Since man’s fall into sin the great hope of the church has always been the promised seed who would crush the head of the serpent. This hope was manifest throughout the pages of the Old Testament. From our first parents who clothed their nakedness under garments sown by God, to the foreshadowings of him who is the greater Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. This hope was evidenced in the theophanies: the angel of the Lord, the glory cloud between the cherubim, the commander of the armies of the LORD, and Isaiah’s vision. It’s found in the types and shadows of the law: the scapegoat, the burnt offerings, the washings and cleansing, the temple, the ark of the covenant with the mercy seat, and the blossoming rod. It was foretold by all the prophets, the branch and root of Jesse, the star of Jacob the scepter to come out of Israel, the suffering servant songs, the Son of Man in Daniel, the messenger of the covenant, the advocate in Zechariah. It was the theme of wisdom’s praise: Job’s confession that his redeemer lived, the Psalmist singing of the King and his reign-person and work, and the Proverbs celebrate him who has been with God from eternity past. Well, you get the point. To this a multitude of others could be added, but all spoke of Messiah to come.
As great and glorious as those things were, we’re reminded what the author of Hebrews says regarding Abraham and the promises, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar” (11:13). Even while we see through a glass dimly, how much greater was the dimness through which they saw? But the benefit of the New Testament, for new covenant believers, is that which was foretold in types, prophecies and symbols, has arrived. They had the shadows, but we have the substance.
Messiah has been revealed in his fullness-in his incarnation, “Christ Jesus came into the world” (1 Timothy 1:15); “Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us,” (Luke 1:78); “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). In his being made perfect, “He was made perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10); and “made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all” (Hebrews 5:9); “for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27); and “ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). In his being exalted to glory, “to see him crowned with glory and honor, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death” (Hebrews 2:9); “God made manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:6); “He raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21); and “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
What a benefit to live in these days and have a full exhibition of the person and the work of the Messiah, Israel’s consolation, and Zion’s only King and Head.