Sunday Services at 10:00am
1155 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield
Date: November 5, 2017
Speaker: Eric Stillman
Series: Jesus in the Old Testament 2017
There’s this great scene at the end of the gospel of Luke where the resurrected Jesus joins two downtrodden disciples on the road to Emmaus who are kept from recognizing him. They share with the hidden Jesus all that has happened, and Jesus tells them that this had to happen according to the Scriptures. 25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Jesus goes back through the Hebrew Scriptures and shows them how it all testifies to Him. The scene brings to mind those movies where you missed out all along on what was happening, and now you realize that He was there all along, and it takes on a whole new meaning. Later on in the scene we read:
44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Jesus opened up their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. That is my hope for this series, that God would open up your minds so you could understand the Scriptures and see how the Old Testament is really about Jesus, pointing us to his life, death, and resurrection. Over the next two months, up until Christmas, I’ll be looking at Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, among other OT stories so that you would see how the whole OT points to Jesus the redeemer. You see, we don’t read the Old Testament stories as moral examples – like Noah, don’t be afraid to go against the crowd; or, like Abraham, be willing to give up anything for God. That’s often the Sunday School approach, but it’s not how we were meant to read. No – we see how each story points to Jesus and the gospel of God’s redeeming work with a lost people. As Jesus said in John 5:39-40 - You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. The name Jesus is never mentioned in the OT, yet Jesus tells them that all the OT testifies about him. We read it and we see how Jesus fulfills that which we can not do and empowers us to become the people we were intended to become.
One of my hopes in this series is that you truly see that this is the very word of God, more than just a collection of stories. Think about the Old Testament – 39 books written over thousands of years against a wide variety of cultural backgrounds by people who for them most part worked independently of each other and show no awareness that their books would become canonical Scriptures. There is poetry, prose, hymns, history, sermons, statistics, letter, liturgies, lurid visions and a love song. But it is not just a collected of disjointed stories, but a sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic narrative with one singular purpose, the story of God’s redemptive work in the world, saving His people who were lost, with Jesus the Christ as the focal figure, the one which every story points to. So let’s discover Jesus in the Old Testament.
Let’s begin at the beginning with Adam and Eve. God creates the world and as the pinnacle of creation, he creates man.
Genesis 1:26-30 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
God created man and woman in his own image. They are creatures who bear His likeness. Their mission is to be His representatives all over the earth – to rule over the world and to fill the earth and subdue it in the holiness and love and wisdom of the God they represent.
There is no sin, nothing between them. We hear of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day. There is harmony with creation. And perfect fellowship with each other, as we see in the account of the creation of woman:
Genesis 2:23-25 - The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, 'for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
They are naked and unashamed. And so we see some of what we were intended for. We were intended to live in perfect relationship with God and with each other. We were meant to be God’s image bearers, his representatives on earth, ruling with the holiness and love and wisdom of God.
But there is one rule in this paradise – Genesis 2:16-17 - And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
Genesis 3:1-5 - Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Adam and Eve are tested in the garden as Satan attacks their trust in the goodness of God and twists God’s words to make it seem like God is withholding good from them. Satan still comes to us suggesting that what God has commanded is unreasonable and is intended to make us miserable rather than deeply satisfied. Did God really say I should give away 10% of my income when it might be misused? Did God actually say that I am supposed to forgive that person who has hurt me again and again? Did God actually say that I should remain faithful to my marriage vows when we’ve fallen out of love?
He twists God’s words in order to make God seem like He is withholding from them, that He is not good.
Genesis 3:6-13 - When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" 12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me-- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Genesis 3:16-19 - To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." 17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
There is brokenness in their relationship. And now, work is toil, childbirth is painful, and there is a power struggle between the sexes. We cover up. We are ashamed. We hide.
Genesis 3:14-15 - So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
God pronounced that the woman and her offspring would be the enemy of Satan. There will be a conflict in which the offspring, the seed of the woman will be wounded (he will strike his heel) but the serpent will be destroyed (he will crush your head).
Genesis 3:20 - Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
Adam trusts God’s promise – they will not die but God will bring life. Even in such great grief, there is hope. God works for good.
And so centuries pass, waiting for that seed to come who would destroy the serpent. With every generation there is a chosen child through whom the seed continues – Seth, Jacob, Judah, David. Finally is born Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, God in the flesh, the perfect image of God.
John 14:8-10 - Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Colossians 1:15-20 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Hebrews 1:3 - The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
And He can command the wind and seas to obey. Fish fill the nets at His will. A loaf of bread feeds a multitude. He can walk on water. Sickness and death can be overcome.
John 10:30 - I and the Father are one." He calls Him Abba
Matthew 4:1-11 - Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
He trusts God’s provision. He trusts His Word. And again He is tempted in the garden of Gethsemane and prevails.
Matthew 26:36-39 - Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Adam & Eve are tempted in the garden and fail. Jesus is tempted in the garden and prevails. He has a choice between God’s will and his will, and He chooses God’s will.
God asked Adam to obey him about a tree and he would be blessed. But he asks Jesus to obey him about a tree and he will be killed.
He cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” as they cast lots for his clothing.
Satan seems to have won, defeating the Son of God. The serpent has struck His heel. But as Christ rises from the dead, the serpent’s head is crushed; Satan is defeated.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-- that is, the devil-- 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Romans 16:20 - The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
The prophecy uttered in the garden in Genesis 3 comes to pass. The serpent (rev 12:9 – Satan) is struck down.
Revelation 12:9 - The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Ephesians 1:19-21 - That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
1 Corinthians 15:19-22 - If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Adam was the representative, and now Christ is.
Romans 5:12-21 - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We shared in Adam’s death, and now we share in Christ’s life.
Through His death, we have eternal life. We are brought into fellowship with God. We who were shamed are now clothed in the righteousness of God. We are being restored into the image of God. And so as we find union with Him, we are transformed more and more into His image, becoming the people we were meant to be from the very beginning.
Matthew 28:18-20 - Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus has crushed the head of the serpent, perfectly fulfilling the image of God, restoring our fellowship and purpose
The whole Bible testifies to Him. In our despair, He has brought new life and hope to all who put their faith in Him.