Where Is the Promise of the Gospel Found in the Pentateuch?

God’s Promise Throughout

The easy answer to that is everywhere. Immediately after the fall into sin, Yahweh God is speaking to the serpent and cursing the serpent. But before he does that he says, I’m going to put enmity between you and the woman and her seed.

He’s saying that there are going to be two lineages, two seeds: one of the woman and one of the serpent. Ultimately, the seed of the serpent is going to bruise the heel of the seed of the woman. I like to ask my kids, How does a poisonous, slithering snake kill a person? Well, they slither up to the heel and bite and inject poison.

The Dawning of Redemption

Ian J. Vaillancourt

In this accessible book, Ian J. Vaillancourt gives Christians a helpful introduction to the Pentateuch as the essential first act in the Bible’s grand story of redemption.

The seed of the woman is going to crush the head of the serpent. If my wife sees a snake outside—which doesn’t happen very often—it’s not pretty. If I go up and cut off its tail or cut it in two, the front half will just slither away. The way to kill a snake is to crush its head, or cut off its head. And in a similar way, this is an image of two lineages that are going to come and they are going to be in conflict with one another.

But ultimately, the seed of the woman is going to prevail, even though he’s going to die a real death. Now, that’s a picture. We would never get this from Genesis 3:15, but as we see the progressive revelation throughout the Old and New Testaments, and as we see Jesus dying a real death on the cross, he's winning the ultimate victory over Satan, sin, death, and hell for us.

Jesus is also the ultimate sacrifice that purchased us out of sin, death, and hell. Isn’t that wonderful?

Genesis 1 begins with God speaking, and then it happening. Well, what does John 1 say? Jesus is the Word through whom the world was created. We could also look at Deuteronomy. We've got this promise in Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses says, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen . . .” And then in Deuteronomy 18:18 Yahweh says, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

And so here’s this promise of a prophet like Moses that’s going to come. Well, when Jesus comes, what do people keep saying? Are you the prophet? Or at Jesus’s baptism, This is my beloved Son with whom is all my delight. Listen to him. Listen to him? That sounds a whole lot like the listen to him in Deuteronomy 18.

Jesus is also the ultimate sacrifice that purchased us out of sin, death, and hell. Isn’t that wonderful? All throughout the Pentateuch we’ve got these pointers to Jesus. And the New Testament often shows us how Jesus fulfilled these things.

We, as readers, often are so much less familiar with the Pentateuch, while being more familiar with the New Testament. But I hope we can dive deeply into the Pentateuch, be equipped to read it on our own, and notice some details. And then when we read the New Testament, we’ll be able to see things in a lot more plasma color, awesome, high definition—whatever the latest, greatest technology is—as we’re reading.

Ian J. Vaillancourt is the author of The Dawning of Redemption: The Story of the Pentateuch and the Hope of the Gospel.

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