Jesus in the Old Testament, Part 4: Christophanies

Grace For The Journey


13Sept   This is the fourth blog in our series on how the Bible is all about Jesus.  We have looked at of the events that God instituted in the Old Testament that point to Jesus.  We learned about Jesus in the Old Testament is through titles.  Yesterday we learned about how the prophecies in the Old Testament teach us about Who Jesus is, what He would do, and even where He would be born.

Jesus as the eternally existing Son of God, the second member of the Trinity, is demonstrated through His various appearances throughout the Old Testament.  This is another way we learn about Jesus and see how the Bible is all about Jesus.  Theologians what theologians call . . .


Since no one has seen or can see God the Father (Exodus. 33:20; John 1:18, 5:37, 6:46; 1 Timothy 6:15–16), most theologians believe the times in the Old Testament where God is “seen” refer to Jesus Christ.  Let’s look at a few examples:

The Book of Genesis

In the book of Genesis we observe a couple of Christophanies.  First, in Genesis 18, Abraham has a conversation with a man who is God.  That’s Jesus.  Basically Jesus shows up, talks with Abraham, and reveals details about the fate of Sodom.

Second, in Genesis 32:22–32, Jacob gets into an all-night, UFC-style wrestling match with somebody.  Though this man never reveals His name to Jacob, Jacob’s all-night wrestling match appears to have been with Jesus.

After struggling all night, I imagine Jacob thought to himself at the end of the fight, “I held in there all night. That was a long fight. I’m pretty tough.” Jesus says, “I could’ve taken you at any point,” and then reaches out His finger, touches Jacob’s hip, and cripples him.  Afterwards, Jacob realized he was wrestling with God.  The Bible records that even in Genesis 32:30 where it says, “So Jacob called the name of the Place Peniel (face of God): ‘For I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved.’”

The Book of Daniel

In the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, these three men wouldn’t bow down and worship the golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar.  As a consequence, he had them thrown into a fiery furnace.  The Bible tells us in Daniel 3:19-25 that after they were thrown into the furnace that was heated seven times hotter than it usually was and the king looked in a saw a four person walking in the midst of the fire whose appearance “is like the Son of God.”

The Book of Isaiah

One of my favorite Christophanies is in Isaiah 6. The Bible says in the first 3 verses of chapter 6, “In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah said that he “saw the Lord high and exalted and seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple.  And the angels surrounded Him.  And day and night they worship Him, crying out: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of His glory!’”

After seeing such a lofty vision, Isaiah responded, “And I’m a man of unclean lips. I’ve said some things I shouldn’t have said. And I come from a people of unclean lips. I’m a dead man. I’ve seen the LORD” (Isaiah 6:5).  Then an angel takes a hot coal, presses it to his lips and says. “Your sin is atoned for; you’re a new man now. Your mouth now belongs to me. You’re going to be a prophet and say what I tell you to say” (Isaiah 6:6–7).

The question we need to answer is this: Who did Isaiah see?  The Bible says in John 12:39-41, Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them’  These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.”

Isaiah’s encounter with Jesus is the same picture that John has of Jesus in the book of Revelation.  It’s the same picture of Jesus that you and I will have when we see Him face to face (Revelation 1:9-17).  No longer a humble, marginalized, beaten, poor Galilean peasant, but the risen, ruling, reigning, resurrected, glorious King of kings, Lord of lords, high and exalted, worshiped by angels, adored by nations: the Lord Jesus Christ, “Who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 1:8).

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


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