I’ve been kind of stuck for today’s message. And it’s not that I’ve run out of prophecies concerning the coming (and now come) Messiah. Psalms and Isaiah are full of passages that practically spell out His life on earth step by step. But we here have been focusing not so much on the details but the nature of Prophecied Messiah.
We have seen His big picture ministry- the idea that it is the next life and not this one is where His focus is. Through Moses we have seen He was to have two ministries on earth- to free His people from the grip of Satan and to lead them to the home He promised. Through Melchizadek we saw that He was separate from, and superior to, a simple mortal priesthood. And last week we saw the gap between the mortal and divine perceptions of Messiah.
There are so many other ways to look at Messiah, too. I was thinking over the presaging through Moses, and thought about the other man who stood with the Lord at the transfiguration, Elijah. Elijah was a precursor as well, because in the moment after his greatest triumph, he suffered his greatest defeat, running for his life. Jesus was acclaimed on Sunday and crucified on Friday. But Elijah was renewed and returned, for a short time- long enough to anoint his successor (and a few others), and then drawn alive into heaven. So, too, Jesus rose from death, anointed the Apostles, and ascended into heaven. Throughout the Bible Jesus is explained not just in prophecy but in example.
And you know, He is not the only one described thus. Look at this description of the Antichrist from Daniel:
Dan 11:37 He will not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god. For he shall magnify himself above all.
I have mentioned in other posts the intertwining of radical LGBT and radical atheism. I never knew it was predicted. I am minded of Christopher Hitchens, the atheist supreme who died this week. It always puzzled me how people like him could make the point, “ If God is real, why give us a mind that can question and learn and expect us to believe in Him on faith?” Not so much for the question itself, but because they never seemed to ask the flip side question, “If God doesn’t exist, why did evolution drive us to develop a mind that can grasp the transcendental if there IS nothing transcendental?” They can accept a naturally self-occurring universe with no logical starting point that they can reach, but on the other hand believe that the mind that can grasp a subject so far beyond visible reality just crumbles to dust at death. Hitchens right now knows the answer to those questions, one way or another. And when I think of him, I think of the ending of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man:
Luk 16:27 And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,
Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead.
Scientists base ideas of the multiverse on wild theories that they cannot conceive of a way to prove, and yet reject God for “lack of proof”. And even as Christians, we long for things to be spelled out. God had an answer to each. For the scientists, He said:
Jer 31:37 So says Jehovah, If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be searched out, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says Jehovah.
Or to put it another way, When you get to the bottom of everything, THEN will My promises fail. Good luck with that.
And for the believers, a little patience from Daniel:
Dan 12:8 And the words came to my ears, but the sense of them was not clear to me: then I said, O my lord, what is the sense of these things?
Dan 12:9 And he said, Go on your way, Daniel: for the words are secret and shut up till the time of the end;
Dan 12:10 Till a number are tested and make themselves clean; and the evil-doers will do evil; for not one of the evil-doers will have knowledge; but all will be made clear to those who are wise.