Tag Archive | Jesus in the Old Testament

What is the “New Covenant” and why does it matter? Hebrews 8

From my reading in Hebrews 8 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

A covenant is “the verbal content of an agreement between two persons specifying reciprocal benefits and responsibilities.” 

Before Jesus God established an “Old Covenant” with the nation of Israel. This covenant involved priests offering sacrifices for sins committed. When Jesus came he established a “New Covenant”. We no longer have to sacrifice animals because he is the perfect sacrifice.

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

Through Jesus we have a better covenant.

The new covenant provides a way to know God in a closer way. God’s law will be in our minds, and on our hearts. The new covenant provides a way for us to really know God.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Hebrews 8:10

Because of the new covenant we can know God personally and receive the forgiveness of all of our sins.

“And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” Hebrews 8:11–12

With Jesus as our high priest we can celebrate this new covenant.

What other benefits of new covenant can you think of?

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Who was Melchizedek and why does he matter? Hebrews 7

From my reading in Hebrews 7 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Melchizedek is one of those weird Bible names that tends to just go over people’s heads.

But why does the writer of Hebrews spend a whole chapter talking about him? Who was he? What did he do? We should start with the Old testament story.

“And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.” Gen 14:18-20

The writer of Hebrews summarized who Melchizedek was and this interaction.

Melchizedek

  • Was the king of Salem and a high priest .(1a)
  • Met and blessed Abraham. (1b)
  • Abraham gave him a tenth of what he captured in battle. (2a)
  • His names mean “king of justice” and “king of peace”. (2b)
  • No recorded ancestors or death. (3a)
  • He is a “priest forever.”He lives on. (3b, 8)
  • He is greater than Abraham. (4-7)
  • Jesus is a different and better priest “in the order of Melchizedek”. (9-22)

Melchizedek is a foreshadowing or “archetype” of Jesus in the Old Testament.

In Psalm 110:4 David makes a prophesy about Jesus, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Like Melchizedek Jesus is a different and better kind of priest. Because Jesus is a perfect priest he is able to save all who come to him for salvation.

Jesus is a better high priest than Melchizedek.

  • Jesus guarantees a better covenant. (22)
  • Jesus’ priesthood lasts forever. (23-24)
  • Jesus is able to save all those who come to him. (25a)
  • Jesus intercedes for us. (25b)
  • Jesus is holy, blameless and unstained by sin. (26a)
  • Jesus has been given the highest honor. (26b)
  • Jesus does not need to keep making sacrifices everyday. (27a)
  • Jesus sacrificed himself once for all! (27b)
  • Jesus is perfect and not limited by human weakness. (28)

Jesus is our perfect high priest.

Melchizedek is meant to help us understand what a great high priest we have in Jesus!

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How To Find Jesus In The Old Testament – Luke 24:1-35

From my reading in Luke 24:1-35 in the One Year New Testament.

Jesus is the hero of the Bible. 

After dying for us and coming back to life Jesus appeared to some of his disciples were who walking on the road and  trying to make sense of his recent death and resurrection.

“He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:25–27

Jesus explained what the Old Testament said about him!

What are some ways that we can find Jesus in the Old Testament?

1. Stories that foreshadow what Jesus would do for us.

We have to be careful that we are not playing spiritual “Where’s Waldo” and trying and find Jesus under every bush. But there are some clear stories that foreshadow Christ.

  • Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac.
  • Melchizedek (see Hebrews 7).
  • Jonah being in the fish for 3 days and Jesus being in the towb for 3 days (see Matt 12:3-45).
  • The snake being put up on the pole in Exdous to save people (John 3).
  • Other stories.

Warning: The best way to know that these are forshadowing is when the New Testament uses them in that way. Be careful not to force a passage to say something it’s not actually saying!

2. Specific Prophesies about Jesus 

Hundreds years before Jesus, God sent prophets to Israel to tell them how to recognize a coming Messiah.

The crazy thing is that when Jesus lived he fulfilled over 300 of these prophecies

To me the most powerful prophesies relate to Jesus’ birth and death.

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” Micah 5:2

Jesus didn’t cry out from the womb, mother I shall be born in Bethlehem! But Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Even during Jesus’ crucifixion a number of key prophesies were fulfilled.

“They have pierced my hands and my feet.  I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.  They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” Psalm 22:16b-18

In this short Old Testament passage we see 4 prophecies Jesus fulfilled.

  • They have pierced my hands and my feet – Way before crucifixion was even invented, David predicted that Jesus would be killed by having his hand and feet pierced.
  • I can count all my bones – His bones were never broken, even though it was common practice to break the legs of the crucified to make sure that they die. Because they were confident Jesus was already dead he was stabbed in the side instead. This kept any of his bones from breaking.
  • People stare and gloat over me – Crucifixion was an embarrassing public spectacle.
  • They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” People did divide his cloths and cast lost for them!

3. Seeing Jesus As The Climax of The Narrative. 

The Bible was written over 1,600 years by 40 different authors in 3 languages yet it fits into one story about Jesus.

Every story has a climax, and Christ’s death and resurrection is that climax.

Like pieces of a puzzle God inspired each writer to give us part the story of man’s rebellion against God, God’s mercy to his people, and ultimately the provision of a savior in Jesus.

Ultimately the Bible is a story about JESUS! 

When we read the Old Testament we should look forward to the cross.

I hope that as you read the Old Testament with Christ that you have a similar experience the men had along the road.

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

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