Seers Point Us To Jesus

‘Seers’ is another name for what the Bible calls ‘prophets.’ Prophets are those who are inspired by God to teach the will of God and foretell future events before they happen. Take for instance the following passage:

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”[1]

Do you know who this passage of scripture is talking about? The majority of people when presented with this passage guess that it is talking about Jesus of Nazareth. The interesting thing about this passage is that it was written over 750 years before Jesus was born. This passage of scripture shows how fulfilled prophecy can be a great evidence that the Bible is from God and that Jesus is who He claims to be. There are hundreds of such prophecies like the one above given to us in the Bible. According to most scholars, there are 300-400 Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and His kingdom. These prophecies were written between 400-2500 years before the time Jesus lived on the earth. We have a very clear “prophetic fingerprint” of what the Messiah and His work would be like. When we think about fingerprint evidence, we know that each person has unique ridges on their fingers. When afingerprint print is found somewhere at a crime scene, and it matches the pattern of ridges on someone’s finger, investigators can conclude with scientific certainty that this person touched that object and was at the scene of the crime. But what does this have to do with the Messiah? The multitude of prophecies we have about the Messiah in the Old Testament can be fulfilled in only one person. They are in a sense a “prophetic fingerprint.” The person who would claim to be God’s Messiah must fulfill each and every single prophecy given in the Old Testament. He must match the prophetic fingerprint exactly. If someone fulfilled all of these prophecies, it would be a fact that they are the Messiah. The mathematical probability that all of these prophesies would be fulfilled in one man is astronomical. Statistician Peter Stoner reports that the probability of just eight of these prophecies about one person being fulfilled by chance is 1 in 1017.  That number has 17 zeroes! He also reports that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled by chance in one man is 1×10157. The probability of this many prophecies being fulfilled accidentally by one man is impossible.

I will only look at a handful of the prophecies given to us about the Messiah.  Keep this in mind: if it cannot be shown that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, then His claims to be the Messiah were a lie, and we are wasting our time here. But if he did fulfill the prophecies, then He is who He claimed to be, and we must submit to Him as God’s Messiah.

There are three main areas of prophecy that we are going to explore in this study. First let’s explore

The Messiah: God’s Anointed King
The term “Messiah” means “anointed one”. In the Old Testament, God had the kings of Israel anointed to become kings. God foretold of an anointed King many times within the Old Testament who would be given an eternal throne by Him. This is the promise that God gave to David in 2 Samuel 7. God promised to build David a dynasty. This dynasty would include the Messiah. God says that He “will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (v13). Later in Isaiah 9:6-7, God says that a child would be born who would be given the government and that the increase of it “would have no end.” The Messiah would sit “upon the throne of David” and reign “from that time forward, even forever.” We are also given a prophecy in Daniel 2 which shows when the kingdom of the Messiah would spread over the whole world. Daniel sees a vision of four successive world empires. The first was the kingdom which was then in power at Daniel’s time, the Babylonian Empire. The second would be the Medo-Persian Empire. The third would be the Greek Empire, and the fourth would be the Roman Empire. During the time of this fourth empire, we are told, “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed…” (Daniel 2:44).

When Jesus preached during His ministry, a key theme of His preaching was the coming kingdom. He preached the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23; 9:35), and He also taught His disciples how they were to conduct themselves as kingdom citizens (Matthew 5-7). Then, after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples went out into the world preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Acts 8:12; 19:8). They preached that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed King of God who was reigning on the throne of David. The Apostle Peter preached that Jesus, after His resurrection, was “exalted to the right hand of God” to reign (Acts 2:33). He also said, “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.’ ” “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (a kingly title)—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:34-36). The disciples were persecuted for preaching that there was another King who all people needed to submit to and call their Lord (Acts 17:7; Romans 10:9). Stephen, right before he was stoned to death, did not hesitate to proclaim Jesus as the King who is standing and reigning at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56). Many Christians were willing to die for the truth that Jesus is King.

As prophesied, all of these things happened during the time of the Roman Empire. Jesus set up His spiritual Kingdom of which all who become Christians are added to. “He [God] rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). Jesus Christ is the prophesied king that all must submit to and call their Lord.

The Messiah: The God-Man

The second group of prophecies we are going to examine are prophecies that refer to Jesus as being God in human flesh.

Unlike many kings of the time who would want their subjects to look at them as a god (even though they were not), we are told in the Old Testament that the coming King, the Messiah, would not just be a man, but also would be God. He would be God in human flesh. For instance, in Isaiah 7:14, the Spirit says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” The Messiah would be called “Immanuel”, which means “God with us.” He would be God in the flesh dwelling amongst His people. Two chapters later, Isaiah says about the Messiah, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us…And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God…” (Isaiah 9:6). Also, in Psalm 45:6-7, God speaks to His King about His throne. He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows” (Psalm 45:6-7). This passage speaks of someone who is God (who is king) being anointed by His God.

The Messiah, to fulfill these prophecies, would need to prove that He is God. To make the claim is one thing, but to prove it is another! We see Jesus of Nazareth do both in Mark 2:1-13. In this account, Jesus had a full house of people who wanted to see Him and hear His teaching. We at this time are introduced to a group of men who wanted to bring their friend, who was paralyzed, to Jesus to be healed. It was impossible for them to get in through the door because of the crowd, so they climbed up on the roof, dug a hole in it, and let the paralytic down through the opening they had created. When Jesus saw the faith they had demonstrated, He told the lame man that his sins were forgiven. The scribes who were present thought to themselves that Jesus blasphemed God because when Jesus told this man that his sins were forgiven, He was claiming to do something that ONLY God could do. Then the account gets interesting. The account told us that Jesus knew that they were thinking these things, and then goes on to prove that He does have the authority (as God) to forgive sins. He says, “so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home” (Mark 2:10-11). To prove His ability to forgive sins (something invisible and therefore impossible to verify), He healed the paralytic.

If only God can forgive sins, and Jesus proved that He could forgive sins, what does that prove about the nature of Jesus? It shows that Jesus is God. Beyond this account, Jesus continued to make many claims that He was God, including the great passage in John 8:58, when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” He continued to prove His claims by working miracles, which culminated in the ultimate miracle of Him being raised from the dead.

The Messiah: He Must Suffer, Die, and Be Raised

The final group of prophecies we will examine are the prophecies that speak of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah.

The Apostles of Jesus Christ attempted to prove from the Old Testament prophecies many times that the Messiah must suffer and be raised from His tomb (Acts 17:2-3; 26:22-23). Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Part of the gospel message that Paul preached as he went around the world was how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament scriptures by dying for our sins and by being raised from His tomb. These men all saw the resurrected Christ and did not hesitate to show how His resurrection fulfilled prophecy. Peter said in 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.” Surely one of the prophecies that Peter had in mind was Isaiah 53. I quoted verses 5-6 at the beginning of this section. It is a passage that the majority of people know is talking about Jesus. Some other passages which talked about the rejection and death of the Messiah are Psalm 22, Isaiah 50:6, and Psalm 118:22, etc. The eyewitness testimony shows that Jesus did fulfill the prophecies in His death, even having both His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16). Peter said on the day of Pentecost about the resurrection of Christ, “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25“For David says of Him, ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN… BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY… 29“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. 32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:24-32). Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11, 2 Samuel 7:12f, and Psalm 110:1 to prove that it was prophesied that the Messiah must be raised from the dead and ascend to Heaven to reign.

Jesus, in His lifetime, told the disciples on many occasions what would happen to Him. He told them that He would be rejected by the Jews, would suffer at the hands of the Gentiles, would be put to death, and would be resurrected (Luke 9:22; 17:25, 22:15). Before He ascended to His throne, He said to His disciples:

“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, 47and 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” (Luke 24:44-48).

Conclusion

God’s King, Jesus Christ, fulfilled these prophecies along with over 100 others. These prophecies show us how the Old Testament points us to Jesus. He matches the prophetic fingerprint. No other man has done so but Him.

Go Back To Main Menu<<

 


[1] Isaiah 53:5-6

Speak Your Mind

*