Jesus: The Promised Messiah (Part 2)
Each of the four Gospels tells the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in a way that will make the most sense to its original audience. Matthew was written to Jewish Christians, so he emphasizes the fact that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, the fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures. In fact, he tells the story of Jesus in a way that intentionally parallels the story of Israel. Jesus is called out of Egypt (Matthew 2:13-23) like God called Israel out of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 13:17-22). Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17) parallels Israel’s journey through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15-31). Then, Jesus wanders in the desert for forty days (Matthew 4:1-11), like how the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years (Numbers 32:13). Finally, He climbs up a mountain to teach His followers (Matthew 5:1-2), like Moses who climbed Mount Sinai to receive the law from God (Exodus 19-20). Matthew points back to the Jewish Scriptures again and again. Try flipping through Matthew to see how many times it says “...this happened to fulfill the Scriptures.” Matthew argues that Jesus is the promised Messiah—the One who fulfills the law perfectly and who will bring salvation to Israel. And this promised Messiah is talked about all throughout Scripture. We see hints about what He will be like: He will be a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15), born from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and He will come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), to name a few. And He will come to free His people from bondage, reigning over them as their loving King. Jesus knew all these prophecies. Matthew shows that Jesus taught with authority—even calling out religious leaders when they weren’t teaching Scripture correctly. Jesus could correct them because He Himself is the fulfillment of the Scriptures they taught (Matthew 16:16)! This is good news, because if God kept His promise to send us the Messiah, we can trust that He will keep His promise to return and destroy suffering, sin, and death so we can live with Him eternally in renewed creation. • Taylor Eising • The whole Bible anticipates Jesus. How might this affect the way you view the Old Testament? • Does knowing that God keeps His promises give you comfort? Why or why not? The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54 (NLT)
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