Bible showing verses reflecting Jesus in the Old Testament

We often read our Bibles as if Jesus made his first appearance in this world as a baby in the New Testament. Our story as Christians, we sometimes think, starts with the book of Matthew.

But the Bible’s witness to Jesus did not begin there. A common thread runs throughout the pages of our Bibles from the beginning of Genesis to the last page of Revelation: Christ.

Here are 12 New Testament verses that point to Jesus in the Old Testament.

1. Luke 24:27

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Find this in the Old Testament: Deut 18:15; Num 9:12; Isa 7:14; 50:6; 50:6; Ps 22:7–8, 14–16, 18; 41:9; 9:6–7; Mic 5:2; Zech 9:9; 11:12–13; 12:10; and others

2. Luke 24:44–47

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Find this in the Old Testament: Isa 53:11; Psa 16:9–11; 103:12; 30:3; Zech 12:10; and others

3. Romans 9:7

Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”

Find this in the Old Testament: Gen 21:12

4. 1 Corinthians 5:7

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Find this in the Old Testament: Exod 12:1–30

5. Matthew 1:1

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Find this in the Old Testament: 2 Sam 7:5–16; Isa 11:1; Jer 23:5–6; and others

6. John 9:5

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Find this in the Old Testament: Gen 1:3; Isa 9:2; Ps 36:9; 119:105

7. John 6:35

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Find this in the Old Testament: Exod 16:4–21; Deut 8:3

8. Colossians 2:16–17

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Find this in the Old Testament: Gen 2:2; Exod 20:8–11; Deut 5:14; Num 10:10; Neh 10:31; Isa 1:13–14; Ezek 26:1; 29:17; Hos 6:6; Hag 1:1; and others

9. Hebrews 10:1

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 

Find this in the Old Testament: Lev 16; 23:27–28; Psa 119; and others

10. Luke 4:18–20

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.

Find this in the Old Testament: Isa 35:5–10; Isa 61

11.  John 3:14–15

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Find this in the Old Testament: Num 21:4–19

12. Hebrews 5:5

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

Find this in the Old Testament: Ps 2:7


Where else can you find Christ in the Old Testament? Start with Mobile Ed: BI111 Typological Hermeneutics: Finding Christ in the Whole Bible (4 hour course) and The Gospel according to the Old Testament Series (18 vols.)

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Written by
Karen Engle

Karen Engle is a copy editor for Faithlife. She has a master's in biblical studies and theology from Western Seminary and frequently takes groups to Israel.

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Written by Karen Engle