Today, we begin a new message series “Jesus the Messiah.” In this series we’re going to see what the Bible has to say about the true identity of Jesus Christ. The name Christ is not Jesus’ last name, it is a title that means the Anointed One or the Messiah. The question of who Jesus is, is the most important question that a person can ask in life. If Jesus is simply a good man or even a great prophet, He really would have little impact on our lives. But if He is who He claimed to be, the Son of God, the Messiah and the Savior of the world, then we must make a choice. The only rational choice is to chose to believe in and worship Him.
But how can we know who Jesus is? The are many ways to answer the question of who Jesus is. In this series, we’re going to show how dozens of messianic prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament prophecies about Jesus were written hundreds and usually thousands of years before Jesus was born. Yet, as we’ll see going through this series, these ancient prophecies were fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
So, what do these prophecies prove? First of all, they are proof that the Bible is not simply an ancient book, but it is a supernatural book, filled with prophecies that have come true hundreds or thousands of years after they were written down. These Old Testament prophecies prove that Jesus is who He said He was. Jesus is the Messiah, He is the very Son of God. As we better understand these Old Testament prophecies, these truths will strengthen our faith as believers. And these truths will help us show unbelievers why the Bible is not just another book, but is a supernatural book, inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will help us to strengthen our faith and help it grow strong. These prophecies will help us show others why Jesus was not just a good man or even just a great prophet. Jesus was who He said He was, which is the divine Son of God and the Messiah.
Today, our message is entitled “Ancient Prophecies Revealed.” Where do you think that the first prophecies of Jesus the Messiah are found? The answer is that the first prophecies are to be found in the first book in the Bible, the book of Genesis. Today, we’re going to look at three wonderful prophecies about Jesus from Genesis. In each one, we’re then going to look at the New Testament fulfillment of these prophecies about Jesus.
Genesis 3:14-15 (ESV) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
The background to these two verses is that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden named Eden. God instructed them that they could do anything in the garden except eat of a certain tree. Satan, appearing as a serpent, tempted Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden tree and they ate the fruit of the tree, yielding to the temptation. God then pronounced judgement on both the serpent, Satan, and upon Adam and Eve. The curse of God indicated that there would be continual conflict between Satan and the woman, Eve and between their offspring or seed.
In the last part of verse 15, we see the first prophetic promise of Jesus the Messiah. God declares that the seed of the woman, would bruise or crush the serpent’s head, a fatal wound. And the serpent would bruise or crush the seed or descendant of the woman’s heel, a non-fatal wound. The seed or offspring of Eve, we learn is Jesus Christ. On the cross, Satan inflicted pain on Jesus by killing Him, yet Jesus rose from the dead, fatally wounding Satan. Finally, there will be continual conflict between the woman’s offspring, which are believers and Satan’s offspring, consisting of unbelievers and his demonic forces. So, we see that the future Messiah or deliverer would be a human being.
Now, let’s look at how this promise was fulfilled in the New Testament.
Matthew 1:18-19 (ESV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
In these verses, we learn some important facts about the birth of Jesus Christ, Jesus the Messiah. Mary, Jesus’ mother, conceived, not through her husband, but through the Holy Spirit. Mary, obviously being a human descendant of Eve, was Jesus’ mother, making Him fully human. Yet, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, who is God, making Him also fully divine. Joseph thought that Mary had become pregnant by being unfaithful to him and so was planning on divorcing her.
Matthew 1:20-21 (ESV) But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
An angel appeared to Joseph and let him know that the baby was conceived, not of a man, but of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was to name the baby Jesus and Jesus’ mission was to save people from their sins. Only God could save people from their sins, so we see right from His birth, Jesus as fully human and fully divine, a God-Man. Jesus taught in …
John 12:31-32 (ESV) Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
When Jesus was crucified, He defeated Satan by rising from the dead. This is spoken of in John as being judgement upon the world, Satan’s habitat. And of Satan, the ruler of this world being cast out. This was a spiritual victory, won by Jesus, making Satan a defeated foe. Yet, he still roams the earth, seeking to tempt people. But his final doom is determined. Jesus, when crucified, would draw people to being forgiven and saved through faith in Him. Jesus as the promised seed.
We must always understand and believe that Jesus was fully human and divine at the same time. He was and is the only God-Man who has ever existed. God Himself, took on human flesh when Jesus was conceived in Mary His mother. As God, Jesus lived a perfect life, He never sinned, He resisted every temptation of Satan. And as a human being, Jesus also led a perfect life. Therefore He was able to defeat Satan on the cross by paying the penalty for the sin of the world. Jesus was and is the seed or descendant of Eve from the garden of Eden.
As we enter into the Christmas season, let’s give thanks to God that Jesus chose to take on human flesh that we might be saved. Jesus willingly chose to suffer and die for each one of us that we might be saved. One day, as believers, we’ll see Jesus, the promised seed. We’ll see His nail-scarred hands and feel His warm embrace. Until then, we must continue to tell others about who this wonderful Jesus is.
Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
In these verses, God is speaking to Abraham and calling him from his home country to the land of Israel. God promises that He will bless Abraham and make him a blessing. The promise of the Messiah is in the last phrase in which God says “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” In other words, through a descendant of Abraham, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Eventually, God brought the son of promise, Isaac, to Abraham and Sarah and the line of Abraham eventually led to the promised Messiah, who brought blessing to the whole world, both Jew and Gentile.
Galatians 3:8-9 (ESV) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
These verses tell us that all the nations being blessed is actually the gospel. The gospel is the good news that people of all nations can be blessed by believing in the Messiah, Jesus. The blessing of Abraham that was fulfilled in Jesus applies only to those who are of faith, faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. So, today, we as believers are able to live in the blessing of Abraham through faith. As Abraham was blessed to be a blessing, so God blesses us to spread His blessing to the world.
Galatians 3:13-14 (ESV) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
A few verses latter, Paul makes it explicitly clear that it is only through Christ Jesus that the blessing of Abraham comes, not only to the Jews, but to the Gentiles. Those who are saved through faith in Jesus are also able to receive the promise of the Spirit, Spirit baptism through faith as well. So we see that Jesus, the Messiah brings the ancient blessing of God on Abraham to every person who believes in Jesus Christ.
So, let’s think for a minute how God blessed Abraham. First of all, He blessed him by leading him to and giving him the land of promise. Secondly, God provided Abraham with the resources that he needed to fulfill God’s purpose. Finally, God fulfilled His promise of a son whose line would lead to the Messiah and the blessing of the entire world. Now, we must be careful to realize that the blessing of Abraham is only for those with faith in Jesus, the Messiah.
How does the blessing of Abraham apply to us today? Abraham’s blessing involves both physical and spiritual blessing. Our promised land as believers is the kingdom of God, which has no physical boundaries. God has blessed us with the resources to fulfill His purpose. Those resources are the physical resources we need to live, as well as the spiritual resources we need to carry out His instructions. God’s purpose for us is summarized in the Great Commission, which commands us to do our part to reach the nations of the world with the Gospel. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others by leading them to Jesus the Messiah. As we each do our part, we are a channel of blessing to the world. Remember, that we are blessed with the blessing of Abraham in order to be a blessing to those who do not yet know their Messiah.
Genesis 49:10 (ESV) The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Isaac, Abraham’s son of promise, had a son named Jacob, later named Israel. Jacob had twelve sons which led to the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. On his death bed, Jacob prophesies over each son. The verse that we just read was part of the prophecy over Judah, one of Jacob’s sons. The prophecy over Judah was a unique prophecy, unlike the prophecies over the other eleven sons. Jacob prophesied under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, that a descendant from the tribe of Judah would be a ruler with scepter and staff.
This royal ruler would not be an ordinary ruler, but would be acknowledged and receive tribute from the peoples or nations. In fact, the prophecy is that the peoples of the earth would obey this royal ruler. As we read the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we find that he obviously was a Jew in the lineage of Abraham. But He was also a direct descendant of Jacob in the tribe of Judah.
Luke 1:30-31 (ESV) And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
As an angel spoke to Joseph, so an angel speaks to Mary about her son, Jesus the Messiah. Mary had found favor and was blessed in order to bring God’s Son into the world. Listen to what the angel tells Mary about the future of her son.
Luke 1:32-33 (ESV) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary’s son would be the Son of the Most High, that is the Son of God. In fulfillment of prophecy, He would be a royal ruler in the line of David and would reign over the house of Jacob. His reign would not be as an earthly king, but Jesus the Messiah would reign forever and His kingdom would be eternal. Jesus would be the royal ruler that the nations have been waiting for.
Let’s think a bit deeper about what it means for Jesus the Messiah to be the royal ruler. After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to His disciples and gave them the Great Commission, their mission to reach the entire world for Him. What does Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 begin with? Jesus says “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” This is not something that is going to happen in the future, Jesus had all authority over heaven and earth 2000 years ago and He has that authority today. Nothing happens that is not part of His plan for history.
Yet, we are to pray, Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is heaven. We pray for God’s kingdom to come because even though Jesus has all authority, He has yet to exercise that authority to judge all evil in our world. That will only happen completely when Jesus returns again.
In the meantime, in the time in which we live, the last days, we live in the already, not yet time of God’s kingdom. Already, Jesus the Messiah has all authority and nothing happens without His permission. God’s kingdom is breaking into our world. Why has Jesus not returned? Why has the final judgement not come? The Bible gives us the answer. Jesus is giving more people time to repent and believe in Jesus the Messiah. Once Jesus returns, there is no more opportunity to repent and believe.
So, even though Jesus already reigns, we do not yet see complete victory. We live in a time of wonderful miracles of God and indescribable evil and corruption. Our task is to live in faith awaiting Jesus return and amazingly according to 2 Peter 3:12-13, hastening His return. How do we hasten the return of Jesus? By reaching the lost and bringing them into the Kingdom through the authority of Jesus. Never forget, Jesus is the eternal royal ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Today, we’ve looked at three ancient prophecies about the coming Messiah from the book of Genesis, thousands of years ago. We have seen these prophecies begin to be fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the promised seed, the blessing of Abraham and the royal ruler. Yet, God has given each one of us as believers a part to play in bringing the King back. We are to be used by the Spirit to birth myriads of new believers into His family.
We are to bring the blessing of Abraham to the nations of the world, as well as St. Louis. We are to see more and more people and nations come under the authority of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God has called us to live in an exciting time in history. A time that is closer to His return than any other generation that has ever lived. A time in which ancient prophesies are being fulfilled in new ways. Let’s do our part to hasten the return of the King, Jesus the Messiah.