Summary: We are going to focus on the appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. But how do we know it was Jesus? We know because of the evidence we find in the New Testament.
How Do We Know It Was Jesus?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Jan. 6, 2010
Old Testament Encounters with Christ
*Over the next few weeks we are going to look at some of the Old Testament appearances of Christ. One preacher I looked at had a series on Christ in the Old Testament. It was 80 sermons long! Now we won’t come anywhere near that. But it shows you that there is a lot about Christ in the Old Testament.
*We are going to focus on the appearances of Christ in the Old Testament, those times when God appeared to man. But how do we know it was the pre-incarnate Christ who appeared as God in the Old Testament? How do we know it was Jesus? We know because of the evidence we find in the New Testament.
1. And as we examine the evidence tonight, we will see that our Heavenly Father is excluded from appearing in the Old Testament.
*Many people assume that any time God appeared in the Old Testament, it was an appearance of God the Father. But God’s Word teaches us that this is not true. God’s Word clearly states that in Old Testament times no one had ever seen the Father. In John 1:9, the Apostle tells us that Jesus is the true Light of the world. Vs. 10 tells us that Jesus is the Creator of the world. Vs. 12 shows that Jesus gives believers the right to become children of God. Vs. 17 tells us that grace and truth can only come through Jesus. Then in vs. 18, John said something that many people miss: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
*In other words: “No one has seen GOD THE FATHER at any time.” So, whenever the Old Testament talks about someone seeing God, they are meeting with the pre-incarnate Christ. Walking and talking with Adam & Eve in the garden in the cool of the day, it was Jesus! Eating with Abraham, it was Jesus! Wrestling with Jacob, it was Jesus!
*Jesus affirmed this truth in John 6:44-47, where He said:
44. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
46. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.
47. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
*Jesus said: “No one has seen God the Father at any time.” Prior to the cross, this was certainly true, and this truth magnifies our need for Christ. Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except thru Me.” (John 14:6)
*Everybody needs Jesus! Everybody needs to be saved! And the Bible tells us that God is not willing for anyone to perish. That’s why Jesus was willing to die on the cross for our sins. Every sinner needs the Savior!
*Evangelist Eddie Martin tells of preaching at a crusade in Bluefield, West Virginia. One night a well-dressed woman came forward at the invitation for salvation. Eddie later reported, “I took her hand and prepared to give her a prayer to repeat after me. The prayer I usually give is, ‘Dear Lord, I know that I am a no-good sinner. I know I can’t save myself. I do need forgiveness for my awful sins. I can’t do without you, Jesus. Please forgive me for my many sins.’”
*Eddie said, “I took this woman’s hand and began to give her the prayer to repeat after me: ‘Dear Lord, I know I’m a no-good sinner . . . ’ She never said a word. I looked at her and said, ‘Don’t you want to be saved?’ She said, ‘Yes, I do want to be saved, but I’m not a sinner.’”
*Eddie told her: “Then you can’t be saved, Jesus only died for sinners.”
-But, she replied, “I’m a good sinner.”
*“A good sinner! -- Lady, there are no good sinners. -- You will have to take your seat. God can’t save you until you become conscious that you are a no-good sinner and need His forgiveness.”
-“But, you don’t understand. I’m really not a bad sinner.”
*“I told her to go back and sit down. She held on to my hand with a vise-like grip.
-Finally she looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Oh, please forgive me. I know I am a no-good hell-deserving sinner. I am a proud, no-good sinner. I do need Christ to forgive me of my sins.” Eddie replied, “Wonderful! Now, lady, you are ready to do business with God.” (1)