[Jesus is coming. Every Christian had heard this message before. Every generation since Jesus ascended including the Apostles has thought and lived as though Jesus could return at any time; in fact the Bible very much encourages even commands this philosophy. But sometimes people get discouraged thinking that it's been almost two thousand years since the resurrected Christ returned to heaven. Sometimes we look up and say "How long Lord?" this question is even prophesied in Revelation 6. This week we will look at the promise of Christ from a different perspective. Instead of thinking about our wait for Christ's return, we will look at the promise of his first coming, the Old Testament Prophecies where God promised or foretold that Messiah would come.
Time does not really permit that we could look at all the prophecies of Jesus. Some have counted over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament that Christ fulfilled. So we will look at a few today, and I'll provide a link showing more in the class notes I send out.
Speaking of a long wait, you can't get much earlier than the first human family; they were the first people to whom God revealed his plan.]
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity; Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
[Jesus was the seed of a woman, but not of a man due to his miraculous virgin conception. This one was only partially fulfilled by the birth of Christ, in my opinion the last part is reserved for the final defeat of Satan, also prophesied for the end of days. Though some would argue that deal was sealed with the resurrection of Christ.]
Micah 5:2 " But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
[Of course this one was fulfilled in Luke 2 when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but notice that Messiah had to be God incarnate, for no one else is eternal, as all things were made by him. Revelation 13 also tells us that the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world.]
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us).
[Again the virgin birth, and the proof that Messiah had to be God incarnate, and no one else. Jesus truly is "God with us".]
Isaiah 11:1-2 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
[Through Mary, Jesus was a descendent of Jesse; this passage was also quoted by Paul in Romans 15:12]
Isaiah 49:1-6 "Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The LORD has called Me from the womb;
From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me."
3 " And He said to me,
' You are My servant, O Israel,
In whom I will be glorified.'
4 Then I said, 'I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;
Yet surely my just reward is with the LORD,
And my work with my God.'"
5 " And now the LORD says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD,
And My God shall be My strength),
6 Indeed He says,
' It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
[Jesus is a light to the Gentiles. Anthropology tells us most families or people groups have died off or been assimilated into others. Some ask would God really preserve a remnant of one family (Abraham) as distinctive, so that he could redeem them? Yes, he would; not because they were so virtuous, but because God promised. Moreover this passage shows that just redeeming Israel was too small a task for Messiah, but that Jesus would bring salvation "to the ends of the earth". Funny how that passage sounds a lot like the Great Commission.]
1 doubted by those who saw him
3 rejected by his people
5 punished for us
7 the uncomplaining Lamb
9 buried by the rich
12 bore our sins, numbered with transgressors
1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
2 The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
[Zebulun and Naphtali were on the northern border of Galilee and were the first to be attacked each time an army came from the north. This is where Jesus began to preach after John the Baptist was jailed. Jesus quotes this passage in Mathew 4. This was one of the darkest places for the Jews, but it was where the Light of the World began to shine.]
3 You have multiplied the nation
And increased its joy;
They rejoice before You
According to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden
And the staff of his shoulder,
The rod of his oppressor,
As in the day of Midian.
5 For every warrior's sandal from the noisy battle,
And garments rolled in blood,
Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
[Salvation is often explained in terms of slavery and freedom. When the Assyrians took captives they were know to literally put them in a yoke of bondage like a farm animal. This would be a physical restraint, but also a sign of public shame. So it is with sin, as every sin is eventually revealed and people are ashamed of what they have done. We saw this in Genesis when Adam and Eve tried to hide their shame from God. In Like 4 Jesus read from Isaiah 61 and affirmed that he had come to release man from the captivity of sin. Just as God broke the rod of oppression in Egypt, so the oppressors of the earth will also be destroyed in the final judgment.]
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
[I love this passage and it is often quoted this time of year. But don't just look at the beauty of the words, and miss the details of Messiah.
- Born as a child a descendent of David
- He will govern God's people in justice and peace
- He will be called "Wonderful", "Counselor", "Mighty God", "Everlasting Father", "Prince of Peace". Some get a little confused by Messiah as "Everlasting Father" but this simply reveals that he also is eternal, and one with the father, in other words, fully God.
- He will rule on the throne of David, establishing his perfect government on earth.
- All this is performed by the zeal of the Lord, not by the will of man. This is a work that the Lord has planned, put in motion, and will fulfill in himself.
The church has waited two thousand years for the second coming, but humanity waited thousands more for the first. Yet everything was accomplished in the fullness of time, just as God had promised. And that is exactly how the second coming will be also; God's plan, His purpose, His power, all in His time.
This Christmas we can have full confidence in the God who knows the future, and always keeps his promises. My Favorite genealogy in the Bible is Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. The Jews of Jesus time were always proud of saying "we are Abraham's children". But it was never the virtue of Abraham that drew God's attention to his children; it was always God's grace. You see it was Abraham was who God had promised. Abraham found grace just like Noah, just like David, just like us; because redemption was always God's plan.]