“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Bible Prophecy (4) (Tom Edwards)
Bible Prophecy (4)
Knowing that it was His Father’s will to make an atonement for sin by death, Jesus did not try to defend Himself when before the authorities in the three Jewish and three Roman “trials.” This, of course, had also been prophesied seven centuries prior, when Isaiah foretold the following about the Christ in Isaiah 53:7:
“He was oppressed and he was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So he did not open His mouth.”
Jesus remained silent even when many corrupt witnesses had come forward to falsely accuse Him with malicious charges that might lead to His death.
For instance, Matthew’s account of Jesus before Pilate says, “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against you?’ And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed” (Matt. 27:12-14).
Isaiah 53 is clearly prophetic about the Christ, and which is also made evident by Philip in Acts 8. For Isaiah 53:7-8 is the very passage that the Ethiopian eunuch had been reading, on his way home from Jerusalem, when the Spirit told Philip to “go up and join the chariot” (Acts 8:29).
Philip did so. And when he asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading, he answered, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” (v. 31). He then invited Philip into the chariot, and Luke shows the passage the eunuch wanted to know more about:
“HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER;
AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT,
SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY;
WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION?
FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH” (vv. 32-33).
When the eunuch asked Philip for the explanation of this passage, Luke then records that Philip, “beginning from this Scripture… preached Jesus to him” (v. 35).
It is also interesting to note that in preaching Jesus, it must have also included preaching of the need for baptism. For after hearing Philip and seeing some water along the way, the eunuch then said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (v. 36).
That Jesus would be mocked and insulted was also prophesied. Notice, for example, Psalm 22, in which David is foretelling of the crucifixion:
“All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
‘Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him’” (vv. 7-8).
Matthew’s account also brings out the fulfillment of this. For it speaks of those who as they passed by the cross of Christ “were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, “I am the Son of God”’” (Matt. 27:39-43). (See also Luke 22:63-64.)
Isaiah also speaks in Isaiah 50:5-7 of more of the humiliating treatment Jesus would go through — and willingly so:
“The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord GOD helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.”
Again, we turn to the New Testament and read of the Lord’s determination to do His Father’s will — regardless of how difficult it would be, such as concerning the cross: “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matt. 26:42).
How many of us can say as Jesus did of God, “for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (Jn. 8:29). The ultimate of that obedience is seen in Christ’s willingness to leave His blissful existence in heaven to dwell on earth in human flesh and eventually suffer a most torturous death on the cross. As Paul cites the Lord’s humility and obedience as an example for us, he goes on to say of Jesus, “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8).
That Jesus would be spat upon, as foretold in Isaiah 50:6, can be seen in fulfillment in Matthew 26:67-68: “Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, ’Prophesy to us, You Christ, who is the one who hit You?’”
The spitting is also seen when Jesus was taken by the soldiers of the governor into the Praetorium with all the Roman cohort around Him. There, they “stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. After twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him” (Matt. 27:27-31).
Giving His back to those who struck Him (cf. Isa. 50:6) must have been quite an ordeal in itself. It is said that the preliminary scourging, prior to the crucifixion, was so severe that the one receiving it would sometimes die prior to being nailed to the cross. After the people had chosen the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus, Pilate had “Jesus scourged and then “handed him over to be crucified” (Matt. 27:26).
That the Lord also had His beard plucked (Isa. 50:6) is not mentioned in the New Testament, but this prophecy shows it was done. To the Oriental, it is said that the beard is “a symbol of dignity“ and, therefore, “an extreme insult” to have it plucked (Cambridge Bible).
One such example is that of David’s men who had half of their beards cut by Hanun, who had been deceived into thinking that David’s kind gesture in sending his servants to Hanun to console him in the loss of his father was supposedly a means to spy out the city and overthrow it (see 2 Sam. 10:1-4). As a result, David’s men “were greatly humiliated.” So David instructed them to “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return” (v. 5). According to the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, “D’Arvieux gives a remarkable instance of an Arab, who, having received a wound in his jaw, chose to hazard his life rather than suffer the surgeon to cut off his beard.”
May we never forget all that the Lord was willing to go through in order to make salvation possible for us and for every lost soul. And these prophecies indicate that the Lord had a clear knowledge of what He would have to endure in order to become our Savior — and, in spite of that, He still willingly and fully went through with it all!
(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)