The Old Testament is a witness of the Savior Jesus Christ, His mission and His life, said Jeffrey Marsh.
Speaking during a Church Educational System symposium Jan. 10, Brother Marsh, faculty member at Salt Lake's South City Institute of Religion, said many members have a difficult time discovering the Savior in the Old Testament.But, he noted, "the reason why the scriptures have to be searched diligently is found in a statement in John 5:39 by the Savior: `they are they which testify of me.' That is why we read the scriptures," Brother Marsh said. "We read the scriptures to come to know Jesus Christ, to come to understand His gospel, and to come to know what He has asked us to do so that we might return to His presence."
Brother Marsh said the Old Testament bears witness of Christ in the following ways:
- The names of Old Testament prophets remind people to look to Jehovah for salvation, such as Elijah (Jehovah is my God) and Elisha (God is my salvation).
- Events in the lives of Old Testament prophets bear witness of Christ.
- Ordinances and types foreshadow Christ's atoning sacrifice.
- The book lets members view the lives of righteous individuals who stand as witnesses for God and who were witnesses for His gospel.
- It teaches of Christ's Second Coming.
- The book teaches about the Savior's mission.
- This scripture teaches about the Savior's character.
"The Old Testament truly is one of the great witnesses for the Savior," Brother Marsh said. "We don't need to fear it. We don't need to worry about it. We just need to treasure it. To read it, looking for pearls."