Did the pre-incarnate Christ speak in the Old Testament?
John 1:1-13 teaches that Jesus Christ was and is God. Micah 5:2 teaches He has always existed from eternity past. The gospels record many statements made by Jesus Christ; but since Christ is our God, did He speak in the Old Testament?
The Angel of the Lord – Exodus 3
Most believers understand that God the Father speaks in the Old Testament, but did Christ speak in the Old Testament? In a number of Old Testament passages, we are told the angel of the Lord appears (Genesis 16:11-17; 22:11-15; Exodus 3:2; Numbers 22:22-35; Judges 2:1-4; Judges 6:11, 21-22, and Isaiah 37:36). There are more instances. The title, angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, usually refers to a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ or theophany.
One of the most remarkable statements occurs in Exodus 3:14.
Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. . . . God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:1-6, 14 (NASB)
Here we are told that Moses discovered a burning bush in the wilderness and the angel of the Lord spoke to him. Later we are told that God was speaking to Moses. In verse 14 we are told that the angel of the Lord is the great “I AM.”
The Angel of the Lord – John 8:58
In John 8:58, Christ makes a statement to the Jewish religious leaders that He was and is Jehovah of the Old Testament.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. John 8:58-59 (NASB)
Verse 59 tells us that the religious leaders understood Christ claimed to be Jehovah and, therefore, wanted to kill Him which was the penalty for blasphemy. Christ simply stated that He existed before Abraham and He was and is the “I AM” who spoke to Moses. Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 41:4 and 43:10 all teach that the “I AM” refers to our God and that there is no other God. That is, the angel of the Lord was a theophany or an Old Testament appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ.
God our Father and the Son both speak in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The Scriptures never tell us that the Holy Spirit spoke directly to anyone. Instead, He spoke through individuals such as the prophets (Acts 28:25; 2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit also spoke to individuals in visions (Acts 10:19). Today God speaks to us through His Word.
Suggested Links:Searching For God
Does the Old Testament present Jesus as God?
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Did Jesus ever claim to be God?
Did Jesus become sin and separate Himself from the Father?