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Why The Bible Is Divine: Christology

The bible is not just a historical record of Israeli culture but also records of a supernatural element that illuminates hearts and minds to a greater plan for all history; where the center point of human history is not a civilization or culture, but a person.  A person that ancient history looked forward to and the same person the modern world looks back at.  This person is identified as Jesus.  In this article we will look at Jesus of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.

Jesus sets the stage in John 5:39 when he states that the scriptures (the Old Testament) testify of him.  He even rebuked people who claimed to be spiritual but unable to see the spiritual elements of the Old Testament that pointed to him in Luke 24:25-27.

The Angel of The Lord- The Lord God

Gen 16:10-13 "The Angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count... So she called the Lord who spoke to her: The God Who Sees, for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the One who sees me?”

Judges 13:3, 6, 13, 20 "The Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman ...the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me. He looked like the awe-inspiring Angel of God...  The Angel of the Lord answered Manoah, “Your wife needs to do everything I told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or beer. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her...When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the Angel of the Lord went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown on the ground. 21 The Angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the Angel of the Lord." Here it is recorded that not just any angel appeared to her but THE Angel of the Lord.  With no real knowledge of what is to come she described him as knowing for sure that he was "of God".  THE Angel of the Lord has authority of God, not just as a messenger.  When they realized that it was not just any angel, but THE Lord, the worshiped him.

This Angel of The Lord is also understood as a redeemer as well but a redeemer that suffers with and for people (Isa 63:9).

Someone Is Coming

Gen 3:15 is when God announces someone is coming. "I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."  God states "He will..." thus a single male figure will come and strike a fatal blow. 

Gen 12:3 "and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you." This shows that God will bless ALL people of the earth, not just Israel, through Abraham.
Gen 49:10-13 "The scepter will not depart from Judah, or the staff from between his feet, until He whose right it is comes, and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him11 He ties his donkey to a vine, and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine and his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk."
Out of the tribe of Judah will come the coming ruler.  The authority belongs to him.  He, as a ruler, will come with a Donkey.  That is a amazing detail to keep in mind.  The author of Gen 49 saw him in a robe soaked in red die.  He described it as blood of grapes.  Another huge detail to keep in mind.
Numbers 24:17-19 "I see him, but not now; I perceive him, but not near. A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel. He will smash the forehead of Moab and strike down all the Shethites. 18 Edom will become a possession; Seir will become a possession of its enemies,
but Israel will be triumphant. 19 One who comes from Jacob will rule; he will destroy the city’s survivors.
This person who will rule, out of the tribe of Judah, will be related to Jacob. 
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 "“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 This is what you requested from the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not continue to hear the voice of the Lord our God or see this great fire any longer, so that we will not die!’ 17 Then the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him."
He will come out of Judah, related to Jacob and will be a great prophet like Moses.  He will speak what God speaks and perfectly obeys everything God wills. 

More Revealed About this 'Someone'

As people continued to look forward his Man that will be a great prophet, will rule with authority, will have with him a donkey and his robe will be stained red; God allows more and more details to be reveled so that those who are truly seeking him, will surely recognize him when he comes.
Job 33:23-28 " If there is an angel on his side, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what is right for him 24 and to be gracious to him and say, Spare him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom,”25 then his flesh will be healthier than in his youth, and he will return to the days of his youthful vigor. 26 He will pray to God, and God will delight in him. That man will see His face with a shout of joy, and God will restore his righteousness to him. 27 He will look at men and say,
“I have sinned and perverted what was right; yet I did not get what I deserved.[c] 28 He redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and I will continue to see the light.”
This coming someone will be an angel and single mediator.  He is right and is righteous.  He will be spared from the pit (death) because a ransom will replace him.  His flesh will be returned and made even greater.  Despite him becoming sin, his righteousness is given back to him.  And people that see his face will shout for joy.  He will redeem souls from death.  

Psalm 72:1-2, 11-12, 17-18 "God, give Your justice to the king, and Your righteousness to the king’s son.  He will judge Your people with righteousness and Your afflicted ones with justice... Let all kings bow down to him, all nations serve him... 12 For he will rescue the poor who cry out and the afflicted who have no helper13 He will have pity on the poor and helpless and save the lives of the poor. 14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious in his sight... May his name endure forever; as long as the sun shines, may his fame increase. May all nations be blessed by him and call him blessed."
This someone will be The King and righteousness will be given to his son(s).  He is a righteous just judge.  He will be worshiped by all nations.  He will rescue, help, and save the poor. He will redeem and his name will endure forever. All nations will be blessed by him.
1 Samuel 2:35 "Then I will raise up a faithful priest for Myself. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time." 

Here the someone will be a faithful priest who will be in direct connection with God himself.  He will be THE anointed one for all time.
2 Samuel 7:12-16 "“‘The Lord declares to you: The Lord Himself will make a house for you. 12 When your time comes and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others. 15 But My faithful love will never leave him as I removed it from Saul; I removed him from your way. 16 Your house and kingdom will endure before Me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’”
This coming someone will be a descendant of King David but HIS kingdom will last forever.  He is not just ruler raised up by God but he will be a Son of God.  He will be disciplined with human tools by others but God will never leave him and will remain faithfully loving.

Just in these four books we can already see the person that is coming.  He will be the Son of God, an angel (divine) and a mediator.  He will be King out of the line of David and will be a faithful priest who has a direct relationship to God.  He will seek the poor and needy.  He will redeem his people because God has anointed him as THE One.  BUT, he will 'do wrong' and be disciplined with human tools through other people. A ransom will be paid as a result and because God will remain faithfully loving to him, he will be fully restored.  He will not suffer in the pit but will be restored greater than he was before.

Specific Recognizable Characteristics and Events

God goes even farther and details characteristics and events that will make the coming person more obvious and even more recognizable to those who are seeking him. But, not all these characteristics and events are positive in nature.

He will be born from a virgin (Isa 7:14) in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2). There will be another person declaring his impending arrival (Isa 40:3-5; Mal 3:1).  The people will shout 'hosanna' (Zech 9:9-10; Ps 118:25-26) but later He will be rejected (Ps 118) and even betrayed (Pss 69, 109).  His side will be pierced (Zech 12:10) and he will vicariously suffer the sins of the world (Isa 53:6, 9, 12).  He will be killed with other wicked ones (Isa 53:9a, plural in Hebrew).  He will die but be resurrected (Pss 22, 16).  He will even return a second time (Daniel 7:13) and there will be no more wars (Isa 2:3-4).

Even more amazing is Daniel gives an extremely detailed timeline for when the Messiah will come in Daniel 9:24-27.  From the time Daniel says it starts to the time the Messiah appears is 490 years.  When King Artaxerxes gave NeFrom the command to build Jerusalem, the clock started ticking.  490 years from there leads us to about 25AD. 

THEN JESUS CAME

God was silent for 400 years.  No prophets and no one legitimately recognized as being of God.   Then, a man named John The Baptist came out of no where and began declaring that the Messiah is is here (Isa 40:3-5; Mal 3:1; cf. Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4-6).  Jesus is born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; cf. Mt 2:1, 6) and declared by a virgin birth (Isa 7:14; cf. Mt 1:33).  He begins his ministry to the poor and needy and as he enters Jerusalem on a donkey, crowds follow him and shout 'Hosanna" (Zech 9:9-10; Ps 118:25-26; cf. Mt 21:9; Mk 11:9; Lk 19:38; Jh 12:13).  A week later he is betrayed by one of his own disciples (Ps 69:25; cf. Acts 1:20).  He is arrested and crucified.  His side is pierced (Zech 12:10; cf. Jh 19:37) and he suffers a death on behalf of others (Isa 53:6, 9, 12; cf. I Pt 2:21-25; Rom 4:25).  He was crucified next to other criminals and was burred in a wealthy mans grave (Isa 53:9).  But part of Jesus' ministry and teachings is that he promised to return once more Daniel 7:13; cf Mk 13:26; Lk 21:27).

Even deeper insight into the Coming Messiah are seeing the typologies of the Christ.  This is also understood as Christology.  Understanding these typologies helps us understand the greater and deeper meanings and purposes in God's redemptive plan through the one who he has sent.
[Typology is] the idea that persons (e.g., Moses), events (e.g., the exodus), and institutions (e.g., the temple) can — in the plan of God — prefigure a later stage in that plan and provide the conceptuality necessary for understanding the divine intent (e.g., the coming of Christ to be the new Moses, to effect the new exodus, and to be the new temple) (Graham Cole, He Who Gives Life, [Wheaton: Crossway, 2007], 289). 
 Jesus escapes a wicked king just like Moses (Matthew 2:13-18; cf. Exodus 1:15-2:10).  He passes through water and is declared God's son (Matthew 3:13-17; cf. Exodus 14, 4:22-23). Is lead by the spirit through the wilderness and is tested for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11; cf. Exodus 40:34-38).  Even though Israel failed the test, Jesus succeeds (Deuteronomy 8:1-3; cf. Matthew 4:3-4).

Two great Old Testament typologies are one of the plagues while Israel was in Egypt, and healing in the wilderness.

Passover

A clean and blameless lamb will be sacrificed (Ex 12:5-6, 21) and smear the blood on the door posts of the house (Ex 12:7, 22).  The houses with the smeared blood are distinguished and set apart and are spared God's judgment of death (Ex 12:13, 23).  This event contributed to their release from bondage and slavery in Egypt. This event is to be forever remembered and celebrated (Ex 12:14, 17, 27).  This festival is known as Passover.

John The Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah declares Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and Paul declares that Jesus himself is the sacrificial Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) with out blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 4:15).  And then Jesus was crucified at Passover (Mark 14:12).  Through his sacrifice those who trust in him are saved (Hebrews 9:12, 14; Romans 6:23).  Making those who believe no longer in bondage or slavery to sin (Romans 8:2).  Even the Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 43 a-b verifies that he was crucified at Passover.

Even the 400 years of bondage and slavery in Egypt is interesting.  After 400 years of no prophets, Moses shows up as the prophet and leader of Israel then frees them from Egypt and leads them to the promised land;  there was 400 years of silence from God before Jesus shows up.  Moses even said that there will be 'a prophet like' him (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). Jesus declared he frees people from the bondage and slavery of sin and leads to eternal life.  

The Bronze Snake

While wondering the wilderness after leaving Egypt, the people of Israel complained and distrusted God (Numbers 21:4-5).  God sent poisonous snakes and people were being bit and dying (Numbers 21:6).  They soon repented and asked for mercy and forgiveness (Numbers 21:7). A bronze snake was mounted to a pole and the people were told that if they looked to it for healing, they would be healed (Numbers 21:8-9).

Paul associated a distrust in Christ with the distrust from Israel in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:9).  Jesus himself associates himself to the snake on the pole (John 3:14-15) where he became other peoples' sin on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Jesus who becoming sin for us was mounted to a pole to bare the sins of his people so they they may be healed and have eternal life.  At this sight, people would remember the Bronze Snake and know that he is the solution for their sin (John 8:28).

By seeing Jesus Christ in these typologies you can have a deeper understanding of what his crucifixion meant not just in a physical sense but in a supernatural sense and grasp the value and meaning.

The Suffering Servant 

Isaiah 53 is one of the best records describing details about the Messiah, what he will experience, and why.  He won't be some handsome cultural supermodel (Is 53:2).  He could relate to people who the culture would run away from and be ashamed of; he would be despised and rejected by society (Is 53:3).  He would bare our sicknesses and carry our pains but we would look at him like it was his own problem (Is 53:4).  He would be pierced, crushed, and punished on our behalf (Is 53:5).  But through this, and him enduring what we deserved, we would be healed.  We all have in our own way left God and are wicked but God punished him for us and instead of us (Is 53:6).

During this oppression and affliction, he would not speak against it. He humbly and submissively allowed it (Is 53:7).  He was taken away from society and killed all because of other people (Is 53:8).  He was killed with other wicked people and was given a burial that made him wealthy (Is 53:9).  And after all this, he still never did any wrong and did not deserve the punishment. Yet, God was pleased to crush him because his death satisfied God's just judgement for wickedness (Is 53:10).  It is through His satisfactory sacrifice that many people will be justified before God because of him (Is 53:11).  And those who are justified will be awarded to Him.  He was seen as a rebel, took on the sins of the rebels, and interceded on behalf of the rebels (Is 53:12).

Jesus is declared as the Suffering Servant in John 12:38 and Romans 10:16.  Jesus was despised and rejected (Luke 18:31-33).  The Jewish Talmud is a witness to this in their clear rejection of him.  Jesus told the disciples he will suffer and be rejected (Mark 8:31; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:21).  John states that they did not recognize him and society would reject him (John 1:10-11).  Jesus was punished and killed for mans transgressions (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:28).  He proved his obedience as the Son of God through this suffering (Hebrews 5:8).  And that those who believe are healed through him (1 Peter 2:24-25).  His people are the lost sheep and he is the Shepard to retrieve them (Is 53:6; cf. Matthew 18:12; John 10:14-18).  Even though Jesus did not sin (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5), he became our sin on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).  He paid our debt of sin which freed us from the just punishment that he took on instead of us (Colossians 2:14).  After his arrest, he did not argue for his innocence or protest their unjust actions (Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:12-14; Luke 23:9; John 19:9; 1 Peter 2:23).  Jesus is recorded as knowing what was about to happen to him and voluntarily and willingly following through with it (Matthew 26:42; Philippians 2:6-8).  After he was executed next to two other criminals (Luke 22:37), he was taken down from the cross and buried in a rich mans tomb (Matthew 27:57-60).  Faith in Jesus' works on the cross justifies the person who believes (Acts 13:39; Romans 5:18-19; Hebrews 9:28) and intercedes for them (Luke 23:34; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

The Feasts

The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) literally means "appointed times."  There are seven celebrated feasts in Jewish culture. The timing and sequence were all set by God for a specific reason.  The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime  and they are Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks.  The final three holidays which are Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles occur during the fall.  

As stated above, Jesus fulfilled the meaning and purpose of the Passover feast. Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (leaven is a picture of sin), making Him the sinless sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like wheat planted and waiting to sprout and be the bread of life.   

First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."  

Finally, Weeks/Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (Acts 2). The Church was established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's sermon and his first proclamation of the gospel.  

These four feasts pointed to a specific and particular purpose of the Messiah, which Jesus fulfilled on the actual days of the feats.  Old Testament points to a second coming of the Messiah, Jesus declared his second coming in the future, and the fall feasts are interesting because they seem to have not been fulfilled yet. 

The Feast of Trumpets.  Leviticus 23:24 states "Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation." The Old Testament declares a bodily resurrection in the future (Psalm 16:10, Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:2, Job 19:25-26).  Even early and later Jewish Rabbis supported this belief in a bodily resurrection (Ketubot111b, Sanhedrin 72a, Niddah 70b, Crescas, Albo, Orthodox Judaism). Notice that when God raises everyone, first the faithful, then the rest of the world, from the dead and Christ returns, a last trumpet will sound (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).  This feast is meant in a forward thinking celebratory hope in what is still yet to come.

Day of Atonement feast.  Leviticus 23:27 states "Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord." This is the moment when Christ returns. When the world realizes that He is God and returned to judge the world.  Where Israel (and the rest of the world) will see who they have denied, repent, and present themselves as offering to the Lord (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

Tabernacles/Booths feast.  Leviticus 23:34 states "Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) to the Lord."  Where once he returns, he will live in the presence (or tabernacle) with his chosen and elected people from all nations (Micah 4:1-7).

All these feast, as Paul puts it, are shadows of things to come (Colossians 2:16-17).  And the freedom to celebrate these feasts is up to the conscience of each person (Romans 14:5). 

The Old Testament Picture

There are hundreds of Messianic references in the Old Testament but looking back just at the major ones we have highlighted, we can construct a picture of the Messiah from those Old Testament references:
  • A single person is coming
  • A male
  • Who Carries God's Authority
  • Worshiped like God
  • The right to rule
  • Come from the nation of Israel
  • Out of the tribe of Judah 
  • Decedent of Jacob
  • Decedent of David
  • Ride humbly on a Donkey
  • Will be a great(est) Prophet
  • Have Divine authority 
  • Will be righteous and without sin
  • Will establish an everlasting Kingdom
  • The Son of God
  • He will have a forerunner declare is immediate arrival
  • He will arrive 490 years after King Artaxerxes gives NeFrom the command to build Jerusalem
  • Through a Virgin Birth
  • Born in Bethlehem
  • The people will initially see him as the coming King
  • The people will eventually reject him
  • He will be betrayed 
  • He will suffer at the hands of his people
  • He will be unjustly killed
  • His death will be purposeful and will bless people
  • He will rise from the dead 
How many people of history perfectly fit that description and typologies in that exact arrival time frame? One person.  Jesus

Also read Why The Bible is Divine: Miracles  |  Why The Bible is Divine: Prophecy

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