We are continuing with our fourth post in the Discovering Jesus series. In the previous posts we have looked at Simeon, Anna and the ministry of the prophet. The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of Jesus. In this post we are going to begin examining the prophecies that set the stage for the birth that we celebrate in the Christmas season.
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Biblical prophets were divine guides sent by God to lead the people. A prophet is a seer, a spokesman, or a speaker. They are divine guides sent by God to speak to humanity. Prophets are able to perceive things that the natural eye does not see.
A prophet is able to see through the tunnel of time and declare what the Lord is showing them. They take what the Lord is showing them and deliver it to His people. The power of God is behind their words which makes them able to reconfigure things on the earth.
The prophets are called to declare the will and plan of God in the earth. They carry weighty words that have the ability to alter world history. There have been a lot of false prophets throughout history. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit and should never follow anyone blindly. We have prophets in the Church today but no word from any minister should ever be accepted without it being judged by the Word of God.
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.(2 Peter 1:21)
From Genesis to Malachi we can find prophetic utterances declaring that the anointed one was coming. The Old Testament was a shadow of things to come. God’s strategic plan was to send Jesus to provide the required sacrifice that would open the door for mankind to be restored to fellowship with Him. We will see that Jesus is embedded throughout the Old Testament.
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24:13-53)
This is a long section of Scripture. We see that Jesus taught his followers about himself “beginning at Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24:27). Jesus used “all of the Scriptures”. There are hundreds of Messianic scriptures consisting of more than 3,000 verses. I wonder if He went through all of them with when He taught them about Himself.
Jesus took them from one prophecy to another to show how they revealed Him. When I read this I am struck by the enormity of His message. We can see in their response that their hearts burned while He took them through the Scriptures in His teaching.
The Old Testament is filled with prophecies pointing to Jesus. Each of these was spoken at a very strategic point in history that was chosen by God. They were fulfilled right on time according to God’s master plan.
We are going to close this post but I want to emphasize what Jesus did on the Emmaus road. Jesus took the men verse by verse through the Old Testament. Imagine what that must have been like. Where did He start and and where did He stop? In verses forty-three and forty-four we seen that He took them through the words of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms. It appears that He delivered a three part message. We will continue in the next post and begin to look at the Scriptures foretell Jesus in the Old Testament. It has taken four posts to get to this point but we wanted to lay a foundation that I believe will help us in our journey.