Christ in the OT: Bible Studies on Trees, Water, and Suffering Servants

One of the foundational confessions of Christians is that the Old Testament is all about Christ. He is not merely prophesied here and there in a few scattered passages, but is the fulness and fulfillment of everything that Moses and the prophets wrote. Jesus himself taught this: "Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to [the Emmaus disciples] the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures," (Luke 24:27). Whatever OT narrative we may be reading, whatever proverb or prophecy or psalm, in one way or another it points to the Son of God. Who he is, and what he has done for us and for our salvation, is what fuses the OT and NT together. He is the glue that binds together everything from Genesis to Revelation. A number of you have asked me for resources on a Christ-centered interpretation of the Old Testament. A few years ago, I wrote a series of Fusion Bible Studies that might be of interest to you. I took several themes--trees, water, and suffering servants--and traced these through the Scriptures. Each chapter deals with narratives from the OT which culminate in Christ. The studies are easily adaptable to everyone from youth to adults.

Here are the three studies with a link to Concordia Publishing House, where they can be purchased.


"In Suffering Servants, students learn how the suffering servants are used throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament to communicate the message of salvation. Discover how the lives of these suffering servants foreshadow the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ:

  • The Dreamer - Joseph
  • Inside Egypt - Joseph
  • Out of Egypt - Moses
  • Satan's Target - Job
  • Chosen Leader - David
  • Persecuter and Preacher - Paul"

"In Trees, students learn how trees are used throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament to communicate the message of salvation. See how tress take root in the Bible with these topics:

  • Two Trees in Paradise
  • The Burning Bush
  • The Staff of Moses
  • The Serpent Pole
  • The Root and Shoot of Jesse
  • The Trees of the Cross"

"InWater, students learn how the element of water is used throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament to communicate the message of salvation. The Old Testament is full of events involving water that connect to the New Testament, specifically Holy Baptism. See how water washes through the Bible with these topics:

  • Creation
  • Noah and the Flood
  • Crossing the Red Sea
  • Naaman's Baptism in the Jordan
  • The Baptism of Jesus
  • Jesus and Peter Walk on Water"

Thanks for checking out these resources. I pray they continue to be a blessing to the church as we confess Christ as the one in whom all God's promises are Yes!

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What we need in our fragmented world, full of hurting people, is the love of Jesus Christ, who welcomes home sinners with a grace that knows no bounds. My book Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is packed with reflections that go that extra mile of grace. Again and again, they present the Christ who is crucified and risen for you. Please take a moment to check it out here. You may also be interested in my collections of hymns and poetry entitled, The Infant Priest, which you can purchase here. Both books are also available on Amazon, as is my booklet Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing (also on Kindle). Thank you for your prayers and support!