There was a moment a few days ago when I felt totally overwhelmed. I had just slept off the effects of a migraine. News of Russia’s attack on Ukraine by air, sea, and land infiltrated my newsfeed in the few hours I had unplugged. Although my headache had dissipated, the incessant throbbing was replaced by another feeling all together.
I anxiously thought, “What is happening?” “What’s next?” “Will our country get involved?” “Will my friends’ children be sent off to fight?”
With cost of everyday items on the rise at alarming rates, employers struggling to maintain adequate staffing levels, and the makings of a world war all contributing toward a landscape set against a still-looming pandemic backdrop, it is far too easy to think all is out of control. The fears and insecurities we are facing right now are real and justified.
Can you relate to these thought patterns?
If so, I have a reassuring word to share with you today, friend: we can find comfort in knowing that when all seems amiss, our God still has a plan. Events are surprises to us, but they are not surprises to Him.
Don’t forget…although we learn of passing circumstances in real time; we have a God who exists and operates beyond humanity’s conventional temporal restrictions and understandings.
In fact, the Old Testament is chockfull of prophesied New Testament events. What God indicated would happen during one point in history actually came to pass in another point of history. This is especially true we look at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah foretold.
I don’t know about you, but I find consolation in that truth. Singular occurrences transpired in such a precisely orchestrated way over hundreds and thousands of years so that when the appointed time came, they all collectively effectuated Jesus’s life, death and resurrection as previously indicated.
That literally boggles my mind! It also speaks to God’s protective and sovereign hand covering all of history.
Around Christmastime, it’s common to hear references to Isaiah’s prophesies as related to Jesus’ birth. Here’s one you may be familiar with:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
There’s many more examples of the Messiah’s birth prophesied throughout Scripture, but it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that circumstances around his death and resurrection were also prophesied.
Below is a simple table I generated which shows a handful of such Old Testament crucifixion/resurrection Prophesies with the New Testament fulfillment of that prophesy.
|Prophecy||OT Prophetic Reference||NT Fulfillment Reference|
|The Messiah will have His hands and His feet “pierced” through.||Psalm 22:16||John 20:25|
|The Messiah’s bones will not be broken (a person’s legs were usually broken after being crucified to speed up their death).||Psalm 22:17||John 19:33|
|Men will cast lots for the Messiah’s clothing.||Psalm 22:18||Matthew 27:35|
|The Messiah will be rejected.||Isaiah 53:3||Luke 13:34|
|The Messiah will be killed as a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of His people.||Isaiah 53:5–9||2 Corinthians 5:21|
|The Messiah will be silent in front of His accusers.||Isaiah 53:7||1 Peter 2:23|
|The Messiah will be buried with the rich.||Isaiah 53:9||Matthew 27:57–60|
|The Messiah will be with criminals in His death.||Isaiah 53:12||Mark 15:27|
|The Messiah will be resurrected.||Psalm 16:10||Acts 2:24-32, Acts 13:33–35|
Isn’t that incredible!? Isaiah preceded Jesus by about 700 years, and David did so by thousands of years! That’s almost too many generations filled with marriages, affairs, wars and murders-most-fowl to count! In fact, much of the Old Testament is dedicated to the rise and fall of kings and nations. Yet, through all the meandering mayhem, the Lord’s sovereign plan didn’t skip a beat. All played out in such a particular way so that His son entered and exited this side of eternity exactly as God revealed He would.
The result of that faithfulness throughout history culminates in the ascension, whereby Jesus not only exists as our personal and corporate savior, but as our Lord as well. We are the sons and daughters of a King…a King far more powerful than any earthly ruler or dictator!
Friends, the battle is won. The murder at Calvary need not happen twice. Until Jesus comes again, we can still be rest assured that all occurs according to His divine plan and for such a divine purpose as it did leading up to the death, crucifixion and ascension of Jesus over 2,000 years ago.
We can’t begin to fathom the way our God pieces history together, but we can find a blessed assurance in that He does. It’s my prayer that these assurances assist in subsiding any anxious thoughts within us…but in times that they do not, we must go to Him and talk to Him about our worries. He is there to listen each and every time we approach Him.