Luke 24:36-45 (NIV)
“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
I can’t imagine what it was like to be there for that Bible Study. I’m not even sure how they could concentrate because of their joy and amazement. Sometimes I ask God to burn this reality into me, how God foretold about Jesus, the Messiah, in the Old Testament, how He fulfilled all that was written of Him, who He is, that He actually came here to us on this earth, died on the cross, rose again from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and is coming again to fulfill all that He intends. None of us saw any of this happen, through faith we believe, through faith we have become His followers, through faith we hold onto the hope of the Gospel.
“Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
The Law of Moses
The Tabernacle, the sacrifices, the relationships of the priests and the people, God dwelling with His people, the covenant, the Law and it’s order and the promised land, the punishments and penalties of the Law all prefigure the destruction of Sin and Guilt through Christ. Christ was born under the Law and only He fulfilled the Law perfectly.
The whole Old Testament finds its focus in Jesus Christ, his death, and his resurrection. The Apostle Paul says the same thing in different words: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are `Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the `Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 1:20). “These things [in the Old Testament] happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11). Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matt. 5:17-18).
There are many types or fore pictures of the Messiah and His ministry in the Old Testament. There are also numerous specific prophecies about the Messiah uttered through the Prophets via the Holy Spirit. When you see these prefigures unfold starting in Genesis and going through the rest of the Old Testament, the intent, mercy and beauty of our Heavenly Father becomes staggering. You cannot begin to thoroughly appreciate the New Testament until you begin to comprehend the connections to the Old Testament. The testimony of Jesus Christ becomes so much richer with His every word and deed. Just the specific prophecies alone showcase how many of the Messiah’s criteria where simply beyond His control if Jesus was only human. It just isn’t possible.
An example of a “type” is Moses. Moses was a type of Christ in that he was the typical Redeemer of the Old Covenant. He was the only other Mediator between God and His people in redemptive history; and though his mediation was also typical, He stood in the most unique position as the redeemer and lawgiver of the Covenant people. Jesus is THE Mediator between God and man–since He is both God and man. Just as Moses had a supernatural deliverance at his birth, so did Jesus. Just as Moses led Israel out of Egypt, into the wilderness, up on the mountain to give them the law, so Jesus went down into Egypt, up from Egypt, through the water, into the wilderness and up on the mountain to give God’s people the law. Jesus leads His people out of bondage to Satan, sin and death through His own “exodus” (Luke 9:31) in His death and resurrection.
An example of a specific “prophecy” about the Messiah is found in Isaiah.
53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
www.gotquestions.org has an excellent overview of Jesus in the Psalms, as copied below.
The book of Psalms is a collection of inspired songs used in worship of God, and many of them foretell the coming of the Messiah and predict events that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. In total, twenty-five different psalms (one out of every six psalms) include at least one messianic prophecy. Messianic psalms are quoted in eleven New Testament books, especially the gospels and the book of Acts. Below are nearly seventy specific references to Christ in the Psalms fulfilled in the New Testament. Some scholars see additional allusions, but we’ve only included those with the clearest connections to Jesus. The following list provides the reference(s) in Psalms where each prophecy is found and the New Testament fulfillment:
Concerning the Messiah’s birth:
1. The Messiah will come from the lineage of David (Psalm 89:3–4, 29–36; 132:11–17; Matthew 1:1).
2. The Messiah will come for all people (Psalm 18:49; Ephesians 3:4–6).
3. The Messiah will know His Father from childhood (Psalm 22:9; Luke 2:40).
4. The Messiah will be called by God while still in the womb (Psalm 22:10; Luke 1:30–33).
Concerning the Messiah’s nature and name:
5. The Messiah will be called King of the Jews (Psalm 2:6; John 12:12–13; 18:32).
6. The Messiah will be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7; Luke 1:31–35; Matthew 3:16–17; Hebrews 1:5–6). 7. The Messiah is God (Psalm 45:6–7b; Hebrews 1:8–9).
8. The Messiah will call God His Father (Psalm 89:26; Matthew 11:27).
9. The Messiah will be God’s only “begotten” Son (Psalm 89:27; Mark 16:6; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).
10. The Messiah will be eternal (Psalm 102:25–27a;Revelation 1:8; Hebrews 1:10–12).
11. The Messiah is the creator of all things (Psalm 102:25–27b; John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:10–12).
12. The Messiah will be Lord and King (Psalm 110:1a; Matthew 22:41–45).
13. The Messiah will be a Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 6:17–20).
14. The Messiah will be the “Stone” rejected by the builders (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42–43).
Concerning the Messiah’s ministry:
15. Infants will give praise to the Messiah (Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:15–16).
16. The Messiah will reveal that the Hebrew Scriptures were written of Him (Psalm 40:6–8b; Luke 24:44; John 5:39–40).
17. The Messiah will do God’s (His Father’s) will (Psalm 40:7–8; John 5:30).
18. The Messiah will not conceal His mission from believing people (Psalm 40:9–10; Luke 4:16–21).
19. The Messiah will communicate a message of mercy (Psalm 45:2; 55:12–14; Luke 4:22).
20. The Messiah will be angered by unethical practices by the Jews in the temple (Psalm 69:9a; John 2:13–17).
21. The Messiah will teach in parables (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34–35).
22. The Messiah will calm the stormy sea (Psalm 107:28–29; Matthew 8:24–26).
23. The Messiah will act with righteousness (Psalm 45:6–7c; John 5:30).
24. The Messiah will come in the name of the Lord (Psalm 118:26; Matthew 21:9).
Concerning the Messiah’s betrayal and death:
25. Political/religious leaders will conspire against the Messiah (Psalm 2:1–3; Matthew 26:3–4; Mark 3:6).
26. The Messiah will feel forsaken by God at His crucifixion (Psalm 22:1b; Mark 15:34).
27. The Messiah will pray without ceasing before His death (Psalm 22:2; Matthew 26:38–39).
28. The Messiah will be despised and rejected by His own (Psalm 22:6; Luke 23:21–23).
29. The Messiah will be mocked (Psalm 22:7; 109:25; Matthew 27:39).
30. Unbelievers will say to the Messiah, “He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him” (Psalm 22:8; Matthew 27:41–43).
31. The Messiah will be abandoned by His disciples (Psalm 22:11; 69:20; Mark 14:50).
32. The Messiah will be encompassed by wicked beings (Psalm 22:12–13; Colossians 2:15).
33. From the Messiah’s body will flow blood and water (Psalm 22:14a; John 19:34).
34. The Messiah will be crucified (Psalm 22:14b; Matthew 27:35).
35. The Messiah will thirst while dying (Psalm 22:15; 69:21; John 19:28).
36. The Messiah will be observed by Gentiles at His crucifixion (Psalm 22:16a; Luke 23:36).
37. The Messiah will be observed by Jews at His crucifixion (Psalm 22:16b; Matthew 27:41–43).
38. The Messiah’s hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16c; Matthew 27:38).
39. The Messiah’s garments will be parted among the soldiers through the casting of lots (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23–24).
40. The Messiah will be accused by false witnesses (Psalm 27:12; 35:11; 109:2; Matthew 26:59–61).
41. The Messiah will cry out to God, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46).
42. There will be many attempts to kill the Messiah (Psalm 31:13; Matthew 27:1).
43. The Messiah will have no bones broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32–33).
44. The Messiah will be hated without cause (Psalm 35:19; John 18:19–23; 15:24–25).
45. The Messiah will be silent as a lamb before His accusers (Psalm 38:13–14; Matthew 26:62–63).
46. The Messiah will be God’s sacrificial lamb for redemption of all mankind (Psalm 40:6–8a; Hebrews 10:10–13).
47. The Messiah will be betrayed by one of His own disciples (Psalm 41:9; Mark 14:17–18).
48. The Messiah will be hated and rejected without cause (Psalm 69:4; Luke 23:13–22; John 15:24–25).
49. The Messiah will be condemned for God’s sake (Psalm 69:7, 9; Matthew 26:65–67; Romans 15:3).
50. The Messiah will be rejected by the Jews (Psalm 69:8a; John 1:11).
51. The Messiah’s very own brothers will reject Him (Psalm 69:8b; John 7:3–5).
52. The Messiah’s heart will be broken (Psalm 69:20a; John 19:34).
53. The Messiah will be offered gall mingled with vinegar while dying (Psalm 69:21a; Matthew 27:34).
54. The Messiah will offer up prayer for His enemies (Psalm 109:4; Luke 23:34).
55. The Messiah’s betrayer will have a short life (Psalm 109:8a; Acts 1:16–18; John 17:12).
56. The Messiah’s betrayer will be replaced by a more faithful man (Psalm 109:8b; Acts 1:20–26).
Concerning the Messiah’s resurrection and exaltation:
57. The Messiah will be resurrected (Psalm 16:8–10a; Matthew 28:6; Acts 2:25–32).
58. The Messiah’s body will not see corruption (natural decay) (Psalm 16:8–10b; Acts 13:35–37).
59. The Messiah will be glorified into the presence of God (Psalm 16:11; Acts 2:25–33).
60. The Messiah will ask God for His inheritance (Psalm 2:8a; John 17:4–24).
61. The Messiah will have complete authority over all things (Psalm 2:8b–9; 8:6; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:1–2).
62. The Messiah will destroy those who do not honor Him (Psalm 2:12; John 3:36).
63. The Messiah will bring many people into the family of God (Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:10–12; Matthew 12:50; John 20:14).
64. The Messiah’s enemies will stumble and fall (Psalm 27:2; John 18:3–6).
65. The Messiah’s throne will be eternal (Psalm 45:6–7a; Luke 1:31–33; Hebrews 1:8–9).
66. The Messiah will ascend back into heaven (Psalm 68:18a; Luke 24:51; Ephesians 4:8).
67. The Messiah will give good gifts unto believing men (Psalm 68:18b; Matthew 10:1; Ephesians 4:7–11).
68. The Messiah will be exalted to the right hand of God (Psalm 80:17; 110:1, 5; Acts 5:31).
Summary: So I’m thinking that must have been quite a Bible Study. If you haven’t invested some serious time in studying the Old Testament you’re missing out, big time. There’s no short cut to learning God’s Word.
Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”