Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Messianic Prophecy. Part 4.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

o&: e*paggeliva [epaggelia] noun. 53 occurrences; 1 announcement. 2 promise. 2a the act of promising, a promise given or to be given. 2b a promised good or blessing.

For us, Messianic Prophecy is the study of the Old Testament prophecies about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with particular emphasis on Christ’s work on the Cross.

Did God provide them in their Hebrew Scriptures with the facts concerning Christ so that they are without excuse?

Did Old Testament believers look forward to Christ, and was this Jesus recognizable as their Messiah when He came?

Point 1. The New Testament scriptures, which are all God-breathed just like the Old Testament, dogmatically state that the Old Testament scriptures point to Christ and His work on the cross.

JOH 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

The apostles made the same use of the Old Testament as the LORD did to apply the prophecies to Christ who came, lived, died, and rose again according to the Scriptures.

He points to the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and declares that because Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, He now is the embodiment and proof that the Jews will receive everything promised, ACT 26:6-7.

Everything Paul has declared concerning the Person and Work of Jesus Christ was anticipated in the Messianic prophecies of Moses and the Prophets.

“Must the Messiah suffer?”
“Must He rise from the dead?”
“Must He bring the light of salvation to both the people of Israel and the Gentile nations?”

ISA 49:6 “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 make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

This was so much so that rabbis came to speak of TWO Messiahs: Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David, they would call them.

When the New Testament talks about Christ fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, it talks in terms of the sufferings of Christ followed by the glories.

LUK 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”

REV 5:12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

A. The New Testament is in a position to give us the best view possible concerning Messianic Prophecy, since it was written by Jewish eyewitnesses near in time to the Old Testament.
B. Like a telescope, the Spirit-guided writings bring these precious promises nearer to us, making their outline clearer and more real.
C. It claims to have the right of interpreting the Old Testament, and scrutiny over centuries has justified this claim.

1. Jesus had the highest respect for the Old Testament scriptures. He never accused the spiritual leaders of the Jewish religion of adding to or taking away from the Scriptures.
2. Jesus often recognizes Moses as legislator and writer, and speaks of the fact that Moses wrote about Jesus.

JOH 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

3. Jesus took the liberty of applying certain Scriptures to Himself.

The Haftorah for that Sabbath must have been from Isa 61. Following the reading of the lesson, with the eyes of the congregation on Him, He spoke momentous words.

John the Baptist was himself the subject of Old Testament prophecy.
John had a tremendous following. It is sometimes missed that both John and Jesus drew tremendous crowds.

Jesus Himself identifies John as the Elijah who was to come, and in so doing Jesus declares Himself to be the Lord who was to come after that Elijah!

LUK 1:16-17, And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

MAT 11:5 includes a quotation from Isa 35 and Isa 61.

Point 2. The N.T. provides an exact map for finding those elements of O.T. prophecy which are most strongly Christological (teach the O.T. saints about the Person of Christ) and Soteriological (teach the O.T. saints about the salvation work of Christ on the Cross).

The first form turns out to be the speeches given by Peter and Paul to the Jews in the book of Acts.
Two examples: Peter’s Pentecost day speech in Acts 2:22-39, and Paul’s speech to King Agrippa in Acts 26.

The second form will be the direct statements in the Gospels that a certain event fulfilled the Scripture.
Ex: In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus read ISA 61:1-2a and declared it to have been fulfilled by Him.

You are on solid ground for treating an O.T. verse as Messianic prophecy when the N.T. declares that verse to be Messianic prophecy, since the N.T. was written under verbal plenary inspiration; every word in the original language was directly inspired by God the Holy Spirit.

These New Testament Jews are the best interpreters of the Old Testament prophets. They were the eyewitnesses of the coming of the Expected One, the only Savior of the world.

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