Friday, December 23, 2016

Hope Revealed

Did the Old Testament saints and prophets fully know who Jesus Christ was or what He would fully accomplish?  Did they understand the way that this promised Messiah would be born or how he would deliver them?  Did they understand that He would bring spiritual deliverance and establish a future kingdom and not an immediate physical kingdom for them to enjoy and rule?  Why does it appear that the picture of Jesus Christ is so much clearer in the New Testament?

As early as Genesis 3:15, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, was foretold as the One who would come and crush the head of the serpent (Satan).  This was going to happen through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and by Satan, along with his demonic host, being ultimately condemned to the lake of fire that was created for him. 

God was making preparations before the foundation of the world to redeem mankind through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:18-21 tells us, "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 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, and so your faith and hope are in God." However, God progressively made the Hope of mankind (Jesus Christ the Messiah--the anointed One)  known throughout the course of history until the right time of His revelation.  The patriarchs,  kings, prophets, and God's people in the Old Testament were given various degrees of understanding over time that there was a Deliverer and Hope coming through God's provision.  Then, Christ arrived at the proper time as prophesied through the virgin Mary and was crucified under the authority of Pontius Pilate.

The prophet Isaiah on several occasions made references to Him in different ways and shared what this Messiah would accomplish.  We are told that it would be through a virgin that He would arrive and that He would be called Immanuel (meaning "God with us", Is. 7:14) This helps to understand that He would dwell and live with the people.  He also tells us in Isaiah 9:1-7 that He would give light to those who walked in darkness, He would release those who were in bondage, He would rule in peace, and that He would bring perfect justice.  Isaiah even calls Him the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  Much about His character and His role was told some 700 years prior to the Messiah ever arriving. 

Even though much of the prophetic news about Christ has taken place, all of Christ's work is not yet complete.  Christ is still saving souls and He will return and rule in justice as the perfect Judge.  HOPE continues to be revealed.  For the Christian, we take comfort in God's divine plan and sovereignty.  Christ is our living hope and He remains the only true hope for the world.  Let's share this hope with those who are living and dying without Jesus Christ all around us!

No comments:

Post a Comment