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Jesus: A Life Predicted #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2023 12:00 am

Jesus: A Life Predicted #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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December 4, 2023 12:00 am

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God's mouthpieces, the prophets, foretold details of Christ's life before he lived. And so you might say, and for a specific title of today's message, we would call it Jesus, A Life Predicted. The coming of Christ and his death on a cross were not random events that just suddenly came to pass by chance.

Rather, they were preordained by God from before the foundation of the world. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and on this edition of The Truth Pulpit, Don Green continues in his ministry of teaching God's people God's word, as he begins a series titled The Wonder of Jesus. Today, part one of a message called Jesus, A Life Predicted. And Don, what's in store for us over the next few programs?

Well, Bill, I guess I look at this series as a warm-up for the Christmas season that is just ahead for us. A unique and special focus on Christ, on his life, on his death, on his person, and on his work for us on the cross. You know, Christmas is a unique opportunity for us to turn our attention directly to Christ. Here with this series, we want to give some content to that to take us into a biblical focus beyond sentimentality to the true glories of Christ revealed in his word.

Thanks Don, and friend, let's get started right now in The Truth Pulpit. So to start this, if you're going to start any discussion of Christ, the only place to go is back before the beginning of time. If you are going to appreciate Christ and have a fully developed faith in him, you need to understand that Jesus Christ was God's plan all along. He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, and the earliest apostolic preaching after his resurrection and after his ascension made this point very clear. Look at the book of Acts chapter 2, if you will, as we get started here. And it's just such a wonderful privilege for us to know Christ. It's a privilege for any man to speak about the glories of Christ in any context whatsoever, whether it's in a private evangelistic setting, or if it's in a public preaching of God's Word, there is no higher topic.

There is no greater theme for discussion than Jesus Christ, and we must make that clear and unambiguous in our thoughts and minds here today. In Acts chapter 2 verse 22, Peter is preaching, and he says, "...men of Israel," the point here being that Christ was the plan of God all along. Acts chapter 2 verse 22, "...men of Israel, listen to these words. Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know."

They were witnesses to the fact that Christ's ministry was attended by miraculous signs which authenticated him to be alone the true Son of God. Verse 23, "...this man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put him to death." We must understand together that the crucifixion of Christ was not an accident, it was not a sorrowful turn of events that where God's plan got off track and somehow God brought good out of it anyway, no, it was the predetermined plan of God all along that Christ would be nailed to a cross in order to purchase a people for himself.

That's where it begins. Look at Acts chapter 3 verse 18. Acts chapter 3 verse 18, as Peter is speaking to those who rejected Christ and crucified him in verse 17, he says, "...brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance just as your rulers did also, but the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets that his Christ would suffer, he thus has fulfilled." Remember that there was 1,000, 1,500, 2,000 years of history before Christ walked on the earth in the history of Israel when God called Abraham and made the Abrahamic covenant to him for the first time in Genesis chapter 12. Thousands of years of history preceded the ministry of Christ, the crucifixion of Christ, the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and throughout the period that followed, in that 2,000 year period, God was speaking and planning the way through the prophets, predicting the coming of Christ and the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow. We must understand Christ from that perspective.

He didn't suddenly pop onto the scene. Christ himself was the plan all along, and this is reinforced with more of Peter's preaching in chapter 4, actually as he's praying to God in verse 27, Acts chapter 4 verse 27, he says, "...truly in this city they were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel," look at this, "...to do whatever your hand and your purpose predestined to occur." You can't deny the idea of predestination without denying the very clear testimony of the plan of God and Christ from the beginning of time.

That's a serious theological error to attack predestination as some of our friends say that they want to do. And so what we want to see is that before time began, God had predestined, God had predetermined that Christ would be the Savior of the world. He sent him in order to fulfill the plan that was established before the beginning of time. In those thousands of years before Christ came, he sent the prophets. He sent prophets to prepare the way.

And over an extended period of history, they gave out pieces of pictures that showed Israel how to recognize their Messiah. God's mouthpieces told in advance about the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ so that God had established the plan before creation, and over time he unveiled progressively bits and pieces of what it would be like so that when Christ came, the way was fully prepared for people to understand that he and he alone was the true Son of God. God's mouthpieces, the prophets, foretold details of Christ's life before he lived. And so you might say, and for a specific title of today's message we would call it, Jesus, a Life Predicted. God's mouthpieces, the prophets, foretold details of Christ before he lived, and did so centuries in advance.

What we want to do today is simply sketch a few of those prophecies and then see their fulfillment in Christ from the New Testament, especially the Gospel of Matthew. And beloved, what we're doing here is we're laying down things that are foundational for true faith. We tend to make a serious error as we go through our daily life.

It's easy to do, it's understandable to do as we walk in this world and, you know, we're assaulted with issues and all of that, and we tend to do this. We tend simply to relate Jesus, to relate God, to relate his providence to whatever is happening in our life right now. The things that we hope to have occur are the things and the trials that we're going through, and we narrow down our focus and we bring God into time in the window of our own life. Well, considering prophecy and considering the fulfillment in prophecy is a way to burst us out of that artificial closet, to burst us out beyond our perspective, to forget about ourselves as it were, and to see Christ in all of his glory as the fullness of Scripture and the fullness of time over millennia reveals him to be. You see, when we talk about the Lord Jesus, we are talking about someone who is in a sense totally other, who is completely transcendent, and we must never forget the transcendence of Christ and one of the ways that we see his transcendence is through the fulfillment of prophecy. And let me say this, brothers and sisters in Christ, that as we consider these things all too briefly, I would have you understand that we have a privilege laid out before us that was denied to the prophets themselves, that was denied to angels even.

If you look over at 1 Peter chapter 1, 1 Peter chapter 1, this is just by way of cultivating in our hearts a sense of reverence and appreciation for the privilege that is ours to see these things about Christ, not only to see them but to know him, to be redeemed by him, to be in union with Christ, to know him as Lord, to know him as Savior, to have a brother in heaven who represents us before a holy God, never should we lose sight of the great majesty and the great privilege of that. And so in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 10, as Peter has been speaking about the salvation of your souls that you see there at the end of the verse 9, you see this in verse 10, As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. The prophets were conscious of the fact that they were speaking beyond themselves, they were speaking of things to come. As they prophesied, they wanted to understand more for themselves about what it was that God was declaring through them.

They made careful search and inquiry. And in verse 12, Peter says, it was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. The prophets knew that they had a pearl of great price, so to speak, and they wanted to know more and it was revealed to them that their ministry was for others to come after them. And we as unworthy men and women, we have the benefit of that which God withheld from the prophets in their day.

Beloved, don't you see? Don't you see what a great treasure we have in the gospel, in the Scriptures, in Christ? What a great treasure it is that men far better than us wanted what we have, wanted to know the things that we know, and God said, it's not for you to know in your lifetime.

You're serving others to come and here we are on the receiving end of such great blessing and grace. Well, all that should do is condition us to come to Scripture with a holy reverence, with fear and trembling and with a sense of anticipation that these things about Christ must be truly magnificent, truly be great, and to receive them in that sense to, as it were, take off our shoes because we're standing on holy ground, and to realize that God established a plan that he purposed through his sovereignty that was most certainly going to be carried out, and he progressed in revelation over time until the fullness of time came, in the words of the opening verses of Hebrew, and then he spoke to us in his Son, in the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been said about the prophetic word this, and I quote, The Lord Jesus is mankind's only hope for righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In him alone, prophecy finds its proper explanation and its adequate result." So just to kind of wrap things up here before we pivot, God established a plan for Christ before time began. And over the course of 1,500 years, he revealed the coming details of that life, of that magnificent man, that magnificent God incarnate in human flesh.

Over the course of 1,500 years, he revealed details bit by bit in advance, and the life of Christ fulfilled those ancient prophecies, proving beyond any doubt that he was the promised Redeemer. The prophecies started in Genesis chapter 3, when God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Look at Genesis chapter 3 with me. Some of this will be familiar territory.

I don't mind that at all. These are things that we could never rehearse often enough. God, as you know, had expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for their sin and pronounced curses. And in Genesis 14, he curses the serpent who deceived them and led them into sin. And in verse 14, he says, The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.

He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. Christ would deliver a decisive blow to Satan, bruising him on the head, even though for a moment there would be a temporary crucifixion of the Redeemer to come. This is the first biblical reference to a coming deliverer. God, in the face of the fall of man, steps in and in grace promises a deliverer right from the start. And as the Old Testament progressed, the prophet gave many pictures of the coming Redeemer that we now know as the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let's look at five of those. Our first point, we could title it this way, The Life of Christ Predicted. The Life of Christ Predicted. And what we're going to do, we're not going to examine all of the prophecies that could be considered, we're just going to give five representative prophecies and then in the latter half of the message show their fulfillment from the Gospel of Matthew. And I just like to kind of gather everything together in one place like this so that the cumulative impact of these different prophecies and their fulfillments would point us to Christ from a full biblical perspective. So, the first prophecy that we want to look at is it found in Isaiah chapter 7. Isaiah chapter 7. And we could state it like this, that in Isaiah chapter 7, the prophet said that the Redeemer would be born of a virgin. The Redeemer would be born of a virgin. And the prophet Isaiah ministered some 700 years before the time of Christ. If you do the math on that, from our day that would take us before the time that Columbus discovered America.

And so we realize the vast time period that we are operating with to give us a sense of perspective. Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14, the prophet said, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel, meaning God with us. The Redeemer would be born of a virgin. You go on in Isaiah chapter 9 and you see secondly that the Redeemer would be a descendant of David. A descendant of David. Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6. We're going to go through these rather quickly, I just want to highlight the passages for you. We'll spend a little more time on their fulfillment. Isaiah chapter 9 verses 6 and 7, For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on his shoulders, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of his government or of peace. On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah prophesying that there would be a child born of a virgin in the line of David who would be entitled to the throne of David.

Where would this Redeemer come from? Thirdly, a contemporary of Isaiah named Micah said that he would be born in Bethlehem. Turn further back in your Old Testament to the book of Micah chapter 5. Micah chapter 5. And in verse 2 it says, But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

You see it again? From the days of eternity, God established that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. And here is Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, prophesying the precise village in which Christ would be born.

Bethlehem was an obscure village. You wouldn't guess it to be the place that would give birth to the Messiah, and yet the prophet said 700 years in advance that it would be so. There have been some that have suggested that Jesus was only a charlatan who learned the prophecies and then figured out how to fulfill them.

That would be quite a feat for him to figure out before he was born the city to which he was to be given birth. No, this is the Word of God. This is God from sovereign majesty declaring history in advance and then guaranteeing the flow of history in order to fulfill what had been prophesied so that what was prophesied would fulfill his eternal decree.

Going on, another aspect of the life of Christ. Another prophet, Zechariah, who ministered some 500 years before Christ said that this Redeemer would enter Jerusalem in triumph. Look at Zechariah chapter 9, it's just a couple of books back from Micah. Zechariah chapter 9 verse 9 says, "'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your King is coming to you! He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'" Zechariah tells the Jews to look for their King, they'll recognize him when he's riding in in triumph on a donkey. And then one more, a couple of chapters later in Zechariah, he tells us that this Redeemer would be betrayed. Zechariah chapter 11 verses 12 and 13.

We'll pick all of these prophecies up in the book of Matthew. Zechariah 11, 12 and 13, it reads as follows, "'I said to them, if it is good in your sight, give me my wages, but if not, never mind.' So they weighed out 30 shekels of silver as my wages. Then the Lord said to me, throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.

So I took the 30 shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord." And so we have five different prophecies of the coming Redeemer, of the Messiah, of Israel's King by which they would recognize him laid out before us. And as we come to our second point, we see these prophecies about Christ fulfilled. We see these prophecies fulfilled in the Gospel of Matthew. And so turn over to Matthew chapter 1 with me, and we'll parallel back to the way that we have outlined these prophecies. We could call this point the prophecies of Christ fulfilled. The prophecies of Christ fulfilled, recognizing that these are prophecies made 500 and 700 years in advance. You know, what do we remember about history from five or seven hundred years ago? Maybe a faint shadow of a figure in church history? As time moves on, here is God fulfilling His Word given through the prophets in perfect detail and recording it by the Spirit for us to see 2,000 years after the life of Christ.

Just the sheer chronology of this is stunning. Well, what can we say? First of all, Jesus was born of a virgin. Jesus was born of a virgin. Look at Matthew chapter 1 in verse 18, and I'll read some a little more extended passages as we go along now.

In Matthew chapter 1 verse 18, now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet. Quoting from Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14, behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means God with us.

And Joseph awoke from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus. Today on The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green has delivered to us five prophecies given in the Old Testament that would find their fulfillments in the New. We'll look at those scriptural fulfillments on our next broadcast as we continue our series, The Wonder of Jesus, with part two of Don's message, Jesus, A Life Predicted.

Be sure to join us then. You know, you can hear any part of this series again at your convenience when you visit our website thetruthpulpit.com. You can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies for your personal study library. Plus, you'll find the link Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full length weekly sermons, not subject to the time editing we need for radio broadcasts. Again, that's all at thetruthpulpit.com. And let us just say thank you for your support of this ministry. Without you, this program would not be possible. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's word from the Truth
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-04 04:54:46 / 2023-12-04 05:03:51 / 9

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