Tag Archive for prophecies of Christ

Christ in Genesis and Exodus

God had been revealing Himself for centuries
before fully incarnating Himself in Jesus Christ.
This thought-provoking Advent hymn
exalts the Messiah foretold
throughout Genesis and Exodus.
Set to a familiar tune.

Printed Music

Christ the Father’s Word is spoken.
Know the great Creator’s heart!
See His wonders, taste His graces:
Life and light and holy art,

Love beyond what words can tell–
God made flesh, Immanuel!

Christ the warrior, mighty victor,
Comes to crush the serpent’s head;
Christ the rainbow, Christ the promise,
Christ the true, eternal bread,

Christ the Son so long awaited,
Blessed seed of Abraham,
Christ the wealth of wisdom’s treasure,
Christ the priest and Christ the lamb,

Hear His voice, and see His glory,
Trust His strong and holy hand.
God Himself now tents among us
As we near the promised land.

by Ken Bible, © 2014 LNWhymns.com.

The Shepherd King

Hear this from Ezekiel 34:

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?…You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.”

Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them:
“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.”
(vv. 2, 4-5, 20a, 23-24, NIV)

Micah 5 prophesies this:

You, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be their peace.
(vv. 2, 4-5a, NIV)

Isaiah 40:9-11 says:

You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain…
lift up your voice with a shout…
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See the Sovereign LORD comes with power…
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. (NIV) 

Sheep and shepherds were a fixture of daily life in biblical times. Everyone was familiar with them. Thus “shepherds” was a common figure of speech for leaders, from kings on down. These “shepherds” were to lead their flock to food and water. They were to provide protection for everyone and special care for those who needed it.

But not all shepherds took their jobs seriously. Ezekiel spoke of leaders who cared for themselves rather than the flock. The fed on the flock rather than feeding the flock. Through both Ezekiel and the prophet Micah, God said that He would not stand by while His flock was neglected. The unfaithful shepherds would be judged and struck down.

But He would not leave His people without a shepherd. Both prophets said that God would send a Greater Shepherd, His own Anointed One, Messiah, who would shepherd His people as Loving God desired. This Great Shepherd would be from the line of King David, who himself had been a shepherd.

In fact, says Micah, this Shepherd would come from David’s home town, Bethlehem. This tiny village, insignificant by human standards, would provide a second great leader, even greater than King David. God said this leader would come as God’s own agent, not man’s choice. His origins would be “from of old, from ancient times”; that is, He would be part of God’s timeless plan, working since before the foundation of the world. This Leader would “stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.” His power would not be limited by human weakness but would be the power and authority of Sovereign God Himself. God’s people would finally live in total security, and the King’s rule would reach “to the ends of the earth”.

This King would not simply bring peace. He Himself would be their peace. Over 700 years later the Apostle Paul would say the same of Jesus Christ:

He himself is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14, NIV)

How appropriate that when Jesus came and was opposed by the false shepherds of His day, He characterized Himself this way:

I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
(John 10:11, NIV)

To our picture of the mighty Messiah King, the Shepherd King brings a personal flavor, a tenderness, an individual attention that all who know Jesus Christ will recognize immediately.

Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28, NIV)

Father, Jesus Christ is my shepherd.
His every word is love, and
His every path leads to You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Peace, Peace, Peace
Printed Music & Lyrics

Christ in Genesis and Exodus

In the beginning, when God spoke the universe into existence, Jesus Christ was that sovereign, creative Word. All that the Father willed, the Word brought to reality (Genesis 1; John 1:1-18).

Christ was the deliverer God promised to Adam and Eve. He was their descendant who would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15).

Christ was the rainbow’s promise to Noah that in the face of overwhelming evil, life would always triumph (Genesis 8:21; 9:8-17).

Christ was the heir promised to Abraham and the sacrifice God provided in place of Isaac (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:4; 22:8, 14).

Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest. Melchizedek and the entire Old Testament priesthood pointed ahead to Him (Genesis 14:17-20; Hebrews 7; 10:19-23).

In the Exodus, Christ was the Passover lamb. Through His blood God’s people were saved from death (Exodus 12). Christ was the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16) and the Bread of the Presence (Exodus 25:30). His life was the completion of the entire sacrificial system and won forgiveness for all our race (Hebrews 10:11-14).

Jesus Christ fulfilled Sinai’s law for all of us (Matthew 5:17; Romans 10:4). Moses saw the back of God for a few seconds (Exodus 33:18-23; 34:1-7). In Christ we see Him face-to-face and are changed into His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Tabernacle in the wilderness feasted our senses on reminders of God’s presence (Exodus 40), but Jesus Christ is Himself God’s tabernacle among us and within us (John 1:14).

Under the Old Testament law, the transcendent God could not be pictured in physical form, and anyone who tried was guilty of idolatry. But Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and “the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV).

In the creation, at Sinai, and in the wilderness, to Adam and Abraham and all God’s people, the Father longed to make Himself known and trusted and loved. His desire is fulfilled completely and forever in Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with Us.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ in Genesis and Exodus
Printed Music & Lyrics

God’s Promise to Moses

[Moses said:] “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 

“The LORD said to me:…’I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.’” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-19, NIV)

In Moses’ day, the nations around Israel used all kinds of magic and superstitious practices to learn the will of the gods. God forbade such sorcery in Israel. He chose to make His will known through His prophets. And unlike the mysterious messages of pagan soothsayers and mediums, God’s words would be clear and understandable.

In the passage above, God is promising to raise up a succession of prophets who would faithfully speak His will to His people. We read the revelations of many of those prophets in our Old Testament. But when the prophets quit coming, the hopes aroused by Deuteronomy 18 began to focus on one Prophet, One who would come and fully reveal all God’s will for His people: Messiah Himself.

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many saw Him as this promised Prophet:

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.” (John 1:45, NASB)

When the people saw the sign which [Jesus] had performed (the feeding of the five thousand), they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14, NASB)

Some of the people therefore, when they heard [Jesus’] words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” (John 7:40, NASB)

Peter, in speaking to the Jews about the One they had crucified, said:

“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer…For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you…’ Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.” (Acts 3:17-18, 22, 24, NIV)

Jesus told those questioning His authority,

“If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.” (John 5:46, NASB)

And on the evening after His resurrection, Jesus conversed with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27, NASB).

As the centuries progressed, God’s prophets were distilled into God’s Prophet, and God’s words became God’s Word, Jesus Christ.

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3, NIV)

Your power, Your wisdom, and Your love
have said all they have to say
in Jesus Christ.
Help me to listen.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: The Word of God Is Jesus Christ
Printed Music & Lyrics

Shadows of Christ

Adam…was a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:14, NIV)

These are a shadow of the things that were to come;
the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:17, NIV)

In the Old Testament, not all portraits of the coming Messiah were painted by the words of prophets. Some were painted by the lives of God’s people. Living individuals became sign posts pointing us toward Jesus Christ. As we saw God working through them, we caught glimpses of the way He would work through His Son.

Here are just a few examples:

  • ENOCH “walked with God” and left this world without facing death, being taken up directly into God’s presence. (Genesis 5:22-24)
  • Like Christ, NOAH pleased God in a time when sin seemed overwhelming and inevitable. Through him God saved our race from destruction.
  • ISAAC was a long-promised son and heir, miraculously born and later offered up by his father as a sacrifice. (Genesis 15, 21 – 22)
  • JOSEPH endured betrayal, injustice, and great suffering, then was dramatically exalted to a high position. From that position he saved his family and his entire nation from death. (Genesis 37 – 50)
  • Like Christ, MOSES was God’s instrument for leading His people out of bondage. He served as deliverer, leader, prophet, and mediator.
  • SAMUEL was miraculously born by God’s promise and was wholly dedicated to God’s service before birth. Though not of the priestly tribe, he was God’s chosen mediator between Himself and His people. (1 Samuel)
  • Like his Greater Son, DAVID was a good shepherd, lifted from humble beginnings to become a glorious leader of God’s people. He was a man after God’s own heart, and God considered him His own son (Psalm 89:26-27).

As we consider these lives and others, we see shadows of the coming Messiah. We catch passing glimpses of how the high and holy God would incarnate Himself in flesh and blood.  Their faith and God’s faithfulness to them prepare our hearts for His fullness so beautifully revealed in the Living Christ.

Father, the human race is like a prism.
Through it we begin to see Your life
exploded into its full range of
color, variety, and dazzling beauty.
Shine through us,
Glorious Father!

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Prepare Us
Printed Music & Lyrics