THE YOKE OF YESHUA
harmonizes the four
into one story and explains each event in context.
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For those who lived in Old Testament
times the prophecies about the Messiah would not be obvious. They probably
thought that David was speaking of his own trials when he felt forsaken,
surrounded by vicious enemies, thirsting for water with pierced hands and feet,
and his enemies casting lots for his garments (Ps. 22). Most likely they thought
Isaiah described Israel’s calamities when he wrote about rejection, griefs,
sorrows, wounds, stripes and oppression, and a lamb led to the slaughter (Is.
When the Psalms spoke about accusations
by false witnesses (35), hated without cause (35), betrayed by a friend (41),
given vinegar and gall (69), praying for enemies (109), bones not broken (34),
body not decaying (16), and sitting at the right hand of God (110), people
probably saw these as metaphorical speech about the psalmist, not realizing it
would be literally fulfilled in the Messiah. Thanks to New Testament
information, Christians can connect the dots.
However, they would have missed some
prophecies if God had not revealed them. Reading in Psalm 8: “What is man that
you are mindful of him… For you have made him a little lower than the angels…”
we wouldn’t have realized that him in the second sentence points to
Christ (Heb. 2:9). When David says in Psalm 40: “Burnt offering and sin offering
you did not require… I delight in your will, O my God, and your law is within my
heart,” it sounds as if David wants to honour God with a thankful heart.
However, Hebrews 5:5-10 shows that these words were prophesied about the
Consider these prophecies and questions:
The first promise
of a Savior: Eve's seed would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). How
could He accomplish that by dying?
Noah's ark was a symbolic prophecy of the salvation Messiah would bring (1 Pet.
3:20-22). What are the comparisons?
Israel's liberation from Egypt was a symbolic prophecy of the redemption Messiah would
bring (Heb. 4). In what ways were the two similar?
God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that in
seed all nations would be blessed (Gen. 12:3, 26:4, 28:14). When did that start
to happen on great scale?
Moses prophesied that God would send a unique Prophet to teach His
people (Deut. 18:15). In what ways was Jesus a prophet?
God promised to
David that his descendant would be King forever (1
Chron.. 17:11-14, Ps. 132:11-12, Luke 1:30-33). When did Jesus show royal power?
David prophesied that Messiah would be Priest forever (Ps. 110:4, Heb.
7). When did Jesus fulfill the role of a priest?
Isaiah said Messiah would be born from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23).
How was it possible?
Micha said Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micha 5:1) and work in Galilee (Isaiah 8:23 - 9:6).
Can any human predict exactly what will happen 800 years in advance?
David said Messiah would be rejected before His triumph (Ps. 118:22-24).
Why did the disciples find this unacceptable?
Isaiah said Messiah would suffer and die in the place of sinners (Isaiah 53).
God made that clear already in the clothing of Adam and Eve, and in the
sacrifices of Cain and Abel. How?
Messiah would first come to
save and then to judge (Zech. 9:9, 14:4, Matt. 24-25, Acts
1:9-11, Rev. 19). What did that prove about God?
Several prophecies in
Psalm 22 were fulfilled when Jesus was crucified.
Some prophecies focused on
Messiahs humility with His first coming*, and some on His glory with His second
coming**. Was God secretive about this fact?
* Ps. 22:1, 6-8, 14-18; 69:21; Is. 41:9, 50:6, 52:13-14, Is. 53; Dan. 9:26; Zech.
11:12-13, 12:10, 13:7; Luke 24:26, 44-47.
** Ps. 2:7-12, 68:18-20, 118:22-24; Is. 9:6-7, 42:1-4; Dan. 2:34-35, 44, 7:13-14; Zech.
6:12-13, 9:9; Mic. 5:1-3, Mal. 3:1-3.
1. Satan pushed mankind into sin and
doom. Satan would be destroyed (the serpent crushed) when God's plan of
salvation would be finished, allowing doomed humanity to pass over from
eternal death to eternal life. When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He
paid the sin-debt of mankind in full, opened the way to salvation for those
who want it, and thus triumphed over Satan. Thus Christ crushed Satan by
dying for sinners.
2. Noah's ark symbolized salvation
because it offered escape from coming doom. Only those who believed Noah's
preaching and took
refuge in the ark were saved. The fact that only a few were saved,
accentuates the words of Jesus that those who take the narrow road of
salvation are few.
3. Israel was saved from bondage after
the ten plagues. By those plagues, the gods of Egypt and their followers
were overcome (Ex. 12:12). In the end time many plagues will devastate unbelievers
before believers will be taken to heaven, the promised land. The Pharaoh was a type
of the Anti-Christ who will also try to control believers.
4. God's promise to Abraham that in
his seed all nations would be blessed, became a reality when Christ died for
sinners, and commanded His followers to take this good news (gospel) to all
nations. The written and preached Word of God has indeed reached all
5. Jesus fulfilled His prophetic
ministry by bringing God's Word to humanity. That's the task of a prophet.
6. Jesus' royal power shone at its
brightest when He showed His control over sickness, death and evil. With His
return He will be hailed as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).
7. Jesus is our unique High Priest,
because He entered heaven with His own blood to wipe out all the sins of
believers (Heb. 7:27, 9:12).
8. God created a sperm in Mary to
fertilize her ovum. She was still a virgin at that time. (God is Spirit and
did not have sexual intercourse with Mary.) At conception the spirit of
God's Son, the second Person of the Trinity, came to dwell in this human
being who became known as Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore He was both Son of
God and Son of man.
9. Obviously the answer is: NO. No one
can even foretell the next year accurately, let alone eight centuries.
10. Like all Israel, the disciples
expected a triumphant Messiah who would lead their nation to victory over
its oppressors. They did not understand that His first coming would be in
humiliation and His second in glory.
11. To cloth Adam and Eve in animal
skins, those animals had to lose their lives (blood). Abel's blood offering
was accepted, Cain's non-blood offering not. All the animal offerings in the
Old Testament pointed to the unique blood offering of Christ on the cross of
Calvary (Heb. 9:22).
12. The fact that God has given
humanity ample time to accept God's grace and forgiveness in Christ, shows
His infinite mercy (John 3:16-17, 2 Pet. 3:9). Those who reject God's mercy
persistently will feel His wrath.
13. Read Ps. 22 carefully and mark
those words that became a reality for Christ.
14. After reading the two lists of
Scripture, one can hardly conclude that God had not explained the two
scenarios very clearly.