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Monday, September 30, 2013

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

Jesus in OTYou study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me. John 5:39

I have found that the more I study the Old Testament, the more I see foreshadowings of Jesus. Some are quite clear such as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. Others are more subtle like the offspring of the woman in Genesis 3:15.

What fascinates me though, are those passages or accounts which appear here and there without any apparently plausible explanation.

Why, for example, did Samuel anoint David as King of Israel long before Saul died and he was able to accede to the throne? It might have made sense if David was tasked with the removing of Saul who had ceased to reign in a godly manner. But he wasn't. Instead he was exiled with a band of misfits and malcontents.

That has always puzzled me. Did Samuel mishear God? Should David have taken the throne by force?

And then I heard a Jewish Rabbi explaining why Jesus could not be the Jewish Messiah. One of his reasons was, "the Jewish Bible does not have a messianic installment plan where the Messiah comes, fails in his mission and then returns thousands of years later to finally succeed."

What the Rabbi seems to have forgotten is that the meaning of the word Messiah is anointed one, not king.

There are in fact, a surprising number of parallels between the life of David, from the anointing to the throne, and the ministry of Jesus. Here are a few which immediately spring to mind:
  • anointing long before the coronation
  • rejection by his own people
  • acquiring a small band of followers
  • returning to reign as king
God knew that there would be those who would not understand that Jesus' messiahship would precede His kingship. But the life of David has always been a prefiguring, a type, of the Messiah. That is why David had to be anointed years before he became king - to illustrate that we would have to await the second coming of Jesus before He fully reigns as King.

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