Conversation #2 – Back to the Future
(Old Testament Prophecies that point to Easter)
Read John 12:12-16
The apostle John, who was writing his gospel 30+ years after the event of Easter, admitted that at the time the disciples did not realise the things that had been written about Jesus (in the Old Testament) were matching with the things that were being done to Jesus (John 12:16). Elements of the Easter story seem to be referred to many times before they took place.
Exploring the Text:
Each person in the group choose one prophecy about the cross. Look up these prophecies and determine which part of the Easter story they are predicting. If you have time, you might like to do a second or do the rest at home.
Did you notice that there wasn’t any resurrection prophecies from the Old Testament? This seems to be a little strange considering the number of prophecies to Jesus suffering and death. In 1 Corinthians 15:4 the Apostle Paul affirms that Jesus was indeed raised “raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” but what Scriptures are Paul referring to?
While there is a generally agreed-upon theology of resurrection in the Old Testament (cf. Job 19:25–27; Ps 49:15; 73:23–28; Isa 25:8; 26:19; Ezek 37:1–14; Hos 13:14; Dan 12:1–4 etc.), many scholars find that the connections between Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 22, and Isaiah 53:10–11 and Daniel 12:2–3 as prophecies of Jesus’ resurrection, or the Jonah’s three days in the whale as a prophecy of Jesus’ three days in the tomb, require some creative interpretation. However, we find in the gospels multiple references to Jesus’ predicting his death and resurrection three days later (eg Mark 8:31)
How do you respond to what we have just learnt? How helpful is it to you to know that the Easter story was predicted and fits into a much larger story of God’s love for us?
- Where do the Hebrew Scriptures prophesy the death and resurrection of the Messiah?
- Is Jesus in the Old Testament?
- How many prophecies did Jesus fulfill?
- How can I identify messianic prophecies in the Old Testament?
Other Links to more:
- The Resurrection: “According to the Scriptures” – The Master’s Seminary
- Old Testament Prophecies of Jesus’ Resurrection – Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig. Talbot School of Theology
- VIDEO – Old Testament Prophecies about Jesus – Acts17Apologetics
- The Old Testament and Easter – Brigham Young University (Academic approach / LDS)
- Prophecies of the Resurrection – Institute of Creation Research (a more conservative answer)
- BibleProject VIDEO – Messiah