Jesus in the Old Testament, Part 2: Titles

Grace For The Journey

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12Se[t This is the second part in a series on how the Bible is all about Jesus.  Yesterday we looked at two of the events that God instituted in the Old Testament.  Another way we learn about Jesus in the Old Testament is through titles.  There is a variety of titles in the Old Testament that were ultimately attributed to Jesus.

Suffering Servant

In Isaiah – written seven hundred years before Jesus was born – beginning in chapter 40 all the way through to chapter 66, the dominating theme is about the Suffering Servant.  Though Isaiah depicts the suffering servant as the people of Israel (Isaiah 41:8) or himself (Isaiah 49:5), we observe in chapter 53 that the Suffering Servant is actually someone different.

The Suffering Servant is described as someone who bears our grief and sorrows, is pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:4–5).  Since the Suffering Servant was to do this work on behalf of the people of Israel and Isaiah himself, we discover in these verses that God would send someone to be a suffering Savior, namely, Jesus.

We see this in Jesus’ own words, when he says in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of May did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  The Suffering Servant is also quoted in connection to Jesus’ healing ministry in Matthew 8:17, where the Bible says, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed.  And He cast the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”  Again, in Acts 8:26-35 the Bible tells us that as an Ethiopian eunuch read from Isaiah 53, Philip joined him and informed him that Isaiah wasn’t speaking about himself, but Jesus (Acts 8:26–35).  And speaking of Jesus, Peter, in 1 Peter 2:24, quotes Isaiah 53:5 and connects it with Jesus when the Holy Spirit leads him to write, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sing, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”

The Suffering Servant wasn’t the people of Israel.  He wasn’t Isaiah.  He was Jesus. Through this title we see that the Old Testament was all about Jesus just as the New Testament is.  Jesus came as the Suffering Servant to bear our sins, our grief, and sorrows, to be pierced for our transgressions, and be crushed for our iniquities.

Alpha and Omega

In the Old Testament, God is referred to as “the first and the last.”  The Bible tells us in Isaiah 41:4; 44:6 and 48:12 an important truth about God.  We hear in in these verses God say, “I am the first and I am the last; beside Mme there is no god.”

These are references to the eternal nature of God.  God is without beginning . . . God is without end.  God is eternal.  Or as someone has said, “God is the uncaused cause.”

The New Testament takes the first and last name for God and attributes it to Jesus.  The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:6 the words of Jesus to John, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (cf. Rev. 1:8; 22:3).  The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God.  He has no beginning and no end.  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.

Son of Man

Jesus’ favorite title for himself is from the Old Testament: “the Son of Man.”  He uses this title roughly 80 times.  For example, in response to the high priest’s request for Jesus to say if he is the Christ, Jesus said, “You have said so.  But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 6:64; 16:27, 24:30; Mark 14:62).  Jesus isn’t merely saying that He is simply a son of a man.  We all are.  Jesus was claiming to be the Son of man as spoken of by Daniel.

For Jesus to connect himself with the title of son of man from Daniel is to connect Himself with the vision of Himself in eternal glory in heaven, ruling and reigning, coming into human history humbly as a man to set up a kingdom that’ll never end.

Jesus was crucified.  He was put to death for the charge of blasphemy by declaring Himself to be God.  He rose from death three days later.  Jesus is alive today, and He is the Son of Man spoken of by the prophet Daniel.

I AM

Another title in the Old Testament used for God revolves around the burning bush and Moses (Exodus 3).  As the Bible relates in the Book of Exodus, one day Moses walked along in the wilderness and came upon a bush that was on fire but not consumed.

I think God has a good sense of humor. Of all ways that God could have spoken with Moses, he chose to talk with him through a burning bush.

The Bible records this experience in Exodus 3.  As Moses had a conversation with God out of the burning bush, he’s told, “Go to the Pharaoh and set My people free.  Moses asked a good question. “Who should I tell them sent me?”  And  says to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

The Bible tells us in John 8:59, that Jesus responded to the Jews’ question of Jesus on how exactly He saw Abraham who lived a couple of thousand years before him, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  The Jews understood that Jesus was identifying Himself as God, who spoke to Moses through the burning bush, and picked up stones to throw at Him.

Jesus in essence said, “I’m the eternal God, older than Abraham, and I was the one who met with Moses in the burning bush and told Him to go liberate my people.”

We can clearly conclude from these sample titles of our Lord Jesus in the Old Testament that it is really all about Jesus.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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