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Theology > Salvation > Salvation's Necessity > Prophets: Predicting Salvation


The appearance of Christ with His salvation was according to prophecy, that is, the prediction of the prophets in the Old Testament.

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—thing which angels desire to look into (I Pet. 1:10-12).

Christ Himself declared that the Scriptures, meaning the Old Testament, were about Him, and He impressed this truth upon His followers:

You search the Scriptures . . . and it is they that bear witness about Me (Jo. 5:39);

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Lu. 24:27);

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures (Lu. 24:44; note the word “must”).

Do not think
that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Matt. 5:17

Other passages teach the same truth:

But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled (Acts 3:18);

I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles (Acts 26:22-23).

Old Testament Scriptures abound with predictions related to Christ, many which are literal and others which are figurative. Among those that could be listed are the following: the coming Savior is first mention in the Protoevangelium (see: Protoevangelium), Melchizedek is a type of the coming Priest of God who in His Person and Work will bring men to God (see: Priest like Melchizedek), He is of the seed of Abraham, meaning of his descendants (see: Seed of Abraham), He will be a Prophet like Moses (see: A Prophet like Moses), and He will be of the seed of David (see: Seed of David). Additionally numerous specific details of His life and ministry are predicted in the Old Testament: see: Predictions of the Prophets and Anticipation of Christ.

An examination of the hundreds of references in the four Gospels will show that the four authors regarded the events of the New Testament as the consummation of a redemptive history that began where the Old Testament narrative begins. Jesus Christ of the New Testament is indeed both the Messiah of Israel and the hope of the nations whom the Old Testament prophesies (Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology, 428-9).

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