the major religions in the world there are:
billion Christians (33% of the world’s population)
billion Muslims (21%)
million Hindus (14%)
million Buddists (6%)
there are over 4,300 faith groups.
why believe Christianity? Why do 1/3 of the people in the world believe that
Christianity is the one religion that is the most correct?
the One who holds the universe together (Colossians 1:17, “He
is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”).
Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as
head over all things to the church…”).
Jesus is the foundation of each one of
our lives (1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the
one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”).
Christianity is founded upon and centered
around Jesus Christ (hence its name).
Christ is the foundation of everything. He isn’t the One who merely started
Christianity; He IS Christianity. So then why should we believe who and what He
Matthew 17 Jesus took His three closest disciples--Peter, James, and John—with
Him to a high mountain. So right here we see four of close friends on top of a
mountain. They were above everyone else. The view was spectacular. This alone
made for a special time. But then Jesus started to shine like the sun. I’m sure
that the disciples had to shield their eyes at least at first. And then quite
amazingly, two of the OT’s greatest prophets appeared—Moses and Elijah. But
these two didn’t just hang in the air like some mystical apparitions or ghosts.
They spoke to the disciples. This was now more than just a special time; it was
an amazing, once in 10,000 years time. And then, as if that all wasn’t enough,
God the Father appeared above them in a bright cloud and spoke quite
authoritatively to everyone, “This is My
beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” Try and picture this: everyone is
on top of a mountain, Jesus is transfigured, Moses and Elijah are there
chatting away, God the Father is above everyone commanding obedience. The
disciples are face down on the ground in terror. All of this is probably happening
quickly. And then… it is all over. No more lights, no more noises, no more long
gone prophets. It is quiet. Only the cool mountain air is gently blowing. The
disciples gingerly look up.
here we read Matthew 17:8 which is our key verse for this entire study.
“And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.”
When our life is a swirl
When we may have just experienced our greatest triumph
Or we just hit our lowest point
When all of that has settled and our eyes come back into focus,
we should see no one except Jesus Himself alone. He is our foundation. He is
our rock, our fortress, our deliverer. He is our all in all. When all is said
and done, there stands Jesus. Everything else melts away.
In Mark 10:46-52 Jesus is leaving Jericho with a large crowd
and a blind beggar named Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of
David, have mercy on me!” Jesus responded with “Call him here.” When
they brought the blind beggar to Him, Jesus’ first question was “What do you
want Me to do for you?” Perhaps the greatest question ever asked. The Almighty,
infinitely powerful Creator God asking the lowest member of mankind, one
rejected by the rest of society clothed in rags sitting in dirt, “What do you
want Me to do for you?” Perhaps the beggar shot too low by only asking for his
sight. But never-the-less, a question that, I believe, Jesus still asks us
today and awaits our response in prayer. But does this question even matter?
Did it matter then? Does it matter now and, if so, then why? We believe that
this question still matters tremendously. It is because we believe that Jesus
had the power and the compassion to answer the beggar’s request and that Jesus
still has those same attributes today. That is why we pray to Jesus. But who is
Jesus and why do we think that praying to Him will do anything at all?
I believe that Jesus matters, but not in a peripheral way.
Not in the same way that George Washington matters. Yes, George Washington does
matter, but it is possible that someone else could have done what he did.
Someone could have stepped into his shoes and did as competent a job. But Jesus
is unique. No one could do or be what Jesus Christ is and was. I believe that
Jesus Christ is the center of everything. And this series will attempt to prove
that, and even more so, to deepen our understanding of who Jesus is.
The goal of this study is not to get more of Jesus into our
lives, but to get more of our lives into Jesus. Now at first hearing that
sounds like a clever and profound Christian saying. But on further reflection
you might starting wondering if it is really just another one of those clever
but totally impractical Christian sayings; one that sheds more heat than light.
But upon a third and more thorough mediation, you start to see what it really
is getting at. Our lives are busy. We have work and home, the internet and
social media, soccer and scouts for the kids, cooking, hobbies, holidays, and
cell phone apps. So when we feel convicted, we try to shoehorn Jesus into the
open cracks in our lives. We’ll pray for a few more minutes each day. Or
determine to read our Bibles every morning before breakfast. Though this isn’t
bad; it isn’t good enough. Jesus becomes “filler”—important filler—but filler
none-the-less. He’s become the Styrofoam peanuts that we pack around the rest
of our lives. We’re bringing Jesus down to us.
What we should be doing, instead, is making our lives in all
parts and in all aspects to become more like Christ. All of our thoughts should
be taken captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Our words
should be filled with grace (Colossians 4:6). Our plans should always have as
their goal to glorify God in all ways (1 Corinthians 6:20). We are, in this
case, bringing ourselves up to Jesus. He is not just filling in spaces; He is
the determiner of every aspect of our lives. And this is the way that it should
Napoleon said, "I know men and I tell you that Jesus
Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is
no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have
founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon
force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of
men would die for Him."
I ran a booth for our church at a town festival. We gave
away free Bibles, tracts, and brochures and had people available to talk about
who Jesus is and what He did for us. I was talking to one man when after a
short time he blurted out, “Why do you bother with this nonsense? There are so
many better things in the world to spend your time on.” Then he walked away
before I could respond.
So often people and our culture try to persuade us to choose
something other than Jesus. In Matthew 27 Pilate gave the people a choice of
which prisoner to release: Barabbas or Jesus. Barabbas was a robber and a
murderer; he was involved in a rebellion against Rome and noted as a notorious
prisoner. Jesus healed the lame, blind, and lepers. He fed thousands. The
choice seemed obvious. However, some people went through the crowd and
persuaded them to choose Barabbas. The Creator was rejected and led away to His
trial and death.
Still today the voice of the world calls us to choose
something other than the risen Savior. It wants us to give our time, money,
loyalty, and attention to anything else. But like those disciples who followed
Jesus to the empty tomb we need to resist those voices and press on with our
eyes fixed firmly on Him. May the Master’s voice, ever so gentle, cut through
the din of the world.
May this series on who Jesus is enable us to recognize that
voice and to know more clearly and deeply the One who is speaking.
Jesus in OT Prophecy
Many of the studies in this series are going to start with
the question, “Why?” Why was it crucial that the Messiah be God? Why did Jesus
have to be born as a baby? Why did Jesus have to do miracles?
And so for this study on Jesus in Old Testament prophecy we
are going to ask, “Why was it important to have OT prophecies about the
One key that we all need to keep in mind as we examine this
subject is the sovereignty of God. God made over 300 decrees in the OT
regarding the Messiah and He made sure that no matter the culture, no matter
the individual people involved, no matter amount of righteousness or sin, He
would ensure that every one of these over 300 prophecies would come to pass in
exactly the way that He said. No lack of cooperation or disobedience would
thwart even one of these. Remember Psalm 115:3, “But our God
is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” Keep this in mind as we
study this subject and realize that God’s sovereignty is not limited to these
prophecies. It also extends to our own individual lives. God is sovereign in
our circumstances, in the people around us, and in every aspect of what happens
There are many ways that Jesus confirmed that He was the
Messiah. But one that He most often appealed to was that He fulfilled OT
For example, after the Resurrection on the Road to Emmaus
two men who discussing all that had recently happened such as Jesus of
Nazareth, His crucifixion, and resurrection and how it was all so confusing.
Then Jesus appeared to them and Luke 24:25-27 reads,
He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to
believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was
it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His
glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses
and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself
in all the Scriptures.
Later on when the risen Jesus appeared to
His disciples for the first time the first proof that He gave of His reality
was His physical appearance: “Why are you troubled, and
why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See
My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does
not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” But once He established who
He was then in order to answer the “why” He once again appealed to OT prophecy.
We read in Luke 24:44-48,
He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to
you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in
the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the
Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from
the dead the third day, 47 and that
repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the
nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You
are witnesses of these things.
Jesus did not appeal to reason or logic or
philosophy. He appealed to verifiable facts. He essentially said, “This is what
the Scriptures said the Messiah would do and you saw what I did. If it all
matches then I am He.”
Matthew 26:53-55 is another Scripture that verifies the
importance of Jesus fulfilling OT prophecies. It is right before His
do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My
disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How
then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen
that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out
with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every
day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.
And again in Luke 24:44,
“This is what I told you while I was still with you:
Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the
Prophets and the Psalms!”
And even after Jesus’ Ascension, the rest of
the NT writers pointed to Jesus as the Messiah by referring to OT prophecy.
Acts 3:18, “But the
things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that
His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.”
At the beginning the church in Acts 17:2-3
we again see this importance.
according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned
with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining
and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead,
and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
And perhaps the most concise and clear
presentation of the Gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I
preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by
which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of
first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according
to the Scriptures,
that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the
Notice in Paul’s concise presentation of
the Gospel, which is verses three and four. What phrase appears twice? It is
“according to the Scriptures.” Out of 41 words, eight of them or 20%, make
reference to OT prophecies. Was the fulfillment of OT prophecies important?
OK, but why was this important?
Throughout history, many people have
claimed to be the Messiah. One website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_messiah_claimants) records 33 people who claimed or currently claim to be the
Christian messiah. These include David Koresh and Father Divine. It also
records 21 people who claimed to be the Jewish messiah or whose followers made
such a claim. So how do we know which one is really the one and only messiah?
And I’m sure that you can add to that list thousands more, most of whom never
made headlines for their claim.
So out of that list, how do we, those who
have never seen Jesus and who live 2,000 years after He walked on the Earth,
know that He is the true one and only Messiah? One solid reason is because we
can hold the OT in our hands and read about the coming Messiah knowing full
well that they were written centuries before His time. And then we open up the
NT and read about Jesus’ life and compare. Did He fulfill every single one of
these prophecies? Yes. Did David Koresh? Not even one. Did any of the others?
Perhaps some fulfilled several. But every one of the hundreds? There was only
How many OT prophesies are there regarding
Jesus? The numbers vary.
Biblical scholar Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) who wrote “The
Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” claimed that there are 456 passages in the
Old Testament that refer to the Messiah.
One popular number used by many is 315.
I have also seen 400, 324, and 365. There is a core of
hundreds of prophecies that everyone agrees on, but then there are about 100 or
so that are debated as to whether they are messianic or not.
The key point is that because of the OT
messianic prophecies, we do not have to believe that Jesus is the Christ based
on blind faith. Christianity is never about blind faith. We are not gullible
fools who believe anything that sounds good without even the slightest sliver
of verifiable fact. The OT prophecies fulfilled in Jesus is something that we
can hold onto. It is verifiable and not just by the first generation, but by
every generation forever. It is not an insubstantial belief.
What is a Prophecy?
What is prophecy?
The Greek word means “to announce, to say
beforehand, to foretell.”
What is the purpose of prophecy? Each
prophecy whether Messianic or not will fulfill at least one of the following
1) To warn of judgment and so motivate us to change our thoughts,
actions, and attitudes
To validate a person
To validate an event
To validate God’s will
To validate the Bible
To give hope especially when times are difficult
7) It gives a sense of urgency
It has been said that around 25% of the
Bible is prophetic.
In this study we are mainly looking at how
prophecy validates a person, which is the second one listed, and that person is
What are some of the prophecies? I’ll list five of them in
detail and then mention a few of the others.
The very first Messiah prophecy is in Genesis:
Messiah would be the "seed of the woman" that would crush the
Written around 1513 BC
And I will put
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.
But when the
fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under
1 John 3:8
the one who
practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The
Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
In all of Scripture, only one man, Jesus Christ of course,
was "born of the seed of a woman." All of the others are born of the
seed of a man. This One will come into the world and crush Satan ("bruise
2. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem
Written around 717 BC
But as for you,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Now after Jesus
was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the
east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
3. The Messiah will publically enter Jerusalem
Written around 648 BC
Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
When they had
approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then
Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to
them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately
you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and
bring them to Me. 3 If anyone says
anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he
will send them.
4. The Messiah will heal
Written around 732 BC
Isaiah 35:2b, 5-6
They will see the
glory of the Lord,
The majesty of our God.
Then the lame will
leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah.
Now when John,
while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his
disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You
the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4 Jesus
answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what
you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the
deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel
preached to them.
5. The Messiah will be sold for thirty pieces of silver
Written around 518 BC
I said to them,
“If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, [t]never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as
Then one of the
twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to
betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.
Fifteen other OT Prophecies fulfilled in
6. The Messiah will be called Immanuel
Isaiah 7:14 (732 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:22, Matthew 1:23
7. Thirty pieces of silver given to the
Zechariah 11:13 (518 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:7
8. Pierced through hands and feet
Psalm 22:16 (460 BC)
Fulfilled: John 19:18
9. After crucifixion His bones will not be
Psalm 22:17 (460 BC)
Fulfilled: John 19:31-33,36
10. The Messiah will be a descendent of Judah
Genesis 49:10 (1513 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:2
11. At the crucifixion they will gamble for
Psalm 22:18 (460 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:35
12. At the crucifixion the Messiah will be
given vinegar and gall to drink
Psalm 69:21 (460 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:34
13. The Messiah will be buried with the rich
Isaiah 53:9 (732 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:59-60
14. The Messiah will be crucified with
Isaiah 53:12 (732 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 27:38
15. The Messiah will enter Jerusalem riding a
Zechariah 9:9 (518 BC)
Fulfilled: Matthew 21:1-11
In Luke 24 after Jesus’ resurrection two men were walking on the road
to Emmaus. Jesus joined them, but they did not know who He was. He asked them
what they were talking about and they told Him about the events surrounding
Jesus’ passion and resurrection. The in verses 25 and 26:
25 And He said
to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in
all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was
it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His
Then Jesus gave them what was and always will be the world’s greatest
Bible study. Now what did He talk about? Since His crucifixion just happened
days earlier did He explain sin and atonement? No. Since the resurrection just
happened that morning did He speak about debt paid and eternal life? No. Did He
discuss His deity?--His incarnation? No and no. Verse 27 reads, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to
them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” After perhaps the
two greatest events in the history of the universe, Jesus taught about how He
fulfilled Biblical prophecy.
This subject is not just important; it is crucial.
Jesus is not just another character in the Bible. He is, indeed, THE Bible. He
is its focal point. He is its subject on every page. We read the Bible not to
learn rules. We read the Bible not to become smarter or more religious. We read
the Bible to become more acquainted who is “The Word.” We read the Bible so
that our eyes might be opened so that we might see Jesus more.
All of this sounds good, but are there other, just as
These OT prophecies were actually written at or
after the time of Jesus and so were forced to be correct.
It is generally agreed on that the OT was completed by 450 BC. This is
centuries before Jesus was born.
But if you do not accept that then realize that there was a
Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. It was started
around 3rd century B.C. and completed in 132 BC. Modern scholarship
holds that the Septuagint was written during the 3rd through 1st centuries BC.
It was initiated by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into
Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. Ptolemy II lived from 309 BC to 246 BC.
It has all 39 books of the OT. So the Septuagint clearly puts the writing of
the OT prophecies at over 130 before Jesus’ birth.
Also, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain parts of every book in
the OT except for Ester. Jewish scholars put the bulk of the manuscripts as to
having been written between the third century and first century BC. Based on
radiocarbon dating and paleographic dating (analysis of handwriting) the date
of origin is estimated to be between 225 B.C. and 33 A.D.
So is it possible that these OT
prophecies were written after Jesus was born? The evidence is pretty
substantial that they were not.
Jesus wanted to be a hero and so He deliberately
fulfilled them Himself.
This problem with this objection is that many prophecies were outside of
His control. Some such prophecies (and there are more) are:
from Jacob (Numbers 24:17)
from David (Jeremiah 23:5)
of birth (Micah 5:2)
would kill many children (Jeremiah 31:15)
would be preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3)
would be sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12)
with thieves (Isaiah 53:12)
bones would not be broken (Psalm 34:20)
side would be pierced (Zechariah 12:10)
10) Buried in a rich man’s
tomb (Isaiah 53:9)
So even if Jesus were able to deliberately fulfill many of
the prophecies there are far too many that He could not have manipulated.
Someone would have fulfilled all of these prophecies
sometime and Jesus just happened to be the one who got lucky
The truth is that it is nearly impossible for someone to
just “happen” to fulfill all of these prophecies.
Professor Peter Stoner in the book Science
Speaks calculated the odds of one Person fulfilling just eight of these
prophecies. The prophecies that he chose were:
His place of birth (Micah 5:2)
The time of birth (Daniel 9:25)
The manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14)
How He was betrayed (Zechariah 11:11-13)
The manner of His Death (Psalm 22:16)
The piercing of His hands, feet and side (Psalm
22, Zechariah 12:10)
The fact that people mocked Him (Isaiah 53,
How He was buried (Isaiah 53:9)
He found the odds to be 1 in 1017.
To put this in perspective, this many silver dollars would cover the state of
Texas two feet deep. Mark only one of these silver dollars and then mix them
all up with bulldozers. Now blindfold someone fly them over this huge pile in a
helicopter. Then at some point when he tells you to stop let him parachute
down, run his hands through the pile and pick only one coin. That this would be
the one and only marked coin is the same odds as 1 in 1017.
George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated
that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies to be 1 in 10157.
The estimated number of electrons in the entire universe is only around 1079.
Was it just luck that Jesus happened to
fulfill all 315 of these prophecies? I think that the odds speak for
themselves. Is Jesus Christ the Messiah that was prophesized in the OT?
The Apostles deliberately and falsely wrote the NT so that
Jesus would fulfill these prophecies
There are several
reasons for this being not valid.
For one, all of the
Apostles except for John were martyred.
Bartholomew was beaten and then beheaded.
James the son of Alphaeus was beaten, stoned, and
Andrew, Philip, Simon, and Jude were crucified.
Peter was crucified upside down.
Thomas and Matthew were killed with a spear.
James son of Zebedee was executed with a sword.
If they knew that Jesus was a lie then at any
point and especially just before their deaths any one of them could have just
laughed, “OK guys, you got me. The gig is up. Yes, this was all just a lie. So
can I go now? See ya. Have a good life.” But even though they were all apart from
each other when this time came, none of them gave in. They did not die trying
to maintain a lie; they died for what they believed was the truth.
No one of any scholarly authority has ever
doubted the validity of the NT. They may doubt certain parts and they may
interpret it differently than tradition, but no one stated that it is all a
this study is focused on OT prophecy, there is another Biblical literary device
that God uses to foretell future events or people and that is foreshadowing.
Hebrews 10:1 tells us that the Old Testament “law is only
a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves.”
Colossians 2:17 also says, “things which are a mere
shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
many examples of Jesus being foreshadowed in the OT.
obvious example is the Passover in Exodus 12. In 1 Corinthians 5:7b we read, “For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” The blood of the
sacrificed lamb on the door meant that God was going to pass over that house
for judgment just as God will pass over those people now who has been washed in
the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
example is Abraham who in Genesis 22 was going to sacrifice his only son,
Isaac, but then God provided a ram as a substitutionary sacrifice.
Then there is Jonah. Matthew 12:39-41
He answered and said to them, “An evil and
adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given
to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for
just as Jonah was three
days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster,
so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the
men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will
condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold,
something greater than Jonah is here.
are many, many other examples.
foreshadows Jesus who was the second Adam.
3:14, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son
of Man be lifted up;”
High Priest in the OT which corresponds to Hebrews 8:1-2, “Now
the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high
priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty
in the heavens,
2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true
tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.”
He was loved by his father.
He was sold by his brethren
He was told into prison; Jesus was thrown into a tomb.
They both emerged from prison/tomb and were exalted.
These things happened to Joseph so that he might save
Joseph forgave his brothers.
was the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:10.
of course, there was Melchizedek.
read in Hebrews 7:1, 14-17, 26-28
this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham
as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to
which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And
this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of
has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but
according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For
it is attested of Him,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
26 For it was
fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated
from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not
need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own
sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for
all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as
high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints
a Son, made perfect forever.
was this mysterious person who appeared for just a few passages in the OT. But
he we see that he was a foreshadow of the Savior who was the perfect priest who
didn’t have to offer up sacrifices first for Himself, but who offered Himself
up as a sacrifice for everyone else.
So why are
OT prophecies concerning the Messiah so important? One key reason is because they
prove that God had a plan. He did not sit around for millennia weighing out the
pros and cons of saving us. Jesus’ incarnation, passion, and resurrection were
not last minute decisions. 2 Samuel 14:14 says, “For we will surely die and are
like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God
does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be
cast out from him.” The immediate context of this verse is the woman of Tekoa
coming to David to convince him to bring his son Absalom back. But the greater
context of God’s character is that God does everything that He can to bring the
lost, the exiled, back to Himself. These OT prophecies prove that God planned
out our salvation before the beginning of time.
prove that Jesus was not just a happy coincidence. We can believe that Jesus is
truly the Messiah, the One who came to save us from our sins, not based on
blind faith but based on verifiable history.