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Christ In The Old Testament 1 Christ The Light Of The World

by Dan Wafford  
7/14/2011 / Bible Studies

This is the first in a series of articles I plan to post, discussing the many references to Christ in the Old Testament.

Most Christians are probably aware that there are many prophetic references to Christ in the Old Testament. Those prophetic references are variously numbered by most Bible scholars at somewhere around 300. Yet most Christians remain unaware of the vastly greater number of references to Christ in types, symbols, metaphors, and foreshadows or prefigures. In this series of articles I plan to reveal and discuss many of those references, in the order in which they appear in the Bible.

The first reference to Christ occurs in Genesis 1:3, where we read, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." This would appear to be a reference by type, with the light shining on the world serving as a type of the light of Christ. But in fact, I will show that this actually WAS the light of the glory of Christ.

A frequent criticism of the Genesis account of creation is that it says God provided light for the earth on day 1, yet He didn't create the sun until day 4. Actually, when correctly understood, this becomes an argument FOR the validity of the creation account, rather than the opposite.

Revelation 21:23 tells us that when we live on the new earth, there will be no sun: "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Just as the Lamb will be the light of the new earth, He was also the original light of this earth, and He illuminated it before the sun shone upon it. Note that the passage in Genesis does not say that God "created" light, as is said for some of the other components of creation, but rather "Let there be light" -- let there be light upon the earth: the light of Jesus Christ the Lamb.

Jesus said Himself, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). Why did the Father send Christ as the Light of the World? To bring man out of the darkness of bondage to sin and death. God revealed this principle to Paul, so that he could communicate it more clearly to us:

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:6).

And for those who claim that Paul added to the pure gospel of Christ, here is the same information presented several hundred years earlier by the prophet Isaiah:

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (Isaiah 9:2).

So we see that God very deliberately let the light of Christ shine upon the world before He created the sun, to show us clearly that the Light of the World was Christ, not the sun. The light of the sun is temporary; the Light of the World is permanent. The light of the sun removes physical darkness, while the Light of the World removes the darkness of spiritual death.

In my next article I will discuss the second reference to Christ in the Old Testament, which occurs not far removed from the first.

Dan Wafford lives in beautiful coastal Georgia. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Stanford University. He writes Christian articles, essays, songs and books, as well as novels and popular music. His book The DiVine Code, which reveals details of encoded messages in the Bible, is currently available at More information about The DiVine Code is available at

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