In recent years, my daughter has become fascinated with the history of the indigenous people in northern Michigan where she lives. One summer afternoon when I was visiting, she showed me a road that had a sign designating “Trail Trees.” She explained to me that it’s believed that long ago the Native Americans bent young trees to point the way to specific destinations and that they continued to grow in an unusual shape.
The Old Testament serves a similar purpose. Many commands and teachings of the Bible direct our hearts to the way the Lord wants us to live. The Ten Commandments are great examples of that. But in addition, the prophets of the Old Testament pointed the way to a coming Messiah. Thousands of years before Jesus came, they spoke of Bethlehem—Jesus’ birthplace (see Micah 5:2 and Matt. 2:1-6). They described Jesus’ death on the cross in striking detail (see Ps. 22:14-18 and John 19:23-24). And Isaiah 53:1-12 points to the sacrifice Jesus would make as the Lord “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (v.6; see Luke 23:33).
Millennia ago, God’s Old Testament servants pointed to God’s Son—Jesus—the One who has now “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4). He is the way to life.