Jesus Christ, Saviour & King
When you have read this leaflet you will know the answers to these questions:
Where does the Old Testament speak about Jesus Christ?
Are there any detailed prophecies about the life and work of Jesus?
Will Jesus be a real king, with a real kingdom on earth?
WHERE DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT SPEAK ABOUT JESUS CHRIST?
Everywhere! The Old Testament had three main sections: (a) The Law given to Moses,
(b) The Psalms and (c) The Prophets.
After his resurrection Jesus taught two of his followers: “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27). Shortly afterwards he said “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the
Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44-45). Jesus also said “Moses … wrote of me” (John 5:46).
Jesus Christ is at the centre of God’s plan for the world. We know about his life from the New Testament. You may be surprised to learn that the Old Testament predicted his birth, work, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension to heaven and his return to the earth as king to establish God’s everlasting kingdom. Amazingly, the history of Jesus was accurately forecast in the Old Testament.
The Jewish “Messiah”
The Jews at the time of Jesus were expecting their Messiah, the ‘Anointed One’. Six hundred years before Jesus was born the prophet Ezekiel had said to bad king Zedekiah, “take off the crown … A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgement belongs, and I will give it to him” (Ezekiel 21:25-27). The person to come that Ezekiel was prophesying about, is Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the key to understanding God’s master plan. The Bible story is about redeeming us from sin and death. It begins in Eden with the introduction of sin and death into the world. It ends with the salvation of faithful believers in Jesus: “God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more … for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). It is Jesus who takes believers from death in Adam to everlasting life. A saviour indeed! Before his birth, the message about Jesus was “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
2. ARE THERE ANY DETAILED PROPHECIES ABOUT THE LIFE AND WORK OF JESUS?
There certainly are! We shall start with a great one.
- Jesus will be king of the world. A special promise was made to King David, who lived a thousand years before Jesus. “I will raise up your offspring after you … and I will establish his kingdom … I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). The angel Gabriel tells us that these words apply to Jesus Christ. In Luke 1:32-33, he told Mary, the mother of Jesus “He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end”.
Jesus must return to the earth to fulfil these promises.
- His birthplace. This was accurately foretold. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah
… from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2).
- He is to be the Son of God. Nathan gave David God’s message. “I will raise up your offspring after you … I will establish his kingdom … his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son” (1Chronicles 17:11-12).
- His character. “The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding … of council and might … of knowledge and the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2). Jesus completely fulfilled this prophecy.
- His message. Jesus “went … proclaim- ing and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:1). He preached that he can save us from sin and death, that he will come again, raise the dead, give everlasting life to believers and establish
God’s kingdom. How well that fits with Isaiah’s prophecy: “the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor … to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
We are all captives to sin and death. We need delivering from the prison of death.
- His miracles. Hear this prophecy: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped” (Isaiah 35:5-6). Now listen to the words of the man, blind from birth, who Jesus healed: “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see … If this man were not from God, he could do nothing” (John 9:25,33). How true. The miracles of Jesus proved that God was speaking and working through his son.
- His rejection. Isaiah wrote “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Also, he prophesied of Jesus: “I gave my back to those who strike … I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).
The Psalms also pick up this theme of suffering. “I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none” (Psalm 69:20). How sad, but how true. We can only be impressed by such accurate prophecies about what Jesus had to endure.
- His crucifixion. The execution of people by crucifixion was not known when the Psalms were written. Yet, the Old Testament predicted that Jesus would be crucified. “They have pierced my hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16). How remarkable.
- Jesus the Redeemer. Simply stated, “he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities … and with his stripes we are healed … the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).
- His resurrection. “For you will not abandon my soul to sheol, or let your holy one see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). The soul is the body and sheol is the grave. The body of Jesus did not corrupt and was not left in the tomb.
Peter confirms that this prophecy was talking about Jesus, in Acts 2:29-31. “David
… both died and was buried … he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades (the grave), nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus, God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses.”
- His ascension to heaven. Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:11). He now sits “at the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33). The Old Testament had already prophesied this: ”in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Impressive, isn’t it?
- He is coming back. The word ‘until’ links two important scriptures. Psalm 110:1-2 says of Jesus “sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool … Rule in the midst of your enemies”. Peter picks up ‘until’ in Acts 3:19-21: God will “send the Christ … Jesus whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets”. He did indeed.
Jesus understood his mission of salvation from the Old Testament. We would be much poorer without it.
3. WILL JESUS BE A REAL KING, WITH A REAL KINGDOM ON EARTH?
After looking at all the Old and New Testament passages quoted in this leaflet, how can anyone doubt it? Simply re-read them to see their clarity and power.
There remains one important question.
Will you be there to see it? You can live forever in the kingdom of God, but you won’t drift into it. Positive action on your part is essential.
In John 1:45 Philip said “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth”. Have you found him too? These are the steps we must take to rejoice with Jesus when he comes back to the earth as king:
- believe in him, (2) repent, (3) be baptised and (4) keep his commandments. Other leaflets in this series explain each of these steps. May you come to know the living Christ, and walk in his ways. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).