ARGUMENTATION FOR THE MESSIAHSHIP OF CHRIST (PART 2)
The first half of the first gospel sermon in Acts 2 contains Peter defending the apostles because the Jews supposed they were drunk. The Holy Spirit had just been revealed to these people. Afterward, Peter says starting in verse 22: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know — Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in Your presence.’ “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”” “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
This is a hefty passage of Scripture in which Peter quotes several prophecies regarding their fulfillment to Christ. Let us establish the arguments he makes supporting Jesus as the Christ:
Firstly, Peter argues that Jesus was not the one abandoned to Hades. The first scripture Peter quotes is his defense of Jesus is Psalm 16:8-11, which states: “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Peter identifies and explains this scripture as a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for Jesus’ flesh did not suffer decay and his soul was not abandoned to Hades.
Secondly, Jesus was the individual spoken of in Psalm 110. Peter says Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God, not David. David surely died; Peter says his tomb is with us to this day. But where is Jesus’? The stone is rolled away!
But the one supreme argument is this: the fulfillment of OT Prophecy. Mark 16:20 and Hebrews 2:1-4 say that miracles were a confirmation of the claims that men made. Jesus’ claims of being the promised Messiah and the Son of God were affirmed by miracles. When the prophet told the leper to dunk in the Jordan seven times and he will be cleansed, that statement was affirmed when the leper came out of the water the seventh time.
Peter thoroughly understood the concept that Jesus was the Christ that had been promised for so many years, known as “The Deliverer.” But what does this mean to the modern age of today?
We will now examine the prophetic, priestly and kingly rolls of Jesus by historical examples from Israel and show how Jesus fulfills all of these roles for the people of God in this day and time.
Firstly, the prophetic role. As discussed earlier, a prophet is defined as a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the Will of God. Moses was very much a prophet. He proclaimed the Will of God at Mt. Sinai when the Commandments were given. But how did Jesus fulfill this role? There is a passage of scripture where we find Jesus proclaiming the will of God, and it is found in Matthew 12:17-20, where Jesus fulfills the prophecy found in Isaiah 42. Jesus proclaimed the Will of God through the Gentiles, in this case. But that is not the only recorded instance that we find.
Secondly, the priestly role. A priest is someone who offers sacrifices, such as Melchezidek in Genesis 14. And it is not hard to see how Jesus fulfilled this role. He offered the sacrifice of his life. In Hebrews 9:13-14 the writer shows us how much more superior the sacrifice of Christ’s blood is compared to bulls and goats that were once used. “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Thirdly and lastly, the kingly role. A king is obviously one who rules over something, or literally defined as a person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in their sphere or group. Jesus very much was a ruler, and very much was important. But we know that the kings we think of today were earthly. Jesus’ kingdom is not. He told Pilate that in John 18:36-37. “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” The key scripture I found is Matthew 21:5, where Jesus fulfills the prophecy in Zechariah 9. The “daughter of Zion” spoken of is actually a metaphor for the relationship that God has with His people. This prophecy speaks of Jesus, and He fulfills it.
Through all of this study, we can come to the conclusion that Jesus is in fact who he claimed to be throughout his entire ministry, and how He fulfills the roles of prophet, priest, and king today for US as God’s People. He is our prophet in the sense that He teaches and proclaims the Will of God through the Word of God; He is our Priest because he offered the ultimate sacrifice of His life that we may have forgiveness of sins, and He is our King in that we submit to Him and His authority, whatever He says that will we do. This is a hefty study but this is the very foundation of Christianity. The entire Bible is the revelation of God’s love through Jesus Christ His Son, whom He sent to die for us that we may be in communion with him for eternity. What a precious gift and honor. This is the beauty of the confession, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”