Summary: The Old Testament points toward the New. The Old Testament points toward Jesus. This week we look at the Pentateuch.
Intro.: I remember when I was a Boy Scout many years ago.
1.One of the skills that we had to learn was to follow tracking details left by our scout leader.
2.The three of us on our team got lost.
3.Actually we got set up – because the team that went before us had taken the clues and changed them just enough that we could get lost. It was no fun at all.
4.But Scripture is different. We know that what is says can be trusted.
5.During the four weeks of advent, I want to focus on some clues that God left for his people. I want to move through the OT and examine how God prepared his people for the coming messiah.
6.The OT is traditionally divided into four parts:
the Pentateuch or The Law
7.Over the next four weeks we will look at each division of the OT and examine how they each pointed the Jewish faithful toward the coming Messiah.
8.Today we start with the Pentateuch – I suppose I could read all of it, but then we would be sitting for a long time. Let me read just a short portion.
Read: Genesis 3:1-19
T.S. In the Pentateuch we see three key pictures of Jesus
I. He will be human
A. It is important to remember that Jesus is God.
B. But in Genesis 3, the focus is on his humanity.
C. The serpent had tempted Eve, who had tempted Adam – and both had sinned.
D. Both also tried to blame someone else – Eve tried to blame the serpent and Adam tried to blame Eve. But it didn’t work.
E. And there would be consequences – for all three.
F. Look at the words given to the serpent. There will be a human offspring that will one day challenge the very life of that serpent.
G. Though we know that Jesus is God, this passage says nothing about His deity – rather it makes very clear that he will come as a human.
(Ill.) Doctrinally, it is put this way, "We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, truly God and truly man." (i)
H. Somehow, it is easy to think of Jesus as being God – but it is more difficult to think of Him as being human. He did cry as a child, he was hungry, he was tempted. I can see him hitting his thumb in his father’s carpentry shop. We must never forget that Christ was a human as we are – with one big exception – he never sinned.
(Appl.) The next time you start to think that God just doesn’t understand, remember that he was here too, and suffered with the same hurts and the same temptations that are ours. He understands because he was here. He is not some God who is merely out there. But he is the only kind of God who can understand – why, because he is human.
II. He will be Jewish
A. That Jesus would be Jewish is not evident from Genesis 3 – but we find the promise a Jewish messiah throughout much of the Pentateuch.
B. For example, turn to Genesis 22:15-18. Abraham had just sacrificed the ram as a substitute for his own son. But because of his obedience God was ready to bless him. Listen - "The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
C. Abraham was the beginning – but we see similar promises being made to Isaac, Jacob (the father of the Jewish nation). Later, we shall see the promise being passed to David and confirmed by the prophets.
D. What really amazes me, is not the fact that this prophesy was given to Abraham, but that it was given to Abraham more than 2000 years before Christ was born. Scholars sometimes disagree about when God spoke these words to Abraham – but we are talking about a difference of 100 years – so whether it is 1900 or 2000 years before Christ, it is an amazing prediction of God was going to do through Christ.
(Appl.) If you ever get to the point in your life when God seems distant, if you ever begin to wonder whether God can do what he says, you only need to come back to these prophesies – you only need to come back to these prophesies looking forward to the coming of Jesus. Abraham was written 2000 years before Christ, David was writing 1000 years before Christ, the prophets are dated 700 to 500 years before Christ. And they provide the proof that God does what he ways he will do.