December 17 – Importance of the Old Testament – Introduced to the Messiah

Read Isaiah 52:13—53:12

On the day that Jesus rose from the dead, He spoke of the value of Old Testament words like those in today’s reading. He was traveling along with two disappointed men headed to Emmaus. The men were leaving Jerusalem, disenchanted because Jesus had been crucified and it was the third day since His death. Christ’s identity was somehow veiled from their recognition, so their raw discouragement shines through. In response, we read what Jesus did: “…beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

As we continue to explore the many reasons why the Old Testament is important, we discover, then, incredible value in the fact that it introduces us to the Messiah.

In today’s reading alone, we read prophecies pointing us to such realities as Christ’s brutal death (52:14), His unassuming appearance (53:2), His rejection and opposition (53:3), His substitutionary death (53:4-6), His sinless nature (53:9), the nature of His grave (53:9), and His death satisfying the eternal plan and wrath of God (53:10-12).

This is but one of many passages that offer us a prophetic glimpse of the coming Messiah. Elsewhere, Old Testament readers like us can learn that Jesus would

  • Be victorious over Satan (Gen 3:15)
  • Be a descendant of Eve (Gen. 3:15), from the line of Judah (Gen 49:10), and the family of David (2 Sam 7:16).
  • Be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
  • Be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • Spend time in Egypt (Hos 11:1)
  • Speak in parables (Ps 78:2–4)
  • Be a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4)

These are but a sampling of the many things we can learn about Jesus from the Old Testament. Jesus, you see, was not an afterthought in the mind of God. Our Father had planned and prophesied His coming. He faithfully keeps His promises.

Steve Kern

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