All we're doing is we're kind of surveying, we're taking a sampling of things to just get a sense of the magnificence of the predetermined plan of God in the death of Christ. We'll look at the New Testament fulfillment of these in just a moment. The coming of Jesus was prophesied long before the actual event, but that's not all. His death and resurrection were also foretold in the Old Testament, as you'll be reminded today on The Truth Pulpit.
Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. As Don Green continues to teach God's people God's word, he'll continue our series, The Wonder of Jesus. And Don, while there are still those who doubt Jesus as the promised Messiah, the passages we're going to be looking at leave no doubt at all, do they? Well, you know, my friend, it's with a great sense of anticipation that we bring today's broadcast to you, and also, I would say, a great reliance on the Holy Spirit. We're talking about the Lord Jesus Christ today, talking about his death and how it was predicted, even in passages like Isaiah 53. May the Holy Spirit himself illuminate and open your mind so that you could understand the glories of Christ and trust him for your eternal salvation. That's compelling stuff, Don.
Thank you so much. Friend, have your Bible handy as we join our teacher now in The Truth Pulpit. The cross of Christ, the life, the ministry, the death, the resurrection of Christ was a predetermined plan of God.
As Christ went through these events in his earthly human life, he was simply carrying out a plan that God had already established before the beginning of time. And so, what do we do with that? How do we respond to that? As we talk about these matters of the life and death of Christ predicted, as we talk about these matters of the greater excellence of the person and work of Christ, there should be a sense of reverential fear that comes upon us that says these matters are sacred and greatly holy, and that we come to them with a teachable spirit, first of all, with a trusting, believing spirit, second of all, and with a sense of giving ourselves over to understanding what Scripture has to say about it. Because, beloved, and why I'm so grateful that all of you are here and you're so faithful to be here time after time after time again, I know that as you continually give yourself over to the teaching of God's Word, as you give yourself over to Christ and him crucified, this is where the sanctuary of your soul resides. This is where your safety is. This is where your strength in trial is. This is where your eternal well-being is. And when you are committed to receiving that over time, you are developing a strong foundation in your life.
It's those who hit and miss and those who are indifferent that find that their lives come crumbling down around them when trials come. So with that in mind, last time we saw the prophecies of the life of Christ, the prophets also spoke about the death of Jesus. They looked forward and they predicted many aspects of the death and of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One writer said this, that no fewer than 29 prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus in the 24 hours leading up to his death. That gives us a sense of the prophetic emphasis on the death of Christ. It gives us a sense of the centrality of the importance of the death of Christ, of the cross of Christ. And this is at the very core and the heart of our faith. Were Jesus not crucified, we would all be lost in our sins. If he was not raised from the dead, 1 Corinthians 15 says, we would still be in our sins.
We would be without hope. And so, the centrality of this is worthy of our attention as we come to God's Word. Let's approach it from four different perspectives. First of all, looking at the death of Christ predicted. The death of Christ predicted.
And in this, we want to look at just four prophecies that were surrounding the death of Christ from the Old Testament, and then we'll look at how they were fulfilled. Turn in your Bible, if you would, to Isaiah chapter 53. Isaiah chapter 53. Isaiah chapter 53. Isaiah, speaking prophetically, said, I will allot him a portion with the great. He will divide the booty with the strong, because he poured out himself to death, and here it is, and was numbered with the transgressors.
He was numbered with the transgressor. One aspect of the predictions of the death of Christ is this, is that Jesus would be executed with common criminals. Jesus would be executed with common criminals. Isaiah was writing some 700 years before the time of Christ, speaking about the Messiah, he said that in his death he would be numbered with the transgressors. That's all I want you to see from that. Israel's lofty Messiah would be ranked with thieves at his death.
This is incomprehensible, isn't it? That the pure and holy Messiah would be numbered as one worthy of a death classified with a common robber, and yet this is what Scripture said would happen. Now secondly, secondly, the prophets also predicted that Jesus would be pierced. He would be pierced.
His bones would not be broken, but his side would be pierced. The prophets foresaw this some centuries before it actually happened. Look back at Psalm 34 with me, if you would, Psalm 34, Psalm 34 and verse 19, a statement that is true of us, but was especially true of our Lord Jesus. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Christ went to the cross, it was a time of great affliction, but the Lord delivered him out of it. In verse 20 it says, he keeps all of his bones, not one of them is broken. Not one of them is broken, not one of the Messiah's bones would be broken. Yet, if you look at the prophet Zechariah toward the end of your Old Testament, Zechariah at the end of your Old Testament, just before the book of Malachi in Zechariah chapter 12 verse 10, Zechariah 12 verse 10, the prophecy that Jesus would be pierced, says, I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on me whom they have pierced. This is a staggering prophecy where God is speaking in the first person and says the day will come when Israel will look on me, look on me, the one whom they had pierced. So Jesus was going to be pierced, the Messiah would be pierced. Thirdly, another aspect of the death of Christ predicted is that Jesus's garments would be gambled.
They would be gambled, they would be gambled for, you might say, but everyone says you're not supposed to have a preposition at the end of a sentence, and so I'm trying to honor the linguists in our audience with the way that I phrased that point. Jesus's garments would be gambled. If you would look at Psalm 22 verse 18, I would be most appreciative as you follow along. Psalm 22 verse 18, and remember understanding all we're doing is we're kind of surveying, we're taking a sampling of things to just get a sense of the magnificence of the predetermined plan of God in the death of Christ. We'll look at the New Testament fulfillment of these in just a moment. Psalm 22 in verse 17, David speaking prophetically said, I can count all of my bones and they stare at me. That was certainly true of Christ on the cross. And then in verse 18 it says, they divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots. This was a thousand years before the crucifixion when this was written that Jesus's garments would be gambled.
Now step back and think about it, if you would, or you can stay in your seat and sit back and think about it, that's okay too, whatever you prefer. Does this not show us that the infinite indifference that there was at the time of the crucifixion of Christ as the Roman soldiers gambled for the garments of Jesus, what greater measure of indifference could it be as the eternal Son of God was being crucified for the sins of men that so oblivious and so indifferent were they to the moment in which they were engaged that they were in essence tossing dice to see who could win his threads. And you say that's shocking that someone could be so indifferent to the eternal redemption that was being accomplished on the cross at that moment in time.
It's true. Shocking indifference. You know what my perspective is as a preacher? It is shocking to me that people are likewise indifferent when Christ is presented to them when they're dead in their trespasses and sins. When they know that they are guilty before God, when their conscience cries out against them of their guilt and the means of forgiveness is presented to them, Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, and they brush it off like they've got some kind of lint on their shirt. Say, that doesn't matter to me. Soldiers gambled for his garments, that doesn't matter to me. We present Christ to men and some of them say that doesn't matter to me.
It's the same level of indifference. It's the same kind of guilt that comes for rejecting, for not recognizing the great infinite value of what's being presented to you when the Lord Jesus Christ is laid before you is what I would say to any sinner who would listen to me. There is no excuse for being indifferent to Christ in such a way, but the spirit that animates that today is the spirit that was animating the soldiers at the time.
Complete utter ignorance and indifference to the magnificence of what was around them. Fourthly, prophecies of the death of Jesus predicted. We have talked about he'd be executed with common criminals, he'd be pierced, his garments would be gambled, finally for this segment Jesus would be buried by a rich man. He would be buried by a rich man. Go back to Isaiah 53 with me if you would, Isaiah 53 and in verse 9 you'll see that Isaiah prophetically said, his grave was assigned with wicked men yet he was with a rich man in his death because he had done no violence nor was there any deceit in his mouth. And so Jesus was going to be buried by a rich man. Stated differently, despite his humiliation of being crucified with common criminals, he would still receive an honorable burial because he was worthy of that.
There was no deceit in his mouth, he had done no violence, he had done no wrong, he was worthy of an honorable burial. And so Jesus' death was predicted in different elements and we've surveyed those ever so briefly here. Now that brings us to our second major point and having said the death of Christ predicted, let's look at the death of Christ fulfilled as it's given to us in the gospel writers who were conscious of these Old Testament prophecies as they wrote their accounts of the life and death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
The death of Christ fulfilled, first of all, just going in perfect parallel to what we've already said, Jesus was executed with common criminals. As predicted, he was numbered with the transgressors. Look at Mark 15. Mark chapter 15 in the gospels, Mark 15, and we'll gather two of these up at the same time.
We'll keep our finger in Mark 15 for the moment. In Mark 15, verse 27, it says, they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, and he was numbered with transgressors. The Romans, the Jews, put Jesus and classified him with two guilty robbers, two common criminals in his death. Can you imagine that the eternal Son of God was identified like that in his death?
There it was, just as the prophet said it would be. Keep your finger in Mark 15 and look over at John 19 now, if you would. John 19, as we see that Jesus was indeed pierced.
Jesus was pierced as the prophet said that he would be. And in verse 31, John 19, verse 31, and hopefully we can read this with a measure of sympathy and love for what our Lord endured on our behalf, right? That the fact that Christ underwent all of this suffering, all of this humiliation, all of this shame projected upon him, bearing the wrath of God for us on the cross, did it to save our souls. I trust that we can read this with a new measure of affection and sympathy for our Lord being grateful for everything that he's done on our behalf. This should move your heart toward a greater love for Christ as we consider these things.
John 19, verse 31. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for that Sabbath was a high day, asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with him.
They did that so as to accelerate death. Once the legs were broken, there was no basis upon which the crucified victim could press himself up in order to get a breath. He just collapsed under his weight and it hastened suffocation. It hastened suffocation as a result of having the broken legs.
He couldn't push up in order to relieve the pressure on his lungs in order to get a breath. And so this was a common way the Roman soldiers would often do this to hasten the death of a crucified victim. And so they knew how to do this. But look at what happens in verse 33. Coming to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. They did not break his legs, just as Psalm 22 had said a thousand years earlier. These Roman soldiers knowing nothing about the prophecies of Christ, caring nothing about any fulfillment of prophecy, just doing a job which they did repeatedly throughout their military career, said, oh this was different, he's already dead.
We don't need to break his legs. But what did they do in verse 34? One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out. Verse 35, he who has seen has testified and his testimony is true and he knows that he is telling the truth so that you also may believe. Verse 36, for these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture.
This was the reason it happened exactly this way. It was so that the Scriptures that had been written in the past would be fulfilled in the events of the death of Christ. Look at it there at the end of verse 36.
Not a bone of him shall be broken. And again, another Scripture says, they shall look on him whom they pierced. And so the writer of Scriptures, knowing the Old Testament, having seen the crucifixion of Christ, says this is what happened, this was in fulfillment of what was written previously. And so, as we see these things, let's look at one final aspect of it, that Jesus was buried by a rich man.
No, I skipped one, sorry. Jesus' garments were gambled. Jesus' garments were gambled, and for that we can go back to Mark chapter 15, where it says that they brought him to the place called Gotha, Mark 15 verse 22. They brought him to the place called Gotha, which is translated place of a skull.
They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided up his garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. Look also over at Matthew 27, if you would. Matthew 27, Matthew reports this in a parallel account in verse 35, when they had crucified him, they divided up his garments among them by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over him there, and above his head they put up the charge against him, which read, this is Jesus, the King of the Jews. So we see from the gospel accounts that Christ was executed with common criminals. He was pierced.
His garments were gambled. And also in Matthew 27, look at verse 57 where we will see that he was buried by a rich man. He was buried by a rich man, Matthew 27 in verse 57. Matthew 27, verse 57, where it says that when it was evening there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
A rich man came, a disciple of Jesus it says, and took custody of the body of Jesus and gave him an honorable burial in a grave that he owned. And so we see Jesus' death predicted in the Old Testament passages that we looked at. We see Jesus' death fulfilled in the gospel passages that we looked at. And so we're very impressed by, we're very much strengthened by the prophetic nature of Scripture, that these aren't allegories that we're reading, these aren't mythological accounts, this isn't abstract philosophy. This is time and space, events in true history taking place where actual writings were made centuries in advance and then time elapses and in time and space history, the events that took place fulfilled what was written.
That's very significant, beloved. It means that your faith in Christ is grounded in truth. It is grounded in actual history, not speculations, not things that people made up in their minds.
We do not follow old wives' tales. We follow that which is true, that which is accurate, that which whose truth is shown by the fulfillment of prophecy which, watch it, the truth of fulfilled prophecy shows that it was the fulfillment of a plan that God had all along. History and the career of Christ were working out exactly as God planned, not in some kind of random manner without a guiding force, a guiding purpose being at work in the midst of it. And so, the question is, have you believed in Christ in response to this truth of the gospel? This is absolute truth.
This is certain. There is no doubt to any of these things. Have you believed in Christ? Well, as you know, Jesus wasn't simply crucified. He didn't simply die, but he was resurrected as well, and let's look at the resurrection of Christ predicted.
Point number three, the resurrection of Christ predicted, and in that we see that it was said that Jesus would not undergo decay, that he would not undergo the decaying process of death as ordinary humans who died do. Look at Psalm 16 with me, Psalm 16 verse 10. Back in Psalms again, Psalm 16 verse 10, David writing some 1,000 years before the time of Christ saying things that were true in his time but that spoke beyond his time and the things that he said in the fullness of everything that they signified. So in Psalm 16 verse 7, David says, I will bless the Lord who has counseled me. Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. My flesh also will dwell securely.
Now watch this. David says, I am praising God as I'm writing right now. My heart is glad and my glory rejoices and I dwell in security.
Why was David so joyful and why was there such security in his heart? Well, as you've seen today on the Truth Pulpit, the death of Jesus was described in amazing detail long before its actual occurrence. Pastor Don Green also mentioned that Christ's resurrection was in a similar way foretold. We'll look more closely at those prophecies and their fulfillment on our next broadcast as we continue our series, The Wonder of Jesus. Don't miss a moment. Right now though, Don's back here in studio with some closing words.
Hi, friend. As we close today, I just want to make something available to you. You know, as you listen to these radio broadcasts, they have to fit into a 25-minute format and we're very grateful for the opportunity the Lord's given us to do just that. But the radio messages are born out of a longer sermon message that contains more information, more background, a fuller explanation of the passage than what we're able to do on radio. So I encourage you to go to our website and find the link that says, Follow Don's Pulpit. That will lead you to a podcast that gives you the full-length sermons from every Sunday and every Tuesday from my pulpit. I really think that it will minister to you over time to hear the full-length messages. So we make that available for free and we would love you to join us in that way as well. Thanks, Don. And friend, to take advantage of what Don just mentioned, just visit thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright and we'll see you next time as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
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