[27] And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. - Luke 24

The greatest evidence for Christianity is fulfilled prophecy in the Bible. Jesus himself, along with his disciples reason with non-Christians from the old testament scriptures, showing that Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of them.

Within 40 days of Jesus' execution and resurrection, tens of thousands of men, women, and children publicly declared their allegiance to King Jesus, convinced by old testament prophecy (Acts 2, Acts 10:43, Acts 17:2-3, Acts 18:28, 1 Peter 1:10-11).

In a polytheistic, pagan culture, why did so many confess that Jesus alone is Lord? In a Roman culture that oppressed foreigners, practiced slavery, and abused women, how did the church survive? Slaves worshipped Jesus alongside their masters, calling themselves brothers; Beggars alongside the society’s elite; Roman soldiers alongside Jews; Tax collectors alongside those they once extorted. Africans, Asians, Romans, Greeks, Jews, and Samarians, side by side.

In fact, the unity of the church terrified Roman governors. Pliny the Younger, a governor of Pontus/Bithynia wrote that Christianity posed a danger to “every age, every rank, and also of both sexes” (Letters 10.96-97).

How were these people convinced, so much so that they would drop the walls of hostility that had divided them for centuries? What evidence convinced tens of thousands of people? The answer: Jesus fulfilled exactly what the scriptures say about Him.


If we only had the book of Genesis…

Genesis 1 – The Image of God

The Bible opens with the account of creation. Genesis 1:26 describes the creation of humans:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

Scripture is clear: Humans are made in the image of God. But, why does the Bible say “our” instead of “my”? We are not made in the image of angels or any other spiritual being. This is one of the earliest references to God’s trinue nature: one being existing in three eternal persons (What is the Trinity?).

See The Imago Dei.

Genesis 3 – The Promised Offspring

After Adam and Eve sin by disobeying God, in Genesis 3:14-15 God tells them the results of their sin. He first curses Satan, who tempted them. The world will be divided between Satan’s offspring and the woman’s; between lovers of self and lovers of God.

Then He tells Satan of his enevitable defeat. He says that someday an offspring (singular) of the woman will crush him, but in doing so, Satan would bite his heel.

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. [15] I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The promised offspring, called the Christ, meaning messiah, will come to defeat Satan, sin, and death. But His victory will come at a high price: His life. He will crush the serpants head, but the serpant will strike His heel. Through His victory, He will restore us back to relationship with God, redeeming all that is broken in the world back to the garden, where there was no sin or death.

See The Protoevangelion. See Jesus is the Promised Offspring.

Genesis 3 – A Sufficient Covering

After Adam and Eve sinned, they realized their nakedness and were full of shame due to their guilt. Their first response is to try to cover themselves with fig leaves, but their feeble covering is not enough. Their fig leaves cannot undo their shame, silence their conscience, or hide their guilt. God then gently shows them the insufficiency of their covering.

[7] Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. [8] And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. [9] But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” [10] And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” [11] He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” - Genesis 3

In the following verses, God tells them the consequences of their sin. But in that discipline, He gives them hope, that He will redeem what they have broken. Someday one of the woman’s offspring would undo their sin. What happens next is completely unexpected.

[21] And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

God kills an animal, the first animal sacrifice, and makes clothing to cover them. In this action, God shows them that someday He will provide a sufficient sacrifice, one that can atone for their sin and cover their guilt and shame.

See The Protoevangelion.

Genesis 12 – Abraham’s Calling

Later in Genesis, we meet a man named Abram. In Genesis 12, God speaks to Abram and gives him a calling and a promise:

[1] Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. [2] And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. [3] I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God calls Abram to leave his homeland and follow Him. The promise God gives is that Abram’s descendants will become a great nation, which we later learn is the nation Israel. The last part of the promise is particularly interesting.

“In you” it says “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Not only would Abram’s people, Israel, be blessed, but through his lineage all people groups would experience God’s blessing.

Genesis 22 – The Promised Sacrifice

Genesis 22 picks up the theme of animal sacrifice. Here, God tests Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his only son as an offering. It’s hard to summarize the weight of this command.

Abraham and Sarah his wife were well into old age and unlikely to have any other children. To add to that, Isaac was their only son, an answer to a promise that God had given them years earlier, saying that Abraham’s offspring would become a nation.

[1] After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” [2] He said, “_Take your son, your only son_ Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

[3] So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. [4] On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. [5] Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” [6] And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.

How can God fulfill His promise to Abraham if there is no offspring? By human reasoning, it seems that God cannot be faithful if Abraham sacrifices his son. But Abraham obeys anyway, trusting that God will be faithful, that “God will provide for himself the lamb”.

[7] And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” [8] Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

[9] When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. [10] Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. [11] But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” [12] He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” [13] And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.

Abraham’s faith is tested and proven genuine, God remains faithful to His promise, and a sacrifice is provided.

But what does this all mean? What does this have to do with Jesus?

[14] So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided. [15] And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven [16] and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, [17] I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, [18] and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

This promise has two levels of fulfillment. In the immediate context, Abraham’s son Isaac has a son Jacob who becomes Israel, the father of twelve sons who become the twelve tribes of the nation Israel.

But this promise has another level to it. Notice that “offspring” is used both in the plural and singular, just like in Genesis 3. The offspring (plural) of Abraham are all those who live by faith in God. The offspring (singular) of Abraham is the promised snake-crusher of Genesis 3 in whom “all the nations of the earth [will] be blessed”.

Jesus Christ is the offspring of Abraham (Matthew 1:1), who conquered His enemy on the cross. He is God’s only Son who bears the punishment that we deserve for our sins (John 3:16). He is the lamb of God who was slain to offer forgiveness to all nations (John 1:29). By faith in Him, our guilt is covered by His perfect righteousness (John 5:24). We were all once dead in our sins (Ephesians 2), lovers of self (offspring of the serpent), but now by faith in Jesus, we can become offspring of Eve, offspring of Abraham, lovers of God.

[12] But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, [13] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1

See Abraham’s Testing.


Jesus is the Promised Offspring

Jesus is the promised offspring of the woman (Genesis 3). On the cross, He crushed the serpants head, defeating Satan. Yet His victory came through His death; the serpant struck His heel. Through His death, He bore the punishment for our sins so that we could have peace with God. By rising from the grave three days later, Jesus undoes the curse of death. And now, through faith in Him, we can have a relationship with the living God, as we were made for in the garden in Genesis.

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