Is Jesus the long-awaited Messiah? Is it possible that Jesus could not have been the Messiah? Could the old testament prophecies be fulfilled by any other man that the God-man from Nazareth? Since God is true to His words (Romans 3:4), even the possibility of these questions is unimaginable. God is able to fulfill His promises and He has brought it to pass in history.
THE DELAY OF HIS COMING
Some have questioned the divine wisdom behind the great delay in sending the Savior in time. They argue against the long wait between the first promise of His coming (Genesis 3:15) and His actual incarnation (John 1:14).
If Jesus of Nazareth was not the Messiah, then the Scriptures have not been and cannot be fulfilled. The prophecies of old would be impossible to be fulfilled apart from Jesus.
THE PERFECT TIMING OF HIS COMING
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”Galatians 4:4-5
The coming of the Son of God was clearly prophesied by the prophets, happened in history precisely as ordained by the will of God and did not occur randomly but by God’s sovereign plan.
According to John Gill, “The time agreed and fixed upon between God and his Son from all eternity, in the council and covenant of peace, when the Son of God should assume human nature; which time was diligently searched into by the prophets, was revealed unto them, and predicted by them.”
Ellicott comments on this passage, “That which was predetermined in the counsels of God as the right and proper time when the whole course of previous preparation both for Jew and Gentile was complete. Here we have a very clear expression of the conception of religion as progressive, divided into periods, and finding its culmination in Christianity. The phrase “fulness of the time” corresponds to “the time appointed of the father” in Galatians 4:2.”
Let us see some of the prophecies in the Old Testament that if not fulfilled in the time of Jesus and by Jesus Christ can never be fulfilled in any other time of history.
The Reign of Judah’s Descendant
The scepter will not depart from Judah,Genesis 49:10
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
The scepter is an emblem of regal command, hence dominion, kingship or sovereignty. The destruction of the city of Jerusalem in A.D 70, it was the removal of political dominion and authority of the Jews, and the dispersion of Jewish nation. There was no ruler from the tribe of Judah for 2000 years. Shiloh is a messianic title.
If Jesus is not the Christ, then God failed in fulfilling His promise in Genesis 49:10, for the time is past, and there can be no way to fulfill this promise.
The Messiah’s coming before the destruction of the Temple
“Behold, I am sending My messenger, and he will clear a way before Me. And the Lord, whom you are seeking, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of armies.Malachi 3:1
This verse is clearly fulfilled during the time of Jesus as it referred to the messenger which is none other than John the Baptist who prepares the way of the Messiah.
The original temple was built around 1000 B.C. and was known as Solomon’s Temple. After its destruction (586 B.C.), it was reconstructed and later on completed (538-516 B.C). It was during this time were Ezra and Nehemiah was raised by God to restore worship as the people of God rebuilt that Temple and the wall of Jerusalem.
On August 4, 70 A.D., the Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander punished the rebellious Jews (since they rebelled against the Romans in 66 A.D) by capturing the city of Jerusalem and destroying both the city and its Temple
If Jesus is not the Messiah, then God failed in fulfilling this prophecy, for the time is past, and there can be no way to fulfill this promise.
The Branch from the Stem of Jesse
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,Isaiah 11:1-2
And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
The LORD used Assyria to punish Israel as the rod of His anger (10:5) which He destroyed later because of their sins. In verse 10:20, the LORD promised that there will be remnants and survivors after the punishment of His people and in 11:1, a Righteous branch or a shoot will come forth from them to whom the Spirit will rest.
This foretells that the Messiah will come during the low estate of the house of David like a tree that has been cut off to its very roots. Jesus is a descendant of David (Romans 1:3). The Spirit of the LORD rests upon the Him (Matthew 3:16).
In A.D. 70, all genealogical evidence was destroyed, and proving the lineage of any proposed “messiah” from David would be impossible.
The End of Sacrificial System
Daniel 9:27 – the Messiah establish the New Covenant and His sacrifice marked the end of the sacrificial system under the Old Covenant. The sacrificial system ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70.
The Ingathering of the Gentiles
The Messiah’s coming was to be marked by the ingathering of other sheep that are not from the Nation of Israel. (John 10:16; Isaiah 2:2-3; Psalm 2:8; Zechariah 8:22; Acts 15:15-18).
If Jesus is not the Messiah the sacrificial system has ended without His coming and the ingathering of Gentiles would have no significance.
Delay as a display of God’s patience
The people of this world mocked the church since the prophecy concerning the second coming of the Son of God has not yet come. But we should not loose heart. God is faithful!
Though it took long, the prophecies concerning the Messiah certainly came to pass. If God was able to fulfill His promise though other waited long, God’s judgment will certainly come to those who reject the gospel (Rev 22:7, 12, 20).
God’s patience should urge anyone who hears the gospel to repent and believe in Christ (2 Peter 3:9). God has fulfilled His promise to His children and God will also execute His judgment against the children of wrath in the day of judgment.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!
Note: Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
2 thoughts on “The Son’s Humanity Part 2: In the Fullness of Time”
Thankful that Jesus is the Messiah, just as predicted.
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