The Old Testament includes a range of themes and concepts later referenced and reinterpreted in the New Testament. For example, Luke’s descriptions of Jesus’ death are thoroughly connected to Zechariah’s prophecy presented in the Old Testament. Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Luke highlights the fulfillment of predictions about the Messiah’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. This paper will analyze the theme of the Crucifixion of Jesus in Old and New Testaments.
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Crucifixion in the Old Testament
The Old Testament contains many examples of prophecies about Jesus’ life and death. One of these prophecies is Crucifixion: “And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (New Revised Standard Version, Zechariah 12:10). As can be seen, the given passage is focused on future actions. Zechariah’s message is a prediction of upcoming events.
Crucifixion in the New Testament
The New Testament includes a passage that is tightly connected to the topic of the previously mentioned quote from the Old Testament: “When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” (New Revised Standard Version, Luke 23:33–38). It can be noted that this passage is written in the past tense and accentuates that the events predicted earlier took place.
Reinterpretation of the Old Testament
The theme of Luke 23:33–38 relates to the Crucifixion of Jesus. The New Testament passage presents the feeling of bitterness found in the Old Testament. Zechariah states that people would not recognize God’s Spirit within Jesus and then be sorry for that: “they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (New Revised Standard Version, Zechariah 12:10). Zechariah does not give exact details but mentions that the People of Israel would mourn after having pierced God and His spirit presented in Jesus. As can be seen, the fundamental assumption here is that the people of Israel would not recognize the real nature of the one they were going to pierce.
On the other hand, the New Testament provides the readers with details regarding the events that happened. Luke confirms prophecy by stating that the Messiah was among the criminals during the execution: “they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left” (New Revised Standard Version, Luke 23:33–38). At the same time, the passage includes Jesus’ attitude of what was happening: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (New Revised Standard Version, Luke 23:33–38). It can be concluded that Luke gives evidence and confirms the prophecy mentioned in Zechariah’s passage.
The paper analyzed the theme of Crucifixion in the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament repeats the message given in the Old Testament. It mentions bitterness, grief, and mourning that people experienced due to the realization that the pierced person was the Son of God. At the same time, Luke’s passage provides the readers with many details about the Crucifixion of Jesus, while the Old Testament gives only general predictions about the Messiah’s death.
The New Oxford Annotated Bible: With the Apocryphal, New Revised Standard Version. Bible Gateway, 2020, Web.
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