The Old Testament is filled with prophecies pointing to a coming Messiah ("the Anointed"); some are vague and obscure, others direct and easier to understand.
After Adam and Eve sinned, the first clue that there would be deliverance from sin and death is given in Genesis 3:14. God curses the serpent (Satan) and says: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." A glimmer of hope is given that Satan will be destroyed.
Years afterward, because Abram (later "Abraham") obeys God and leaves everything behind to go to a promised land, God gives him the promise, …"In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3) Abraham remains faithful to God, even to the point of sacrificing his son Isaac, at which time God repeats the promise, extending it to Abraham's offspring. (Gen. 22:18) Then to Isaac's son Jacob God gives the promise again: "…In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 28:14) Paul explains in the New Testament that that seed is Christ. (Gal. 3:16)
The promises, though not totally understood, continue. God tells Moses that he will raise up a Prophet from among the Israelites "like unto thee…" (Deuteronomy 18:18, 19) Acts 3:20-22 relates this to the "times of restitution of all things," which happens when Jesus returns from heaven.
In Psalm 9, verses 7-9, God promises that His Son will rule the earth.
Isaiah includes many references to the Messiah. In chapter 7:14 the Messiah's virgin birth is foretold, and in chapter 9:6,7 the purpose of the Child's birth is declared – He is to sit on David's throne and to establish a kingdom. Isaiah 11 reiterates this, and it details the type of kingdom it will be – "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth…. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (verses 4-9)
No wonder "the people were in expectation" of a Messiah. (John 3:15) The promised kingdom to be ushered in by Messiah would be glorious!
However, throughout the Old Testament are also indications that before this wonderful kingdom would be set up, the Messiah would have to suffer and die. Psalm 22 describes the suffering of the Messiah. Verse 8 was unwittingly quoted almost verbatim by the chief priests, scribes and elders during the crucifixion (Matt. 27:41-43). Isaiah foretells more of our Savior's suffering, especially in chapter 53. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…. All we like sheep have gone astray… and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth…. he hath poured out his soul unto death… and made intercession for the transgressors." (Verses 5-12)
The rulers of Jesus' day were blinded to these prophecies by their hardness of heart and therefore failed to accept the Messiah.