Growing up in Nazareth, Jesus did not have the New Testament to learn about His mission. He found that mission described in the Old Testament. And He was incredulous that His disciples didn’t see the same things in it that He did (Luke 24:25, 26, 27).
We cannot know all of the Old Testament verses which New Testament saints identified as speaking of Messiah’s resurrection, but we can know the ones that were identified as such in the New Testament. Therefore, we begin with those before proceeding to the Old Testament itself (farther below).
Some of the passages give specific Old Testament verses that refer to Messiah’s resurrection while others are general statements about the presence of such passages in the Old Testament.
Acts 2:24-32 – In this passage Peter identifies Psalm 16:10 as applying to Messiah’s resurrection (in this regard, see especially Acts 2:29-31).
Acts 2:32-36 – In this passage Peter tells his audience that Psalm 110:1 spoke of Messiah’s resurrection.
Acts 3:22, 23 – In this passage, Peter says that Moses’ prophecy referred to the resurrection of Messiah.
Acts 4:8-12 – In this passage Peter is saying that Psalm 118:22 speaks of Messiah’s resurrection from the dead.
Acts 13:32-33 – In this passage Paul says that Psalm 2:7 speaks of Messiah’s resurrection from the dead.
Acts 13:34 – In this passage Paul says that Isaiah 55:3 speaks of Messiah’s resurrection.
Acts 13:35-37 – In this passage Paul says that Psalm 16:10 speaks of Messiah’s resurrection.
Old Testament Passages Invoked by the New Testament
Deuteronomy 18:15 (quoted in Acts 3:22 and 7:37) – “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you…”
Deuteronomy 18:18 – “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you…”
Psalm 2:7 – “…Today I have begotten You.” – That this phrase speaks of Messiah’s resurrection is a point Paul makes in Acts 13:32-33. Here in this phrase, David is building on what the Lord had spoken to him through the prophet Nathan – “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me” (2 Samuel 7:14).
Psalm 16:8-11 – See note on Acts 2:22-32 above.
Psalm 110:1 – In the New Testament (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-47; and elsewhere), this verse is applied to Jesus and His resurrection. For before His resurrection, there would be insufficient basis for David calling His descendant “lord.” See note on Acts 2:32-36 above.
Psalm 118:22-23 – “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” – In the New Testament (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:7), these verses are described as applying to Jesus. Without the resurrection, such an application would make no sense.
Isaiah 11:10 (quoted in Romans 15:12)
Old Testament Passages Not Invoked by the New Testament
Isaiah 60:1, 2, 3
Jeremiah 23:5 – “…I will raise up for David a righteous Branch…”
Micah 2:13 – “The breaker goes up before them…”
Micah 5:4, 5 – “And He will arise and shepherd his flock…”
Zechariah 4:10 – God would make an entirely new creation by first raising one humble man.
Malachi 4:2 – “the sun of righteousness will rise“