Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go"1 (Lyrics)
2 Peter 1:20-21 – Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
Although I've read the Old Testament multiple times, I didn't fully internalize how relevant it is, both to my walk with God and to my understanding of the many ways that it points to Christ. This summer, I'm in a Bible study that focuses on Jesus in the Old Testament, and it has opened my eyes and my heart. Each lesson highlights Scriptures that speak of Christ, and then either shows us how the pre-incarnate Christ was present, right from the beginning, or guides us to the New Testament passage in which an Old Testament promise or prophecy is fulfilled.
The first instance is Genesis 1:1,3a – "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God said," (NIV) which is verified in John 1:1-2 – "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." (NIV)
Only 16 verses later, still in Genesis 1, we're introduced to the Trinity: "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.'" (NIV – emphasis mine) God was not alone in creation — Jesus was present from the very beginning.
The pre-incarnate Christ appears to both men and women: Abraham (Genesis 18), Jacob (Genesis 32), Joshua (Joshua 5), Manoah and his wife (Judges 13), and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3), to name just a few.
Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 clearly, accurately, and almost cruelly, identify and predict many aspects of Jesus' crucifixion.
And that's just the beginning! One after another, promises, prophecies, or the pre-incarnate Christ appear in almost every book of the Old Testament, right through to the promise in Malachi 3:1b – "Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come." (NIV)
About 25 different authors wrote the Old Testament over a 1500-year span. One common thread is sewn through all 39 books: Jesus Christ, Who clearly fulfilled those promises and prophecies. The continuity, common focus, and fulfillment of their writings:
- Validate the Bible and its accuracy. Over 300 prophecies were fulfilled just in Christ's first coming.
- Give us hope for the future. We can believe that God is in control.
- Assure us that the Bible is God's revelation. No human could be that accurate.
- Should motivate us to serve the Lord and be a witness for Him in every possible way.
I'm being blessed by this study and I encourage you to investigate this for yourself.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being so clear in Your message, for showing us and assuring us that You are in control. We need that comfort and guarantee during difficult times. Amen.