The promised one

Sosoma Jr

JF-Expert Member
Aug 7, 2020
The Old Testament is the story of the promise of faithful love God made. The New Testament is the story of how God kept that promise.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word promise as "a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future." The Old Testament is basically a promise made by God. He promised to keep on loving fallen humanity at all cost to Himself. The New Testament is God keeping that promise through the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Back in the garden, Adam and Eve believed Satan's lie about the character of God. Once they did, they stopped trusting their Creator and fell into sin. But right away, God promised their rescue from the enemy: "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" (Genesis 3:15).

Notice the key parts of the promise.

Enmity (or hatred): even through we fell into sin, God would put in us a sense of deep hatred toward evil. He would give us a desire for justice. We would want to resist evil and be innocent as we were at creation. Paul describes this feeling in Romans:

"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:14-15, 23).

Seed: God would send salvation to the world through a special human Seed (Offspring). The promised enmity would be fully seen through this Man. Jesus, the Seed, would make a complete victory over Satan:

"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds, ' as of many, but as of one, 'And to your Seed, ' who is Christ" (Galatians 3:16).

"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

Head: the New International Version is stronger here, saying, "He will crush your head" (emphasis added). The Offspring of the woman would conquer Satan for humanity. Jesus makes this clear in the following way:

"Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself" (John 12:31-32).

Heel: but while crushing the head of Satan, the Savior would be wounded.

"Surely He gas borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed . . . And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Scripture continues to fill out the picture of the Messiah's character and mission. Moses said the Messiah would come to the world as a prophet and a sacrifice for sin. (See Deuteronomy 18:15 and Leviticus 4:32.) King David said the Messiah would experience horrible abuse. He would also be abandoned. (See Psalm 22 and 88.) Isaiah portrayed Him as a suffering servant. He would be a non violent rebel. He would set in motion a movement of justice. This movement would be unstoppable. (See Isaiah 42 and 53.) Each prophet, vision, and symbol through the whole Old Testament points to the Promised One. As the Messiah showed God's love, He would expose Satan's lie about God's character.

The prophet Daniel wrote about the Messiah in his book. He said the time the Promised One would publicly begin His saving work. He also said when the Messiah would be crucified. He wrote this prophecy 600 years before the Messiah came. You can read about it in the following verses:

" 'Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end if it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate' " (Daniel 9:24-27).

So, let's take this prophecy apart. The angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and declared, "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy" (verse 24). Here, God gave Israel a 70 week period of time. They were given this time to fulfill their covenant with God. In the Bible, a covenant is basically the strongest kind of promise you make. We'll explain this idea more later..

Something else important to know is that in Bible prophecy a day is equal to a year. You can see this principle in the following verses:

"And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year" (Ezekiel 4:6).

"According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection" (Number 14:34).

So, 70 weeks equals 490 years. Gabriel then named a specific historic event. This event would be a starting date for the prophecy. From that event we can count the years. By counting, we can pinpoint the time when Jesus would launch His Messianic career.

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks [69 weeks]" (verse 25).

The command to restore Jerusalem was given by the Persian King Artaxerxes in 457 BC . Sixty nine weeks is 483 years in prophetic time. Counting forward 483 years from 457 BC we arrive at AD 27. This is the very year Jesus entered the public scene as the Messiah. The word Messiah is a title that means "anointed" of God. In the following verses, we see that's exactly who Jesus was:

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!' " ( John 1:29).

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with a power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

The angel continued to explain the prophecy to Daniel. He stated that "Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself" and that He "shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the 70th week equals AD 31. In that year, the Messiah would be crucified. His crucifixion would bring an end to Israel's sacrificial system. The sacrifices were only a symbol of what the Messiah would do Himself. Thus, by His love shown at the cross, Jesus kept the covenant (or promise) to God for Israel. Israel could now accept the Messiah and His faithfulness on their behalf. But Israel rejected the Messiah. They finalized this rejection when they stoned Stephen as he preached Christ to them. At Stephen's death, the 490 year prophecy reached its completion in AD 34 (see Acts 7:54-60).

The two most important features of the prophecy are these : first, Jesus would be " cut off, but not for Himself." Second, by His death, He would "confirm the covenant." The term cut off is biblical language. It gives the idea of a complete split from God. The covenant here is the strongest possible form of commitment or promise. It is God keeping His promise of faithful love at any cost to Himself.

" ' Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed, 'says the Lord, who has compassion on you" (Isaiah 54:10 NIV).

So Daniel's prophecy said that Jesus, the Messiah, would die. He would choose to endure the most horrible death possible. This death is complete separation from God. And this is exactly what happened to Jesus:

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' " (Matthew 27:46).

He would do this, Daniel said, "not for Himself." Amazingly, the Messiah would do this for the fallen human race. He died "for our sins" (Galatians 1:4). In so doing, He would reveal to the world the most beautiful picture of love we could think of. This love was shown in complete self sacrifice for the eternal good of sinful humans.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Love for us. Love toward us. Suffering and death for Him. This is the beautiful, heartbreaking point of the entire Old Testament. God so selflessly loves each of us that He was willing to save us at all cost to Himself. And the cost was great.

The Bible says, "God is love." Basically, this means that God is faithful in His relationships. He is faithful to all others at all cost to Himself. The freewill sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is the proof.

Promise made, promise kept. That's the Bible in a sentence. In the Old Testament, God says, I love you with a love that will never fail. In the New Testament , God proves the truth of his love. He proves it. in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Talking about Jesus, the Bible says, "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us" ( 2 Corinthians 1:20). So, everything God promised through the prophets is fulfilled in Jesus. Everything God said He would do He has done. His love has proven itself reliable and true. We can trust Him because He is trustworthy.

I can see that Jesus is God's promise of faithful love fulfilled, and my answer to Him is yes.

The most beautiful idea that humans can think of is the idea of a perfectly faithful love. Just stop and think about it for a minute. The thing is, it's not just an idea. The only reason we can think of it and want it is because it does exist Saying yes to Jesus is the first step in opening your heart to God's perfectly faithful love.


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