Old and New: The Evidence Is In!

 Praise our God, His love eternal;
Who can measure its degree?
Spanning ‘fore the world’s creation,
Reaching through eternity.
Pause and wonder, all His children;
See how great His love for thee!
Pulled from hell’s eternal fire,
Placed into the family.
Brothers, sisters, let us praise Him,
Joined in loving harmony.
See His mercy, all His children;
Look from where He lifted thee!
Pray you saints whose hearts are burden’d
By a lost soul, dead in sin.
There is none among the living,
Whom the pow’r of God can’t win.
He can change the hardest sinner;
Pray His grace pours forth again!
God is not an idle watcher,
Waiting for the will of man.
His love has Almighty power
To fulfill His perfect plan.
All the glory, He’s deserving,
He’ll complete what He began!
May the truth of sov’reign mercy
Lay man’s pride into a grave.
Man has nothing he can boast in;
God and God alone does save.
Full of power, full of mercy,
His love reaches down to save!

“Praise Our God, His Love Eternal”-WORDS: Ken Puls

 

When court is in session, a trial begins.  A trial generally is a place where evidence is gathered to determine whether something is true or not true.

Evidence is generally gathered when a crime has been committed and the police or investigators follow clues left behind a suspect.

Evidence is shown in a court room to a jury who decide the facts.

And later solidified by a judge when he brings down his gavel to call it a day.

 

So when we ask the question whether Jesus was from the Old Testament or the New Testament in the Bible, we want to see the evidence, the proof, to answer our question without doubt.  I say He was of both.

Jesus was having a discussion with the Jews and at one point He said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.  Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  John 8:56-58

This conversation transpired during the New Testament, but from the beginning, in the Old Testament, there was mention of Jesus, (maybe not by His name as we know it today) starting in Genesis 3:15.  After God found Adam and Eve disobeying his commands not to eat of the tree of knowledge, He spoke to the serpent and said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”   This was God’s first step in His process to bring redemption.  The coming of the woman’s Seed was the birth of Jesus.   Years later, we don’t know how many, perhaps in 735 B.C., it was written in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”   Which, as Christians, we know this means “God with Us”.  In the New Testament we have in Matthew 1:18-22 the evidence that Mary, a virgin, was chosen by God to give birth to a Son and call His name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins.

You see as early as the Garden of Eden, God told Satan that there would be coming Someone born of the seed of a woman, who will stand between him and humanity.  That Satan would hurt Him in the heel, but in the end He will crush Satan’s head.  When Jesus was on the cross His body was bruised and broken, but when Jesus comes again, Satan’s head will be crushed.  Then we have Paul in 57 A.D., after Jesus returned to heaven, in Romans 16:20 he tells us, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”  So we have evidence from the Old and New that Jesus was from both.  Exhibit 1.

The next evidence we see is in Exodus.  We know that in those days lambs were slain as sacrifices to God.  The Old tells us about the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh and the plagues spoken of were reversed by God upon the people of Egypt.  In particular we see Passover, which is a special time for the Jewish people, where blood from a spotless lamb was  brushed on the door posts and lintels of their houses and they would be protected.  Exodus 12:12-13a, “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the Lord.  Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”   

Then 1400 years later, in the New, we see John the Baptist introduce Jesus to the world when he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29   The evidence shows it was through Jesus’ blood on the cross, that was shed, to cover our sins and because Jesus was without blemish, he was spotless just like the lamb at the Passover, He was slain for us.  Exhibit 2.

Exhibit 3 of evidence is in Numbers 21:8-9, when Moses was having trouble with the people turning away from God, he prayed and his answer came from the Lord when He told Moses, “‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live’.  So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”  The snake was a symbol that repelled people in those days and most people would turn their eyes away from the sight.  But God said the bronze serpent was something different and if people turned their eyes to it, instead of being repelled they would live — receive salvation.

Jesus in turn, when he was crucified on the cross, was that anyone who came to Him, from then on, would receive salvation and everlasting life.  John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”   Jesus was the bronze serpent and the pole was His cross.  The Old and the New crisscrossing once again.

                                             

Exhibits 4 and 5.  Take a look at Psalm 22 written 1000 years before, and Isaiah 53, written 700 years before, both speak of Jesus before He was born.  Psalm 22 speaks of the words He would say on the cross v. 1, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  In the New we find these words in Mark 15:34 (Matthew 27:46), “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?””

Then in v. 7-8, “All those who see me ridicule Me. They shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”  Throughout the rest of the Psalm we see his thirst v.15, the piercing of His hands and feet v.16 and the gambling for His garments v.18.  Most of all His declaring victory over death at the resurrection v. 22.  In the New, we find in Matthew 27, the soldiers mocked Him v. 27-31 and cast lots for is garments v.35, “Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save…He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” v. 41-43.  Isaiah 53 speaks of a Suffering Servant, who was despised, rejected, wounded for us and carried our griefs, afflicted and led to the slaughter.  This can only speak of our Lord, for He did all this for us.  To rid us of our sins, to be able to give us eternity with Him.

Lastly, the total impact of Psalm 22 comes to the end in v. 27-31 which essentially is His glorious resurrection.  In the New we see His tomb empty, Matthew 28:1-10, “HE IS RISEN!”  So what does this mean for us.  It reassures our faith.  As Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 24:44, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”  Revives our hearts as it says in Luke 24:45, “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”  And it restores our hope, as in Romans 15:4, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

So when we see Jesus in the Old and New, we can meet Him in wonderful ways because He was of the Old and is the New. 

How can our hearts not be revived!

You know God did not speak to humanity for approximately 400 years after the last book Malachi in the Old Testament.  It wasn’t that He wasn’t there, He still was and will always be.  It wasn’t that He became deaf, He still heard prayers.  Perhaps He was waiting to see how much people would take into their own hands and walk away from Him.  But ultimately He remained in control as He does today and after those years of silence He decided to speak one more Word.  That Word was sending His Son Jesus to be the ultimate saving grace to bring us back to Him.  The Eternal Word.  John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  You see from beginning Jesus was with God the Father and He was God’s final Word to be the light in a dark world and the life in eternity with Them, for us.

So Yes! the evidence and the exhibits are in and the verdict is John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world hat He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”