Deuteronomy 31:14

Deuteronomy 31:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting.

As with Deuteronomy 31:3, this verse foreshadows Jesus Christ.

It parallels the vision of Daniel 7:13-14 wherein the Son of Man comes up to the Ancient of Days to receive a kingdom.

All this foreshadows the handing over of the kingdom from Father to Son, as referenced by Jesus in many places including Matthew 11:27 and John 5:22-23.

Of course, we know that this Father became the Son so that He might become the Father once again (Isaiah 9:6), just as a tree gives a seed so that the seed may become a tree:

John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:25 “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

As it is for us, so it was with God.  Blessed be His glorious name!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 31:3

Deuteronomy 31:3 “…Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken.

These words from Moses foreshadow Joshua of Nazareth, who would one day come to Israel.  As Moses had said more explicitly earlier in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

As this Joshua of Nazareth Himself said to the religious leaders of His day who challenged Him:

John 5:45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.
John 5:46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
John 5:47 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Thus His name (“Jesus” being the Greek form, “Joshua” being the Hebrew form) was given to Him by the angel before He was born:

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus…

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Leviticus 22:32-33

Leviticus 22:32 “You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you,
Leviticus 22:33 who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God; I am the LORD.”

This passage of Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ who draws our hearts out of the world (symbolized by Egypt) to Himself as Lord above (Romans 10:9).

As promised in the Gospel of John:

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

In the world we have tribulation, but in Him we have peace (John 16:33).  He is the Lord our God!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Deuteronomy 32:18

Deuteronomy 32:18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.

O Christian, have you neglected the Rock who begot you – Jesus Christ our Lord?  For through Him you were spiritually begotten (1 Peter 1:3, 23).

Have you forgotten the God who gave you birth – that same Jesus Christ our Lord?  For through the pains of His labor you were born to eternal life.

Therefore, return to Him, just as Isaiah pleaded:

Isaiah 31:6 Return to Him from whom you have deeply defected…

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Exodus 32:1

Exodus 32:1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

Sinful human nature does not like to wait for God.  It becomes impatient and seeks its own way.  The godly wait patiently for the Lord to do what He has promised.

This verse foreshadows what would happen when some perceived that the Lord had tarried regarding His Second Coming.  They forced explanations and developed false doctrines.  Most significantly, they put themselves in the place of Jesus just as the Pharisees had put themselves in the place of Moses.

As a result, the institutional church today values the traditions of its elders more than the word of the Lord through His apostles.  See Mark 7:1-13 for a foreshadowing of this situation.

If you really want to know what happened regarding the Lord’s promise to come again, see Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

What God Did Through Christ He Had Promised Long Before Through the Prophets

What God did through Jesus Christ, He had promised long beforehand.  Consider how Paul refers to this fact in the opening of his letter to Titus:

Titus 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
Titus 1:3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,
Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

This is the way of God – to announce His intentions to His prophets.  This is so that His prophets might proclaim His intentions – that is, His promises – to His people.  Those promises would be written down, and then once they were fulfilled, all the generations that followed could glorify God for His faithfulness to His word.

Blessed be God, who revealed to His prophets what He was going to do.  As Amos said:

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing
Unless He reveals His secret counsel
To His servants the prophets.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Keep Learning About the Inheritance

We should seek forever to understand all the inheritance that the Lord left us.  Twice Paul mentioned it in his letter to the church at Colossae:

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

This inheritance was left to us by Jesus of Nazareth, and the Scriptures give its details.  Therefore, search out the Scriptures that we might know all that we are in Christ. His inheritance is exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could ask or even think to ask.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Apostles Did Not Think They Needed a New Book

Read the apostles’ extant writings (what we call the New Testament) and see that they never expressed any concern about a lack of documentation for their message.  That is, they had no need of the New Testament.  Of course, we do need it because it’s the means by which we can know what the apostles thought and taught.  They themselves, however, knew what they thought and taught. And they knew much more about those things than we can reconstruct from the 27 documents we call the New Testament.

The set of documents that mattered most to the apostles was what we call the Old Testament.  That was the collection of writings from Moses and the prophets that foretold all the things about Jesus that the apostles themselves witnessed.  In the pages of the Old Testament, the apostles found everything they needed to back up their claim that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

Just knowing this should enrich our study of both testaments.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Inheritance Jesus Left Us

Consider these two verses from Acts which speak of the inheritance made available for those who belong to Jesus Christ:

Acts 20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Untold riches reside in the inheritance left us by Jesus Christ.  These are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and understanding.  They include the precious promises of God which make provision for all things required in a godly life.

Why are people buying lottery tickets for a prize that they probably won’t win, and which, even if they did win it, would only provide material goods, when they could be reaching into an inheritance that is surely theirs and provides for all things necessary for this life and the next?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Documentation for Jesus’ Resurrection Was Written Long Before It Occurred

Consider these two representative passage from the book of Acts.  The first quotes the words of Paul as he stood trial before King Agrippa.  The second describes what happened when Paul arrived in Rome.

Acts 26:22 “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place;
Acts 26:23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Acts 28:23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.

Note that in both cases, all the documentation necessary to persuade the open-minded Jews about the resurrection of Jesus was found in the ancient Scriptures of Israel.

Paul and the rest of the apostles weren’t quoting New Testament documents when they preached the gospel.  They were quoting Old Testament documents.  God had declared long ahead of time what He was going to do!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Specific Instances of the Great Transfer

A few days ago I posted about The Great Transfer.  This was the handing off of all things – most notably the saints – from the Father to the Son.  Here are a couple of examples:

Acts 16:14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.

Lydia’s heart already belonged to God.  That’s how God could open it to respond to the things spoken by Paul about the Son.  In this way, Lydia was transferred – handed over, bequeathed – from the Father to the Son.  The Son “inherited” Lydia from the Father.

Acts 18:9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
Acts 18:10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”
Acts 18:11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

In this case, many saints were involved.  The city referenced was Corinth.  There were people in Corinth who genuinely feared the one true God, but it was the preaching of Paul that would reveal them.  That is, when Paul preached Jesus, those whose hearts truly belonged to God would believe him.  And thus the Son received that which had been the Father’s in Corinth.

Lastly, consider Paul’s preaching in Pisidian Antioch:

Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

The truly God-fearing Gentiles had been appointed to eternal life and their hearing of the preaching about Jesus was the catalyst to bring it to them.

By many such “hand-off’s” from the Father to the Son was this “Great Transfer” accomplished in New Testament times.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

How Can Shame Be Honorable?

Shame can be honorable when it’s shame incurred as a result of obedience to the Lord.  Thus to be shamed before men can be glorifying to the Lord.  Consider how happy it made the disciples to suffer shame in this way:

Acts 5:41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Of course, the memory of our Lord suffering the shame of crucifixion was fresh in their minds.

Jesus turned the other cheek.  He did not return insult for insult.  He was quiet as a lamb led to slaughter.  In this, He glorified God who had taught Him to act this way in the face of such provocation. Thus Jesus glorified God by bearing up under unjust suffering.

Therefore, when shame in the eyes of men is incurred as the result of doing what is right in the sight of God, then shame is honorable.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

From the Branch Come the Branches

One of the well-known references to Messiah in Old Testament prophecy regards “the Branch.”  For example,

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.

And Jeremiah is not the only prophet to use this term:

Zechariah 6:12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

Isaiah chimes in as well:

Isaiah 4:2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.

Nor are these the only occasions where these three prophets used this messianic title.

Therefore, when Jesus comes along in John 15 describing how His disciples are branches, it would have been a mind-stretching moment for that room full of Jews.  All their lives they had heard about the coming of God’s Branch.  And here before them, the one they have been following for three years, the one they had come to believe was, in fact, that Branch, was telling them that through Him they would all be branches!  It surely must have staggered their imaginations – but then there were so many things Christ did and said that staggered their imaginations.  No wonder He said to them that night:

John 16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Should we be surprised that the Branch begets branches?  Not if we know that in this creation, everything reproduces after its own kind – just as it says in Genesis.  And even the apostle Paul said that Christ was “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Great Transfer

The New Testament documents the great transfer from God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ of His wealth in the saints.  As Jesus said in John’s Gospel:

John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

The true worshippers of God – whether among Jews or among God-fearing Gentiles – were known only to heaven.  On earth, they couldn’t be sorted out that easily.  However, with the resurrection of Christ from the dead and His ascension into heaven, there began a great transfer from Israel of all those true believers to the church of the Lord Jesus.

The true saints had been hidden but the building of the church revealed them.

Another way of saying it is that the building of the church was the purification of Israel.  As it says in Titus:

Titus 2:14 …to purify for Himself a people for His own possession…

The transfer of the saints from Israel to the church was, however, transitional and therefore temporary.  For the the consummation of the transfer was when, at the end of the New Testament age, the saints were transferred from the church to the kingdom of God.  Reading through the New Testament, you can see how the apostles were preparing the saints for that ultimate transfer.

The New Testament tells how all that was the Father’s became the Son’s.  This is why it can be called “the great transfer.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

How Jesus and the Scriptures Prophesied the Resurrection

Here’s an instance where Jesus prophesied His resurrection:

John 2:18 The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
John 2:20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
John 2:21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
John 2:22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Jesus was promising His resurrection in the same cryptic way that the Old Testament had.  For example, consider this from Psalms:

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

Or this one from Moses:

Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

Or even this one from Psalm 2, Isaiah 55, and Psalm 16 – all framed by the book of Acts:

Acts 13:32 “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,
Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’
Acts 13:34 “As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY and SURE blessings OF DAVID.’
Acts 13:35 “Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘YOU WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.’

The promises of Messiah’s resurrection were thus made in riddle-like fashion.  Christ is thus “the mystery of God” revealed.

The two things to notice in the passage from John at the top of this post are 1) that, like the Old Testament, the New Testament prophesied Christ’s resurrection in cryptic terms, and 2) Jesus spoke like the prophets of old.  He adopted their language and thought as they thought.  After all, he was himself a prophet.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

John the Baptist Was Not Interested in Fancy Titles

Consider this brief narrative about John the Baptist:

John 1:19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
John 1:20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
John 1:21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
John 1:22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
John 1:23 He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

John the Baptist was not interested in making a name for himself.  He was willing to be regarded as just “a voice in the wilderness.”  His interest was not in himself but in the one he was preaching.  Thus he was to say of Christ:

John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.

May we similarly not be interested in a name for ourselves.  Let us be intent only on enhancing the stature of His name.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

John the Baptist – A Man Who Forsook Privilege

Both of John’s parents were of priestly descent (Luke 1:5).  Thus, John was entitled to minister as a priest in Jerusalem’s great temple.  Yet he forsook that privilege to minister instead in the wilderness.  In this regard, he followed in the path of his priestly predecessor Moses (Psalm 99:6) who forsook the privilege of being called the son of Pharoah’s daughter in order to be counted with the people of God (Hebrews 11:24-26).

In this regard, John was also following the pattern of Jesus Himself as outlined in Philippians 1:5-8.  That is, John did not demand to be treated as his privilege deserved, but rather he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the call of God to serve.

Moses, John the Baptist, and Jesus – let us follow the path they have laid down for us.  It is the path of humility – the path of seeking not our rights but rather our responsibilities.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Every Word of God Is Tested

Proverbs 30:5 says that “every word of God is tested.”

We certainly can see the first words of God to humanity tested in Genesis 3 when the serpent says to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…?”

Jesus states it as a principle in His telling of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13; Mark 4; Luke 8) when He says, “The sower went out to sow the word of God” and “immediately Satan comes to take away the word which has been sown.”

There is no word that God is going to speak that Satan is not going to challenge.  Therefore, when you hear the word of God, be prepared to hold it fast lest it be taken from you.

Jesus heard at the very beginning of His ministry that He was “the Son of God” (see Matthew 3:17) but Satan came immediately to take it away (see just a few verses later when Satan says to Him “If you are the Son of God [do such-and-such to prove it]…”).  Of course, this identity was tested throughout the course of His ministry.  It was affirmed at His death by a Roman centurion, of all people (Matthew 27:54).  Of course, it was affirmed most importantly and definitively by God Himself through His resurrection from the dead (“who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” – Romans 1:4).

Therefore, do not be surprised when the word of God that you hear is tested (1 Peter 4:12).  It is the way things work in this world.  More specifically, it is your faith in that word that is being tested.

Yes, the word of God is always going to be tested, but those who hold it fast come to know just how certain it is.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Gospels Were Written in Anticipation of the Coming Kingdom

The Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were originally called “The Memoirs of the Apostles.”  (This phrase comes from Justin Martyr writing in the mid-2nd Century A.D.)  When you read the four Gospels, it’s obvious that they are written for believing communities – that is, those gatherings of believers in Christ that had sprung up all around the Mediterranean world in the mid to late 1st Century as a result of the preaching of the apostles.

The Gospels were not written to or for skeptics.  They were not written for those who had no familiarity with the story of Christ.  Even the Gospel of John, which is the only Gospel which states that it seeks to elicit faith (John 20:30-31), lays out its case for an open-minded reader – not a hostile one.  It is easier to imagine its initial use to be for a new generation of believers rather than to convince the surrounding skeptical culture.

The Gospels seek to reinforce faith, especially in light of the coming of the kingdom of God.  It appears that the Gospels were written late, not early, in the lives of the apostles.  Reading the book of Acts, and the letters that follow it, it’s clear that the apostles’ mission was one of preaching and not publishing.  In fact, the production of the Gospels seems tied to the apostolic mortality rate and the need to preserve the witness of Christ’s life.  In other words, if the apostles were not being persecuted and killed to the point of extinction, it’s possible they might not have written gospels.

You can especially see the impending kingdom, and the judgment that would come with it, looming in the narrative that Matthew provides.  It’s not just the story of Jesus being recounted, but being recounted in a way that emphasizes preparation for the coming crucible through which the kingdom of God would be birthed.

Imagine being a 1st-century believer who is hearing Matthew’s Gospel being read in the congregation.  Listen to the teaching of Jesus, knowing that Matthew is preparing you for the judgment that Jesus said would come.  Think about the wheat being separated from the chaff, the sheep being separated from the goats.  Know that you want to respond to Jesus and His teaching so that you will be found among the wheat and found among the sheep.

You will gain more from the Gospel of Matthew – and all the Gospels – when you read them from this perspective.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Jesus Believed in the Practicality and Power of the Scripture

Matthew 4 indicates just how practical Jesus was about the Scripture.  After He had fasted for 40 days, He was tempted by Satan.  In response to the temptation, Jesus quoted Scripture.  And even when Satan pulled a Scripture out of context to tempt Jesus to do something foolish, Jesus retorted with another Scripture.

Watch who or what someone trusts when their back is against the wall.  That’s who they really trust.  Jesus trusted God through the Scriptures He had given.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 12:13

Hosea 12:13 But by a prophet the LORD brought Israel from Egypt,
And by a prophet he was kept.

Historically, this verse describes how God used Moses and the line of prophets which followed him.

Prophetically, the verse describes how Jesus the Messiah brings us out from sin and continues keeping us from it.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Hosea 1:11

Hosea 1:11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,
And they will appoint for themselves one leader,
And they will go up from the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel.

This scripture is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, for He is the one leader of the united people of God.

Jesus declared Himself to be this one leader:

Matthew 23:10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

There is no reason for us to be confused about who it is we are to follow.  It’s Jesus.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Jeremiah 30:21

Jeremiah 30:21 ‘Their leader shall be one of them,
And their ruler shall come forth from their midst;
And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me;
For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?’ declares the LORD.

Here is another prophecy of Messiah, for God indeed became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth.

We did not have the nerve as sinners, but as a sinless man, Jesus had the courage to go before God on our behalf.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 63:16

Isaiah 63:16 For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us
And Israel does not recognize us.
You, O LORD, are our Father,
Our Redeemer from of old is Your name.

The Lord Jesus is our Father.  Isaiah was prophesying that  this would be the case.  Earlier, Isaiah had  prophesied that He would be the “eternal Father” in this passage:

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Thus, our Lord is our Father.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 63:9

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted…

Yes, in all our affliction Jesus Christ was afflicted, just as He was tempted in all things as we are, except without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus Christ doesn’t just know what it’s like to live a human life, He knows what it’s like to love as a human when there’s no longer any human reason to do so.  Thus He loved even as the nails were being driven into His hands.

In all our affliction, He was afflicted; and in all our salvation, He was saved:  Micah 2:13.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Isaiah 57:15

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Do you recognize that the prophet Isaiah is speaking these words on behalf of the exalted Jesus?

Yes, through His resurrection, Jesus is “the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is holy.”  He dwells in that high and holy place but “also with the contrite and lowly of spirit.”  He once walked through this valley of the shadow of death Himself.  He knows the difficulties of the path.

Let this Lord Jesus revive your spirit…that you might be raised up to a lofty place as He was.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 22:4

Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

During His time on earth, Jesus walked in humility and the fear of God.  As His reward, He was raised from the dead to the right hand of God – the greatest place of honor to which a human being – or any being, for that matter – could be raised.  Further, He received as His inheritance the entirety of creation – for He was “appointed heir of all things,” as it says in Hebrews 1:2.  (You couldn’t ask for more riches than that, could you?)  And He was given, to replace the life He lost on earth, an “indestructible life,” as it says in Hebrews 7:16.

Thus “riches, honor, and life” came in abundance in heaven to the One who walked in humility and fear of the Lord on earth.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 17:2

Proverbs 17:2 A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully,
And will share in the inheritance among brothers.

When God came to earth as the Son of God, He did not take to Himself all the prerogatives of a son.  Rather, he took to Himself all the responsibilities of a servant, and thus showed us the way of godliness – which is humility.  Thus Paul would write of Him:

Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians  2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore, let us humble ourselves in this life that we might be exalted in the next.  For if we exalt ourselves in this life we shall surely be humbled in the next.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Proverbs 12:26

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.

God came to earth and donned human flesh that He might become “a guide to His neighbors.”  Thus, Jesus Christ is “the righteous” – and this is confirmed explicitly in 1 John 2:1.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Ecclesiastes 8:14

Ecclesiastes 8:14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

Thus the wise preacher foretold the day when Jesus of Nazareth would be crucified while Pontius Pilate, King Herod, the Pharisees, and Sadducees were all able to eat at their own tables and sleep in their own beds that night.

This is the futile way things can look “under the sun.”  And this is why we must always look beyond the sun for meaning and purpose.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.