Christ in the OT- Part 3
1st Baptist Church,
Des Moines, NM
Hello again! I’m Bryan Kimsey from 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines. We’ve been looking at Christ in the Old Testament and once again, if you’d like to find this entire series, visit our website at www.fbcdesmoines.org. Also, if you’d like a CD of this series, let us know and we’ll get one to you at no charge. Our mission is to spread the gospel message and whatever we can do to that end, we’ll do. And finally, I’d like to extend an invitation to you to join us during regular worship hours. We start at 9:30 am on Sunday with a round-table discussion following. Most Sundays we also have a pot-luck meal which offers time for more fellowship. We just started a study on "hell" and we’ll be looking at 4 different views of hell to see which ones can be Scripturally supported. C’mon on out and see us!
Yesterday we looked at a foreshadowing of Christ in the curse proclaimed by God in the Garden of Eden shortly after Adam and Eve sinned by taking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Today, I’d like to look at a passage where Christ Himself refers to a picture of himself in the Old Testament. First, we’ll look at the Old Testament passage.
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. (11) So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. (12) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (13) And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. (14) Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (15) Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." (16) Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."
Note several things about this passage:
Jacob was running from his sin.
oHe has tricked Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau, the first-born. Esau has decided to kill Jacob. Jacob is fleeing the results of his sin.
There was no direct access to Heaven- even the angels had to go up and down this ladder. In other words, they didn’t go up and down on their own power, but had to use the ladder as a means of moving from earth to heaven.
God approached him and made the covenant.
oUp to this point (v. 13) it was "Abraham and Issac".
oGod appeared to Moses as "God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob"
Jacob did not know of the LORD’s presence until the LORD revealed Himself.
oUp to this point, Jacob wasn’t actively seeking God. He was, in fact, running from his sinful activities. Yet, God appeared to him, while he was yet a sinner and while he was deceitful and fleeing from the results of his trickery. God took the first step.
Years later, he wrestled with God and received a name change (Genesis 32)
oYears after the covenant was made, an event happened to begin the actual covenant proper.
Now that we have the Old Testament background, let’s move to the New Testament and to:
The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." (44) Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. (45) Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (46) And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." (47) Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (48) Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." (49) Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (50) Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." (51) And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
There are several fascinating things going on in this passage.
Note that in v. 45, Philip says "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote…" Here again is our justification for looking for Christ in the Old Testament. Philip statement to Nathanael makes it clear that the Christ is evident in the Old Testament. If this is the case, we have a warrant for also seeking Him there.
Jesus immediately demonstrates his power by telling Nathanael something about his previous activities that would not be widely known when He says "when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.".
oThis is what he did when talking to the Samarian woman at the well, and she also recognized and acknowledged this as a power of the Messiah. Let’s look at that passage:
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." (17) The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' (18) for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." (19) The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. (20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." (21) Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. (24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (25) The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." (26) Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
oNathanael and the Samaritan woman both proclaim Jesus as Messiah because He told them some of their secret life. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus utters one of the "I am" statements, when he says "I who speak to you am He", translated more literally, this statement would read "I AM, who speak to you", and become a statement of deity.
oTo Nathanael, Jesus brings up Jacob’s Ladder and says "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
From this section we can see:
Jesus is that ladder!
Access to heaven is only through Christ
How often we are running from our sins when God calls us?
Here, then, is a New Testament passage in which Christ links Himself back to the Old Testament. Similar to the passage I used yesterday from Acts where see Isaiah being quoted, this is particularly important section. Whereas yesterday we saw Isaiah prophesizing Christ, in the discussion between Christ and Nathanael, we see Christ himself referring back to the Old Testament.
Are you running from your sins? You can’t be reconciled to God in any other way than through the atoning and vicarious sacrifice of Christ. If you have not recognized Christ as your Lord and Savior do so today. God has given us a ladder in Christ which provides access to him. There it is! Why would you seek another path when there is such a perfect one laid out for us?
We’ll conclude our message here. I urge you to think on these things and to study the Old Testament in light of the New, together as a whole and not as separate entities which have nothing to do with each other. Tomorrow, we’ll look at Christ in the book of Ruth. May the light of Christ shine in your life and show you the ladder leading from this sinful earth to the presence of God Almighty in the heavens. Amen.
Christ in the OT- Part 2
Christ in the OT- Part 4