Did Old Testament Saints “Look Forward” to the Cross?

When describing salvation in the Old Testament, it is common to hear one say:

“Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, like we look back at the cross.”

While it is a nice, understandable saying, it is simply incorrect.

We need not even go back to the Old Testament to show the error of this teaching. Let’s just look at Peter for a minute.  Peter was an Apostle of Christ living with the Lord during his earthly ministry.  Surely of anyone was looking forward to the cross before Calvary, Peter would have been?

Here is the Lord Jesus Christ putting “the cross” in a nutshell:

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

What was Peter’s response?

Mark 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Peter’s response was to rebuke the Lord. Today, when someone rebukes the Gospel, we call that person lost.

Peter certainly wasn’t “looking forward to the cross.” What about looking “back” to the cross?

Luke 24:6-11 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

What do we call someone who “believes not” the resurrection? Lost! If Peter (and the other Apostles) were “looking forward to the cross” they certainly would not have denied the resurrection after it happened.

Author: Brandon

Brandon is the owner of StudyLamp Software and designer of SwordSearcher Bible Software.

10 thoughts on “Did Old Testament Saints “Look Forward” to the Cross?”

  1. Amen. Even Romans Ch. 10, which I like to call the salvation verses, doesn’t mention the cross.
    …and believe in thine heart God raised Him from the dead….

    The resurrection is what we are told to believe. He’s alive! And He’s coming back! Praise Jesus! Praise God!

    1. Not to be contentious, now, but in I Corinthinans 1:17-22, the Apostle makes it more than clear that the gospel and the cross are indistinguishable. For certain, the cross without the resurrection makes us the most miserable of men, but the resurrection without the cross would mean only one Son for the Father – a Firstfruits without the harvest! Remember, it is the “Lamb as it had been slain” who is “worthy to take book, and to open the seals thereof,” (Rev. 5:6,8) thus redeeming mankind.

  2. You’re a resident of Oklahoma! My husband grew up in OK city. We’ve visited OK city many times, to see his mother. I’ve been to the malls there, eaten at “Jimmy’s Egg” a couple of times, been thru the Cowboy Hall of Fame, etc.
    (I used to call Oklahoma okra homey)
    Just read your bio, too. Must be nice to be a programmer, knowing so much about computers.
    Well, back to AV1611.
    And, no, I’m not “kissing up” so to speak. You happen to have a good believing study blog, and I like to comment and get to know other true Christians.

  3. All through the Old testament the promise of a Savior is mentioned who was to die for the sins of humanity. From Adam until Christ came into the world, so they looked forward until he came all of the sacrifices mentioned were symbolic of the death he would die, without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Isaiah 53, 1cointhians 15:1-5 : 1 Corinthians 1:17 There has to be a death before a resurrection- Not one dead animal came to life that was sacrificed, it was what they were a symbol and type of that which was to come Acts 3:12-26 The full gospel ,The incarnate Son of God lived ,died ,and resurrected and is cming again Read the book of Hebrews and it will explain it very good.

  4. It’s amazing how many people can’t see this. The statement you gave is exactly what my church teaches. They have no idea about how God dealt differently with man in different dispensations. True Bible believing churches are few and far between in our part of the country.So I have to get most of my Bible teaching from Dr.Ruckman or the internet.May God richly bless you.

  5. I will have to strongly agree with Greg. Very few churches teach dispensationalism. Most of the people in my church are dispensationalist, but the preacher is a follower of one who claims to be dispensational, but is not. So we hear sermons that are mostly covenant theology branded. Yet in morning Bible study we all teach dispensationalism. I don’t understand our deacons.
    The Southern Baptists were mostly dispensational 40 years ago, but a lot of them are moving toward covenant because of the seminaries. I went to one of these Southern Baptist Seminaries and heard all the liberal theology. We need more E.C. Moore’s and C.R. Stam’s in the pulpits across the nation.

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