JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

 

AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

 

 

I remember the prophecies vividly. Isaiah spoke of a man who would suffer greatly, a man of sorrows who would be despised and rejected by many. He would carry our griefs and be wounded for our transgressions, yet he would remain silent, like a lamb led to the slaughter.

 

 

Isaiah 53:3-7
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

I witnessed the fulfillment of these words. As Jesus was crucified, wicked men surrounded him, and they pierced his hands and feet. I watched as they cast lots for his clothing, just as the psalmist had foretold

Psalm 22:16-18:
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Years earlier, our father Abraham had assured his son Isaac that God would provide a lamb for the sacrifice.

Genesis 22:8:
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Now, I saw that promise come true in Jesus, the Lamb of God. It was hard to comprehend, but it pleased the Lord to allow him to suffer, for his suffering was an offering for our sins. Through this sacrifice, he would justify many and bear our iniquities.

Isaiah 53:10-12.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Despite the horror of his death, there was hope. The psalmist had said that God would not leave his Holy One in the grave or let his body see decay

Psalm 16:10.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Hosea had proclaimed that God would redeem us from death and destroy its power (Hosea 13:14).

Jeremiah had also spoken of a new covenant, a time when God would write his law on our hearts and forgive our sins.

We would no longer need to teach each other to know the Lord, for we would all know him personally

Jeremiah 31:31-34.
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

As I stood there, watching Jesus on the cross, I realized that these prophecies were being fulfilled before my eyes. His suffering and death were not the end but the beginning of a new covenant between God and humanity. Jesus' victory over death was a promise of eternal life for all who believe.


I was there when they took Jesus down from the cross. As the sun was setting, Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, asked Pilate for permission to bury Jesus' body. With great care, he wrapped the body in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his own new tomb, carved out of rock.


This act reminded me of the prophecy that the Suffering Servant would be with the rich in his death

Isaiah 53:9.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth

The tomb was sealed with a large stone, and guards were placed to watch over it. But even as I stood there, I remembered the words of the psalmist: "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Psalm 16:10. There was a glimmer of hope amidst the sorrow.

Three days later, we were stunned by what happened next. Early in the morning, some women who had followed Jesus went to the tomb with spices to anoint his body. They found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. An angel appeared and told them that Jesus had risen, just as he had said.

Psalm 16:10.
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

We recalled the prophecy from Hosea: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction." Hosea 13:14.
Jesus had conquered death, fulfilling the ancient promise of redemption.

Later, Jesus appeared to many of us, alive and well. He showed us the wounds in his hands and feet, proving that he was indeed the same Jesus who had been crucified.

We were filled with joy and amazement, remembering the words of the prophets and realizing that everything had come to pass just as it was written.

Jeremiah's prophecy of a new covenant resonated deeply within us: "After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Jeremiah 31:33.

Jesus' resurrection marked the beginning of this new covenant, where forgiveness and a personal relationship with God were made possible for all who believe.

As eyewitnesses to these events, we saw the fulfillment of God's promises. Jesus' burial and resurrection were not only the culmination of his earthly mission but also the dawn of a new era of hope and salvation for humanity.