Had the Hebrew scriptures been veiled from the people until this time?
2 Corinthians 3:14-15 NKJV
“But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.”
How is that veil removed?
2 Corinthians 3:16 NKJV
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Isaiah 7:14 wasn’t understood before but is recorded in Matthew 1:21-23 as being fulfilled. Was it a sign from Yahweh Himself?
Matthew 1:22-23 NASB
“Now all this took place to fulfil what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “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.””
Isaiah 7:14 NASB
“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.”
Many Hebrew scriptures that were not understood as Messianic prophecies before these times are identified as being fulfilled by events in Jesus’ life and ministry. Let us look at a few of these.
Jesus, son of Yahweh, (typified by Israel in Exodus) is brought out of Egypt:
Exodus 4:22 NJB
You will then say to Pharaoh, “This is what Yahweh says: Israel is my first-born son.
Matthew 2:15 NASB
“He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.“”
Hosea 11:1 NASB
“When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.”
The Jews didn’t recognise the killing of the male children as fulfilling prophecy:
Matthew 2:16-18 NASB
“Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.””
Jeremiah 31:15 NJB
Yahweh says this: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.
Again, they did not expect Messiah (Christ) to come from Galilee. Although Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea he was brought up in Nazareth in Galilee
John 7:41-42 NASB
“Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?””
Matthew 2:23 NASB
“and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.””
Did Jesus’ parables fulfil scripture?
Matthew 13:34-35 NASB
“All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.””
Psalms 78:1–4 NASB
“Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.”
They certainly didn’t expect the Messiah (Christ) to be rejected, but he was!
Matthew 21:42 NASB
“Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES ‘?”
Psalms 118:22-23 NJB
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
This is Yahweh’s doing, and we marvel at it.
Who was he talking about?
Matthew 21:45 NASB
“When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.”
Jesus understood he was going to the Father from Dan 7:13
John 14:12 NASB
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”
Daniel 7:13 NASB
“”I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.”
This was also a surprise to everyone, especially the circumstances of it. However, Jesus expected to be struck down and the flock scattered and he quoted Zechariah 13:7 regarding it.
Matthew 26:31 NASB
“Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’”
Zechariah 13:7 NASB
“”Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.”
Jesus also recognised the bronze serpent that Moses was instructed to put up on a pole in the wilderness as foreshadowing his own crucifixion. Nobody else saw this coming.
Numbers 21:4-9 NJB
21:4 They left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt round Edom. On the way the people lost patience.
21:5 They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the desert? For there is neither food nor water here; we are sick of this meagre diet.’
21:6 At this, God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel.
21:7 The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against Yahweh and against you. Intercede for us with Yahweh to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people,
21:8 and Yahweh replied, ‘Make a fiery serpent and raise it as a standard. Anyone who is bitten and looks at it will survive.’
21:9 Moses then made a serpent out of bronze and raised it as a standard, and anyone who was bitten by a serpent and looked at the bronze serpent survived.
John 3:14 NASB
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;”
John 12:32-33 NASB
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.”
Notice also that Jesus refers to himself very often as ‘the son of man’, we will look at why this is important in future articles
Did Jesus know he was going to be betrayed?
John 13:18 NASB
“I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’”
He was quoting Psalms 41:9
Psalms 41:9 NASB
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.”
Did the Chief Priests who bribed Judas understand this? No! By doing it they were contributing to rejecting the Messiah they were waiting for.
After his resurrection Jesus spent time with his disciples showing them he was alive with many proofs and expounding the scriptures and their meaning to them.
Acts 1:1-3 NASB
“The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”
Were they able to clearly preach this truth of the ‘suffering servant’ Messiah, under the power of the spirit on the Day of Pentecost? Read all of Acts chapter 2, particularly verse 36
Acts 2:36 NASB
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified.””
But why did Jesus have to suffer and die in this way?
Was this the Father’s will to bring about the salvation of the world?
1 John 4:14 NASB
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
John 4: 42 NASB
“and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Saviour of the world.””
How was this accomplished? Was Jesus ‘the Lamb of God’?
John 1:29 NASB
“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 3:16-17 NASB
“”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Did the people expect this of their Messiah – to die as their Passover Lamb so they could be spared? Was this pictured in the Hebrew scriptures?
Exodus 12:21–27 NJB
12:21 Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go and choose a lamb or kid for your families, and kill the Passover victim.
12:22 Then take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and with the blood from the basin touch the lintel and both door-posts; then let none of you venture out of the house till morning.
12:23 Then, when Yahweh goes through Egypt to strike it, and sees the blood on the lintel and on both door-posts, he will pass over the door and not allow the Destroyer to enter your homes and strike.
12:24 You will observe this as a decree binding you and your children for all time,
12:25 and when you have entered the country which Yahweh will give you, as he has promised, you will observe this ritual.
12:26 And when your children ask you, “What does this ritual mean?”
12:27 you will tell them, “It is the Passover sacrifice in honour of Yahweh who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, and struck Egypt but spared our houses.” ‘ And the people bowed in worship.
1 Corinthians 5:7 NASB
“Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
Did this seal the new covenant?
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NASB
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
Matt 26:26-29 NASB
“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.””
(Also Mk 14:22-24, and Lk 22:19-22, if you wish to look them up
Was the new covenant expected? Should it have been?
Jeremiah 31:31 NJB
31:31 ‘Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah),
We are redeemed by the Father with Messiah’s blood. Was Jesus the perfect lamb? Did the Father raise him from the dead and glorify him?
1 Peter 1:17-21 NASB
“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
The priests and people of Jesus time did not expect a ‘suffering servant Messiah’ at his first coming, and had not understood that many of the scriptures had described this initial appearing.
We will look into this a little more next time.