The Gospel, Part 3 — Jesus Was Promised | Podcast | Episode 3

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Hello, my name is Nate I’m a youth pastor from the Detroit area and the Content Manager at OnTrack Devos, and you’re listening to the Pulse Podcast.

Thanks so much for joining us.

We started this podcast to practice the skill and discipline of personal Bible study by engaging collision points between biblical truth and culture. So, each week we take user-submitted questions and attempt to answer them using the Bible!

Today’s Question

This week we continue answering the question “What is the Gospel?” Throughout this series you will hear me repeat the following statement.

  • God Created
  • Man Sinned
  • Jesus was Promised
  • Jesus Came
  • Jesus lived a sinless life because He is God
  • Jesus died as a sacrifice for Sin
  • Jesus resurrected
  • Confess, Repent, Believe by Faith we are saved

We will be breaking down the Gospel using these mental flashcards as our framework. Last week we talked about Man Sinning. And this week we are going to address mental flashcard number two which is: Jesus was Promised.

In what way was Jesus promised?

The Short Answer

Well, the short answer is that there are at least 300 fulfilled prophecies of Jesus and they span throughout the whole of the Old Testament. They range from telling where Jesus would be born and into what circumstances such as, how he would die, what he would accomplish and more. In the New testament Jesus and other writers verify the fulfillment of the prophecies.

A former Professor and Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena College named Peter Stoner once worked with students to calculate the chances of 8 prophecies of Christ being fulfilled and found that there was just a 1 in 1017 chance that this could happen. To put that in perspective Stoner says this

“Let us try to visualize this chance. If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all of the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state.

Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.”

And remember that’s just 8 prophecies. Now just add the other 292 prophecies and you can understand just how astonishing it is to consider how Jesus was prophesied and how significant it is that those prophecies were fulfilled.

That’s the short answer but let’s examine a passage of Scripture to gain an example of what it was promised that Jesus would accomplish.

The Long Answer

Our passage we will examine is Isaiah 61:1 which says:

The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has tanointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Observation | Say What? What do I see?

Here are some quick observations to make in this passage:

  • First let’s talk context. Isaiah was a prophet of Israel alive about 700 years before Christ was born. In writing this book Isaiah gives a series of prophecies that include rebuke for sin, expectant punishment, hope of forgiveness and a coming Savior, and restoration for the people of Judah. Judah at the time was often at threat of being defeated or captured by surrounding nations. Chapter 61 is a part of a series of prophecy regarding future hope and a coming Messiah.
  • When reading prophecy, it’s important to remember that prophecy was sometimes for people at the time it was given and for the future.
  • When the original readers read or heard Isaiah 61, they almost certainly expected that help would come soon for them. They may or may not have realized that the prophecy was also speaking of help that was a long way away.
  • We see that SOMEONE was appointed by God to do a few things:
    • To proclaim good news to the poor
    • To bind up the brokenhearted
    • To proclaim liberty to captives
    • And to free those who are imprisoned
  • So, without understanding everything going on we see that someone is prophesied and purposed to help a lot of people who are in difficult circumstances
  • When making observations it’s important to look for CROSS-REFERENCES. These are passages that are directly tied to the passage you are reading in some way. You don’t need a fancy bible program to do this. Right now, pause the podcast and google cross references Isaiah 61:1.
  • If you’ve done this and clicked on the few of the top sites like BibleHub or OpenBible you will have found that one of the consistent cross references is Luke 4:16-21.
  • If you read Luke 4:16-21 you will see that Jesus goes to the Synagogue in Nazareth, opens up a scroll with the Isaiah 61 passage, reads it, closes it up and gives quite a short sermon in which he says, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”.
    • If only I could write lessons that short!
    • Jesus is making a claim that that passage is speaking of him.
  • We could make many more observations, but I believe we have enough of a foundation here to understand what all this means!

Interpretation | So what does all this mean?

  • First, if we attempt to put ourselves in Judah’s shoes, we should recognize that given their circumstances with different warring nations and kings and the threats that were a part of their life, they were constantly in need of someone to rise and “save” them from what was in front of them
  • Isaiah identifies how they might perceive their position many were or would become
    • Captives
    • Brokenhearted
    • Poor
    • Or imprisoned… So, the people were clearly in need of help
  • The people were likely looking for a physical savior to save them from their physical circumstances. What Isaiah does is give a greater hope of someone who would do far greater than giving temporary relief from these problems
  • Using our cross reference, we see that the ultimate savior of the poor, captive, brokenhearted, and imprisoned is Jesus, who did not come to save us from our physical state but more importantly our spiritual state which is of course sinfully condemned.
  • So, this passage ultimately points to the promised of Jesus and knowing the end of the story we know that God kept his covenant promise and that a savior would come!

Application | So what? What does any of this matter to you?

  • Well instead of looking forward for someone to save us we understand that someone was promised and came. We will look at this in detail next week.
  • But if we think about when this passage was written and how the people of Judah were looking forward for a savior, we can relate given our current situation.
  • We have rioting, looting, fighting, disease (in case you forgot) famine, persecution, wars, hatred, racism, bigotry, division, deceit and more all around us. As we learned last week this is all a consequence of sin! While Jesus has already come, we are still hoping and waiting for his return to rule and reign for eternity.
  • Just as the people of Judah needed to trust that a messiah would come to save them from their situation, we need to trust that God can and will provide for our needs as well

So how do we do this?

Integration | How can we put this knowledge to practice?

  • First, do a search on some of the other prophecies pointing to the coming of Christ. Write down 3 ways those prophecies give you hope
  • Second, ask yourself this question “Am I living like I believe in a God who fulfills prophecy?” In other words, do you trust that what God said would happen will happen? If so, why? If not, why not? IS there anything about God’s character and God’s actions toward you that should change your level of trust?
  • Third, what areas of trouble have you brought on yourself? If you have hope in the return of our Savior, what should you change and how?
  • Take some time to pray and ask God just like the father with the possessed child in Mark 9:14-29 — “I believe, help my unbelief”

Wrap-up

You may feel like we spoiled the end of the story of the Gospel by pointing out the ending. I understand this feeling but not all stories are ruined even when you know the ending. Next week we will discuss the coming of Christ. The significance of what Jesus did in coming. And the hope that it brings us for each day!

Remember…

  • God Created
  • Man Sinned
  • Jesus was Promised
  • Jesus Came
  • Jesus lived a sinless life because He is God
  • Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin
  • Jesus Resurrected
  • Confess Repent Believe, by Faith we are saved.

This podcast was written and recorded by me, Nathaniel King. The music is provided by Evan Braddock check out his stuff on Spotify.

For more answers to questions and access to integrated Bible study tools download the OnTrack Devos App!

Don’t forget to like and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ontrackdevos.

We’d like to extend special thanks to Anchor Christian University for sponsoring the OnTrack devotions app!

To contact us please email info@ontrackdevotions.com.

From all of us at OnTrack Devotions this has been the Pulse Podcast. Be Well.

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