Proving That Jesus is the Christ From the Old Testament. Part 7

[Repeat of series introduction that began on 17 December 2023: Where would you go today in the Old Testament to argue that Jesus is the Christ? There’s so much to this that cannot be dismissed. We’re given in many ways what the Messiah would be like, what his character would be, how he’d be received (even by different people), what he’d do, how he’d redeem, that we’d have his lineage, what he’d say, how it would all end, how he’d come and more. So much, and we see it all done in just one man! How would you know that he is the promised Messiah? Jesus’ birth, life, suffering, and glorification all demonstrate the facets of his excellent work. Jesus himself asked two of his disciples the same question I could ask you today, and then went to the same source to explain it that I’d like to go to as well in this series: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:26-27. Jesus had to suffer to then enter into his glory he said. With this premise, he goes through some measure of the 39 books of the Old Testament revealing himself to them thereby. This is the same Old Testament we have today. I wish we were given the transcript of that talk, but God didn’t wish to give it. But can we see it? Many historical events in the Scriptures could be fulfilled by men and women, but no one but Jesus (Messiah) could fulfill them all. The Lord himself demonstrated that he was and is the Christ, and our New Testament reflects that its writers were well aware of this. The clear approach of the Apostles was to argue the same from the Bible that Jesus read- the 39 books we now call the Old Testament. To know what it means that Jesus is the Christ is to show the fulness of God’s revelation to mankind in the New Testament in him. In the Old Testament, God said he’d defeat sin and death; the New Testament shows us that work done. There are so many ways to talk of this. So many passages. I won’t exhaust them, but in this series, I wish to examine some of these passages. These passages are how I would prove Jesus is the Christ from the Old Testament].

Continuing on in Isaiah 53:10 [NASB95] we read,

“But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.”

From the platform of my New Testament examining my Old Testament, it is indeed a massive claim to say that Jesus is the God of Israel. It is a massive claim which thus rightly requires massive substantiation. The life and Resurrection of Jesus is more than enough for that substantiation. One Hebrew woman who lived under the Old Testament, gave birth to the testator of the New Testament (see Hebrews 9:16-23), and died a partaker of her son’s New Testament, perhaps said it best for us when she said of the substantiation of our claims: “He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.” Luke 1:54-55. If the life and Resurrection of Jesus are not enough to substantiate our claim that God’s promises to Israel are forever fulfilled, then there will never be enough. As we look to the Old Testament, it is the life of Christ laid down for us. The Old Testament is the pitch knocked over the fence by the New Testament.

We are looking to the Old Testament in this series.

Continuing on in Isaiah tonight, it becomes apparent to me that one cannot make full sense of the Bible outside of a robust Christian trinitarian monotheism. Here in this passage, we have “The Lord” crushing a “him.” There are two entities. Two persons. Two people. Two something. Without a framework of the Doctrine of Trinity, I simply cannot make consistent use of this text outside of the incarnation of the Son of Man, Jesus of Nazareth. It’s not in dispute that “the Lord” here who renders this one is Yahweh, but who else could this “he” be who is rendered? Could a nation like Israel be the “he”? No. 1. It’s a singular pronoun repeatedly. 2. If Israel as a collective was, “cut off from the land of the living” (vs. 8) would that mean the covenant to preserve them would end? 3. Who would the “my people that the stroke was due to” be if the “he” is Israel as a nation, and wouldn’t this make their offering one given for themself? 4. Israel needed the sacrifice since all were sinners so it couldn’t be the perfect sacrifice for anyone else. 5. Could one not Resurrected from death who was once in a “grave” be this one mentioned? No. I could go on and on. I don’t know who this one in Isaiah 53 is…unless I’m going to ignore the New Testament which I actively try not to do. There is “the Lord” and then the “him” mentioned throughout this chapter already that we’re not given the name “Jesus” for, but who Christians now know is Jesus. The New Testament prophets clearly see Jesus as the fulfillment of this passage. We’re arguing it from the Old Testament. Here there are titles and pronouns from vs. 1 like “the arm of the Lord,” “tender shoot,” “root out of parched ground,” “He,” “Him” “lamb.” In the New Testament, there is a necessary mediation between God and man. To that end, the separation of the Persons of the trinity is required. The incarnation and sacrifice of the body of Jesus provides that degree of mediatory separation.

The Father was not crushed by the Son. The Son, in his incarnation, was crushed by the Father. We could rephrase this verse saying, “The Father was pleased to crush Jesus…” They saw this in Acts 4:27-28, as I could pray as well citing Isaiah 53 unfolded. To bring about redemption, this was the pleasure of God.

Jesus’ offered himself as a “guilt offering.” (Vs. 10). If you read Leviticus 5 and the laws concerning guilt offerings, Jesus could not be said to have needed to offer such an offering for himself if he was ritually clean and sinless. Jesus could touch the unclean and cleanse it; it was not the other way around. This is significant, but he alone is like that coal from the altar in Isaiah 6:6-7. He was rendered as a guilt offering therefore for his people, not for himself if we understand his nature. This is exactly what Isaiah already said at the end of vs. 8 that this was, “…for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due.” Isaiah asks you and me to consider this. According to the Law, the guilt offering was offered by the priest for the unclean one to the Lord. Leviticus 5:6, 8, etc. Here from Isaiah I argue that this offering of Jesus, if it is to be superior to all other offerings must be superior in its nature. And it was. Given Jesus’ sinlessness, I find sufficient grounds for understanding how Jesus, “…once at the consummation of the ages has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26b. He himself needs no sacrifice and that’s particularly why this sacrifice will do all that Isaiah 53 says it will be able to do for others.

Jesus had no marital relations. Sorry Dan Brown. He had no wife and thus no kids. So, what does it mean that he will, “see His offspring”? (vs. 10 continuing). Vs. 8 already said that this “He” was, “cut off from the land of the living.” Yet here we’re told he will “see His offspring”? This is the children of this offered one. This seed is the Christians. All those born again into the family of God be they Jews or Gentiles. Adopted into the family via new birth. Those given the circumcision without hands. Colossians 2:11. Those regenerated or baptized (not the following water ceremony) into Christ. Christians are the seed that Jesus now sees as a result of his perfect sacrifice. Similarly to what I cited above with Mary in Luke 1:54-55, this is precisely what Zacharias gloried in at his son John’s birth in Luke 1:68-79, and what Simeon and Anna marveled at in Luke 3:29-38. Jesus’ New Testament literally makes Abraham the father of all the nations where there are Christians. Jesus makes Abraham’s descendants (the “seed” he would see after being “cut off” or dead) into, “…a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” Revelation 7:9. Revelation 7:9 is the promise eternally fulfilled (remembered by Zacharias, Mary, Simeon and Anna) of: “And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15:5. Abraham’s seed promise is eternally fulfilled in the Seed of Genesis 3:15, the Son of Man, Jesus. Only God can count this crowd. This is the seed (descendants) of the Seed (Jesus) of Abraham. Paul writes of this in Galatians 3. In Galatians 3:29 he says specifically, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Jesus is this “arm of the Lord” at one time “cut off from the land of the living” who would yet see his “seed”, would “prolong his days” and have “the good pleasure of the Lord prosper in His hand.” Easy.

If as a Christian I’m arguing Jesus as the Messiah who would suffer and rise again in glory, this passage from Isaiah is nothing less than a verbal part of that eternal wellspring of life-giving truth. How do I know I can hope in Christ? Well, Isaiah, 700 years prior, can help me understand.

God bless!!!

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Joseph Pittano

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