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Recognizing Jesus (Old Testament Prophecies of Christ Death and Resurrection) February 25, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Luke, Messiah, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Sermons.
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RECOGNIZING JESUS

Luke 18:31-34

 

INTRODUCTION: This week while preparing for this sermon, I read again of Phillips Brooks, the well-known rector of Trinity Episcopal Church at Copley Square in Boston. Brooks is most famous as the author of the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Phillips Brooks emphasized the coming and the life of Christ but not the death, burial, and resurrection. He was limited in his recognition of who Jesus is.

 

Later this week, I heard an interview of Bart Ehrmann, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has a new book coming out with the thesis that the Bible has no answer to suffering in this world. As a young man, Bart Ehrmann had been an evangelical Christian and had even taught at the seminary level but he became disillusioned with Christianity and would now label himself an agnostic. From the interview, it was obvious that the man knew a lot about the Bible and about Jesus Christ but it was also just as obvious that he was limited in his recognition of who Jesus is.

 

As I continued thinking this week, I began to think of Robert Schuller, a man who has given his life to preaching a positive outlook on life. Yet, as influential as Robert Schuller has been, he is another in a long line of men who have preached or taught about Jesus but who by their own testimony are limited in the recognition of who Jesus is.

 

It is good to believe that the coming of Jesus as the Son of Man is a wonderful miracle of God but that alone is not enough.

As we mentioned the last couple of Sunday nights, Luke wrote his gospel so that people might know, that is, recognize who Jesus is. He probably gives us the most complete picture of Jesus that we have. He emphasizes in His gospel especially in the first two chapters that Jesus is the Messiah, God who become man through the virgin Mary as was prophesied in Isaiah 11 and in other places.

He goes on in chapter 4 and tells how that Jesus claimed that His life was lived for the purpose of preaching the gospel and doing good as was prophesied in Isaiah 60. Luke then describes this “gospel do-gooding” ministry throughout most of the rest of the book.

 

All of these things are important and all of them are wonderful but as Luke continues his narrative in chapter 9, Jesus asks the disciples point blank, who do you think I am. Peter, confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. At that point, Jesus reveals for the first time that He is going to be killed by the leaders of Israel and then afterwards, resurrected. In that same chapter he begins His final journey to Jerusalem. The passage we have read today is close to the end of that final journey. On the way, Jesus again has several times either directly said or intimated that He is going to die. This third time he tells them plainly and with more detail but they still do not understand. In fact it is not until the last chapter of Luke, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we find the disciples finally understanding the significance of Jesus has told them. In Luke 24 we find Jesus speaking to His disciples about this very event that we are reading about now.

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise {NU–Text reads written, that the Christ should suffer and rise.} from the dead the third day,

 

What the disciples did not understand until after the fact is that the suffering and the resurrection of Christ are the completion of the miracle. It was important for them and it is important for you and I to recognize that Christ’s suffering and resurrection were necessary and that the necessity of these events caused God to plan them and to tell about them hundreds of years before they were to happen. Let us look at some of these events that were so necessary, that God predicted them in the Old Testament.

He will be delivered to the Gentiles (Psalm 2:1-2). Earlier Jesus had told them that He would be killed by the rulers of the Jews but this is the first time that it was revealed to them that the Gentiles would also play a part in the death of the Messiah.

 

 

 

 

In Psalm 2, which talks about the setting on the throne of the King of Israel, David wrote, “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing. The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed.” In Acts 4:25-28, we find that the disciples came to the place where they understood what Jesus had been trying to tell them, they know recognized Christ completely and fully and how that God had sent Jesus into the world to be the Messiah but also to be delivered to the Gentiles.

HE WILL BE MOCKED AND INSULTED AND SPIT UPON (Psalm 22:6-8; 69:1-12; Isaiah 50:6b, 53:3).

We read about some of this in our responsive reading today from Isaiah 53 but I want us to look at Psalm 22, especially verses 6-8, “6 But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 “He trusted {Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read hoped; Targum reads praised.} in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

In Matthew’s account, those mocking Christ as He hung on the cross actually say these words while they are making fun of Him.

 

Luke describes these events in just a few verses but they are powerful ones. Luke 23:35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,

37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: {NU–Text omits written and in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.} THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, {NU–Text reads Are You not the Christ?} save Yourself and us.”

You see it was necessary that Jesus’ death be a death of shame and derision. It was God’s plan and Jesus knew exactly what He was stepping into when He began that final journey to Jerusalem.

 

 

 

They will scourge and kill Him (Psalm 22:15; Isaiah 50:6a; Daniel 9:26). Again, there are a number of Old Testament passages we could turn to. We could look again at Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53 both of which mention His suffering and His murder but I want us to think of Daniel 9:26a. “And after the sixty–two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” God reveals to Daniel events near and far but the most important event that He reveals to Him does not even take a whole verse. Messiah, the Savior of Israel, the Hope of all nations, will be cut off, will be killed. It has to be that way. God has spoken it.

And the third day He will rise again (Psalm 16:8-11 quoted by Peter in Acts 2). The first sermon preached on the day of Pentecost takes Psalm 16:8-11 and preaches the resurrected Christ. He does not demand for the rulers to produce a body and prove that Jesus is dead. He takes the Word of God and says, “Look! This is what God was talking about through David.”

Acts 2:29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, {NU–Text omits according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ and completes the verse with He would seat one on his throne.}

31 “he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

 

These events that happened to Jesus were necessary and it was necessary that they be fulfilled in detail because it was the plan of God.

 

THE PROPHECIES OF THE SUFFERING AND THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ARE THE ASSURANCE OF THAT MIRACLE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROVE THE CHRIST’S SUFFERING AND RESURRECTION WERE NO ACCIDENT.

There are those who argue that what happened to Jesus was some accident that God failed to prevent but the prophecies of the Old Testament assure us that God knew exactly what He was doing.

 

 

Now we find the disciples not recognizing the truth. Even after his resurrection. The reason according to Jesus is that they did not know the Scriptures. Luke 24:23 “When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

24 “And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

26 “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

 

Spurgeon once said, “Brethren, a want of familiarity with the Word of God is very often the seed-plot of our doubts! Half our fears arise from neglect of the Bible.” (Spurgeon in “Folly of Unbelief”, a sermon on Luke 24:40).

 

As I studied for this message, a set of verses came to my mind that remain dear to my heart. They are found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. In the early years of my faith, I struggled. I found it hard to believe that I could really be saved, otherwise, why would I continue to fall into sin. People would try help me with different truths of the Scripture, try to bolster my faith so that I would not doubt. One day, as a nineteen year old, I was sitting listening to these four verses being taught. I understood that salvation is this simple. God said that salvation is based solely on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. God planned it that way. God predicted that way. God performed it that way. My responsibility is to believe God. That was a life changing event for me.

 

What difference does this make? When you go to the doctor and find out that you have cancer, you need to know that the same God who predicted and planned the death and resurrection of His Son has you in His hand also.

 

When you fall prey to that sin that plagues your life, you need to know that the God of the ages planned a way for that sin to be paid for and that He planned a sacrifice that was sufficient for that sin which horrifies you and at the same time tempts you.

 

When you read in God’s Word the necessity of staying in a marriage even though you want out, you can take confidence in those commands because you know how that God keeps His Word.

 

When you pray, you can pray boldly according to God’s will because you know that His will cannot be broken and will be fulfilled to the most minute detail.

 

When your friends and family fail to keep their promises, you can turn to the one whose promises over the hundreds and thousands of years remain faithful.

 

CLOSING: Four travelers, not very well acquainted with the cross-road over which they were journeying, began to lookout for a finger-post. Soon after this, one of them cried out, “I think I can see one yonder in the distance”; and “I believe that I can see it too, about half-a-mile off,” rejoined another; and “I am almost certain that I can see it,” added a third, “it stand up higher than the hedges.” “Well, well,” said the fourth, “You may be right or you may be wrong; but we had better make the best of our way to it, for while we keep at such a distance, whether it be a finger-post or not, it will be of little use to us.” by George Mogridge from Spurgeon’s “My Sermon Notes, Volume II.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that some of you are plagued with doubts. You wonder if you are really saved. You wonder if God is really good. You wonder if what God says could really be true. The proof is Jesus Christ. God sent Him to die and live again so that we may believe Him. He is the one who shows us the Father. He is the one who gives us access to God. What we need to do is recognize Jesus as the answer to our doubts and the salvation from our sins.

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Comments»

1. Patricia Burns - February 26, 2008

Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath VISITED

Lk.1:68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath VISITED and redeemed his people,

In Jesus dwells ALL the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col.2:9) –

o God the Father
o The Holy Spirit of God the Father
o The Word of God the Father

The only begotten son of God the Father (Jn.1:14), Jesus (the Word – Jn.1:1, Jn.1:14), His beloved Son (Matt.3:17), was conceived of the Holy Ghost (Matt.1:20).

It is God the Father who conceived within Mary (blessed among women) His very Word through His very Holy Spirit (Matt.1:20).

Patricia (ndbpsa ©) Bible Prophecy on the Web

2. site - May 27, 2012

Is it alright to insert a portion of this in my personal webpage if I post a reference point to this website?

roberttalley - May 27, 2012

Yes.

3. Mel - November 25, 2012

I thank you for your insights, BUT you do state above that “And the third day He will Rise Again” and then you give Psalms 16: 8-11 as a proof text. Well nowhere in that passage does it say anything about the 3rd day. It does state that in verse 10: “For you shjall not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will you allow your Holly One to see corruption”
My point here is that a lot of people looking for old testaments references to the physical resurrection of Christ on the 3rd day are no different then the disciples. They knew Jesus was the Christ (Peter’s declaration and Jesus affirmation) but what the didn’t understand from anything they may have been exposed to in their religous teaching from the religous leaders was that the Messiah (Christ, Son of Man) would die and specifically be resurrection 3 days later. They knew He would die but where is the OT proof that He the Christ would be resurrected 3, 4 or 5 or whatever many days later? How did they not think that the resurrection the OT refers to is not the resurrection at the end of time? I fully understand the Jesus himself clarified the 3rd day but what did the disciples have to reference (before the actual resurrection) to clarify this from what they may have been taught? In short we need to ALSO answer the question as to why did they in Mark 8:32 “But they did not understand this saying, and where afraid to ask Him” Why were they afraid?
I wouls appreciate a reply, Thanks

roberttalley - November 26, 2012

Mel,

The reason for giving Psalm 16:8-11 as in reference to the resurrection is that Peter himself did so on the day of Pentecost. You are right that this had not occured to him before the resurrection. After Jesus rose from the dead, he spent much time with His disciples showing them how that the Old Testament Scriptures had been fulfilled in Him (which would include His resurrection). Peter seems to be simply passing along what he had learned from Jesus.

Why did they not understand this in general before the resurrection of Christ. It seems like they had a measure of unbelief in regards to the resurrection of Christ. If you don’t believe it is going to happen, then it is not likely you are going to imagine that it is predicted in any way by the Old Testament.

Robert

Mel - November 27, 2012

Thanks for your reply. It is interesting that the concept of “resurrection” is taught generally in the OT and the death of the Messiah but the specifics of His resurrection after His death is natural assumed by what is accomplished (His reign etc). What isn’t clear is how long He is dead before rising. The only reference I can find is by Jesus Himself in Matt: 12:39, 16:4 and Luke 11:29 with reference to the sign of the prophet Jonah. There Jesus is specific. Are you aware of any OT reference which I may not be? Also did the people of Jesus time acknowledge that Jonah actually died in the big fish and was 3 days later risen or was it as we hear in our Sunday School classes that he was alive all the time?

Thanks

roberttalley - November 28, 2012

There is no certain reference to the three-day motif in the Old Testament. The three days referred to in Hosea 6:1-2 is never mentioned in the New Testament as referring to the resurrection of the Messiah and seems likely to be referring to a general resurrection (Licona, [2010], 324-325; quoting Wedderburn, [1999], 50-51).

As to clarity to how long He is dead before rising, one thing is certainly clear. He rose before dawn on Sunday morning. I believe he was buring late Friday afternoon but others argue for a longer time. He was certainly raised on the third day and I count the partial day of Friday as one, Saturday as two, and the partial day of Sunday as three.

As to Jonah being dead or alive, the point of Jesus’s was that Jonah was buried or trapped “in” the fish. If he wasn’t dead, he was as good as dead.


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