Old Testament Prophecy
Old Testament prophecy ties to the New Testament in tantamount ways. It is a Prophetic Tapestry that from beginning to end, weaves a picture Christ and His coming to set us free from our sin for the glory of God. We will only touch the surface today. There are literally hundreds of prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Long Before Bethlehem
When he(King Herod) had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”
Herod took Old Testament prophecy very seriously when the Magi came in search of the recently born king of the Jews. Because of this verse which is actually a quote from Micah 5:2(written around 700 years before the birth of Christ), He felt that his power was going to be challenged. We see in Matthew 2:16-18 that he had all the male children in the area under two years old killed. He took it very seriously. This horrible act also fulfilled another prophecy – in Jeremiah 31:15(written around 600 years before the birth of Christ).
One of the things this shows us is that God did not just look at our pitiful helpless state one day and say, “Oh, I think I’ll have mercy on these pitiful souls who have rebelled against me at every turn.”
The Original Plan
1 Peter 1:18-21
“For you know that it is not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him.”
The plan that God send His beloved Son to die for us was in place before God even created the earth. This was not Plan B – it was His original plan!
I am so glad that I am not in control of everything because I would have looked at the big picture and said: “Forget it! I’m not hassling with those stupid people for the next several thousand years!”
On the contrary, He did create us, knowing what aggravation we were going to be from day 1. That blows my mind and makes me love Him more! He is such a wonderful loving God and He shows us His mercy and His grace over and over. Despite the hassle, He made us, loves us, and makes a way for us.
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.”
We talked a little about OT prophets earlier this week. Hosea was an Old Testament prophet(nearly 800 years before the birth of Christ) and this was directed at Israel, but Christians are the New Covenant people of God so we can know that this applies to us as well. This same “language” is used several times by Jesus when He is teaching.
A Shared Yoke
“Come to Me, all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Jesus’ yoke is a shared yoke. When a farmer has a young ox to train, he will yoke it with an ox that has already been trained. The more experienced ox will do most of the work but the newer ox will be learning from the experience. Similarly, we are yoked with Christ so that He can make us what He wants us to be. The awesome thing is that we need only to cooperate with Him as He does the work.
John 6:32-33, 35
“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'”
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.'”
As important as food and water are for our physical health, so much more important is the food and water that Jesus gives us – food and water for our spirits. He nourishes us and refreshes us as we walk with Him daily.
Rich Vibrant Threads
This is just a taste of how Old Testament prophecy weaves together with the New Testament. The Old Testament is a beautifully woven pre-cursor for the New Testament. It all weaves together to give us a rich, vibrant, intricately detailed picture of our wonderful God and how He has made a beautiful way for us to get back to Him. Never disregard it as outdated. Jesus said in:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
As you are reading your Bible this week, when you see a quote in the New Testament, take a minute and check it out. See where it is in the Old Testament. There are usually references at the bottom or in the side margin to tell you where it is in found. It is really amazing how God has tied them together.
Let’s Go to the Lord in Prayer:
Lord, thank You so much for loving us and reaching into our world and saving us. Thank You for bending down to feed us. Please, help us to seek You diligently in Your Word to know You better day in day out. Help us to glorify You in all we do. May our lives be always growing toward You. In Jesus beautiful Name, Amen.
Go Deeper Today: