Posted by Pastoral Musings on April 9th, 2010
A few days ago I posted a piece on the New Testament use of the Old Testament. Having received some comments on the post, I felt it would be well that I expand it just a little for the purpose of giving a little more light on why I hold to the position that I do.
As we read the New Testament we find that there was a very well developed Christological expectation in existence at the time of the birth of Jesus. The reader will recall that Simeon spoke to Mary about Jesus and even hinted that His work would actually be one that would bring grief to His mother (See Luke 2:25-35). In so speaking, it is obvious that Simeon’s expectation of Jesus’ work was not simply that of an exalted king who would rule over all. Simeon evidently understood somewhat of the suffering that was to come to Jesus. It is most likely that he had this understanding based upon the Old Testament Scriptures and not solely on the basis of any spiritual experience he may have had.
As the Baptizer came on the scene we find that there was much musing about him. He was questioned whether he were the Messiah or not, showing us that there was a Messianic expectation. John’s response was to preach Jesus as one who would be a sacrificial lamb given as a sin offering: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. ” (John 1:29, KJV) For this to have made any sense to anyone listening there would have of necessity been an expectation of a suffering Christ who would forgive sins. Again, that expectation would have had its roots in the Old Testament prophecies and promises.
Jesus, Himself, testified to this expectation when He told the people that the Scriptures testified of Him (See John 5:39), that Abraham rejoiced because he saw the day of Christ (See John 8:56), and when He rebuked the disciples because they did not believe the Old Testament Scriptures which prophesied of His coming, suffering, and subsequent glory: “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ” (Luke 24:25–27, KJV) The Old Testament prophecies of Jesus were so clear that Jesus rebuked them for not believing them. This would have been impossible if the prophecies were vague, imprecise, and could only have been interpreted in light of the New Testament
after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven