Sunday, December 8, 2013

P3/11 Discovering the Identity of Jesus - how the Old Testament's predictions of the Messiah are traced in the four Gospels

Matthew 16:15 "He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Note to the reader: In yesterday's post we considered how God's plan led to a promise which leads to the Person of Christ. I have chosen to present this material partly in response to the History Channel's recent series: "Bible Secrets Revealed" and partly to give the readers of this blog a chance to see what the Four Gospels truly say about Jesus Christ.  This particular series of blogs are more concerned with explaining the contents and validity of the four Gospel accounts.  The reader is invited today to visit my other blog site to explore more indepth the validity of the four Gospels at:

In today's post here we consider lesson #3 on the particular point of how the Old Testament's predictions of the Messiah are traced out in the Four Gospels.  

Lesson Three: To what place does the Old Testament story lead us to?

If we are going to make sense as to what the Old Testament has to say to us about the identity and mission of Jesus, we need to first
bring out the patterns that provide the underlying structure of God’s plan of salvation in the Old Testament. This plan, so marvelous and precious to God’s own heart, anticipated what would be revealed about Jesus Himself in the Gospel accounts of the New Testament. For now, let us break down some key patterns that emerge from the story of the Old Testament. The below chart will illustrate these patterns, along with introducing to the reader the key themes of each of the gospel accounts.[1]
           MATT                           MARK                     LUKE                   JOHN
Bringing together of ------------------------------------------------------------------------->
God and man

The shedding of blood needed
To appease God’s anger and------------------------------------------------------------->
To prevent man’s destruction
Because of sin (giving of one
life in place of another)

Being the deliverer of humanity
From the slavery and darkness of sin------------------------------------------------->

Representing God’s desire to
Be with human beings and representing
Man’s need to be with God (a mediator)----------------------------------------------->

(Jesus proves this in His resurrection)------------------------------------------------->

Matthew notes Jesus       Mark notes Jesus       Luke Notes Jesus    John notes Jesus
As King                             as the suffering          the Son of Man         as Son of God

       As can be seen from the above chart, the Old Testament reveals to the reader, in a progressive fashion, both a plan and a person that God has in mind for bringing about his plan of bridging the gap created by man’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden.  Additionally, the Gospels and their major themes enable these patterns to be brought to a coherent end and fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.  The plan is bridged to the Person of Jesus Christ by the many prophecies and promises revealed throughout the Old Testament.  

In the next few lessons , we are going to take a closer look at the four gospel records of Jesus life, death and resurrection, detailing why there are four records and why what Jesus says in them about Himself fits in line with the Old Testament record.

More tomorrow..........

[1] These Patterns are general themes of each gospel.  Since all four contain many accounts of Jesus paralleling one another, there will be an overlap of similar themes covering all four gospels (ex: Matthew’s discussion of Jesus as King can also be found in the other three gospels)