Summary: Jesus fulfills the Old Testament; this is especially seen on Palm Sunday.
Finding Christ in the Old Testament
Rev. Brian Bill
As a way to introduce the sermon today we’re going to watch a clip from “The Mouk Story,” which describes how chronological Bible teaching from the Old Testament provided a framework for an explosion of faith in Papua New Guinea.
Play clip from “The Mouk Story” (see www.ntm.org for more information).
Isn’t it amazing that this missionary spent two months teaching the Old Testament before he taught about Jesus? Why did he do that? He did it because the first testament sets the stage for the second. By the time they learned about Jesus, they understood their sinfulness and their desperate need for a sacrificial substitute. Their guilt was overcome by the grace of God…and their joy knew no bounds. Did you catch that they broke out into spontaneous praise for two-and-a-half hours? It’s my prayer that a similar expression of jubilation will take place in our midst as we continue our expedition through the Old Testament.
Let me give you a map of our journey this morning…
1. The preaching part of our worship time will be at the beginning so that we can end with the praising part of worship. In other words, the sermon will be first and the songs will be last. But remember, everything is worship.
2. Sandwiched in-between the preaching and the praising will be the celebration of communion. This will help us see that everything in the Old Testament culminates in Christ.
3. As we go through a number of Old Testament passages, I’m going to put them up on the screen so we can read them in unison. I’d like us to stand when they appear, and using our voices as instruments of exaltation, speak the Scriptures loudly. This will help us see the Bible with our eyes, hear it with our ears, and by standing we’ll honor His holy Word. Plus, you’ll stay awake…unless you can sleep while standing.
The Bible Jesus Read
One of the most provocative book titles I have seen is called, “The Bible Jesus Read.” Jesus certainly didn’t view the Old Testament as a boring or irrelevant book. Rather, he saw it, from beginning to end, as speaking of Himself. He not only is the fulfillment of some 300 or so prophecies and pictures in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ is the main character. Dan Doriani notes: “Jesus does not simply figure in the Old Testament as the object of prophecy. He figures in all its pages.”
After the Resurrection, Jesus walked and talked with a couple guys while they traveled to Emmaus. Please turn to Luke 24:27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Jesus then gave them a Bible lesson they would never forget as He started with the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses and concluded with what the prophets said about Him. The Greek verb used here for “explain” is where we get the word “hermeneutics,” or Bible interpretation. From Genesis to Malachi, the Scriptures point to the Savior.
In John 1:45, after Philip was introduced to Jesus, he came and found Nathaniel and said, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” In John 5:39, Jesus taught that the Scriptures testify about Him and in Luke 24:44, He added, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
It’s intriguing to imagine what passages Jesus preached from in His sermon that day. It was without doubt the greatest Old Testament exposition in history. Here are some verses He may have explained from the three main sections.
From the Books of Moses:
• Jesus probably started by recounting the prophecy about Satan’s demise in Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” One day Eve’s offspring would do battle with the evil one and crush him. This was graphically portrayed in the Passion of the Christ film, as Jesus crushed the head of the serpent in the garden. Couched in the context of the very first sin, God has given us a glimpse of grace as Jesus the powerful conqueror will prevail and redeem humans from the bondage of the evil one. The apostle Paul states that we will share with Jesus in this victory according to Romans 16:20: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
• Genesis 49:10 states that the Messiah must come from the tribe of Judah: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”