Easter: From Genesis to Revelation
It’s just a few weeks away from Easter. Two thousand years ago the disciples went to the Upper Room to celebrate Passover. That became the first communion celebration and led into Easter weekend ending with Jesus’ resurrection.
Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior. What is the very first Messianic prophecy in Scripture?
1) The Promise of a Messiah
Genesis 3:15 — “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”
Genesis 3:15 prophesied the virgin birth speaking of the “seed” of the women. That terminology is used for males, but not in the case of Genesis because the Messiah, Jesus, was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
God said this to the devil after he had tempted Adam and Eve to sin against Him. It is an amazing example of God’s grace. Despite their rebellion, God revealed that He will provide a way of reconciliation between Him, the Creator, and His creation, mankind. That reconciliation would occur years later when the Messiah would be born of a virgin. God said that satan will “bruise” the Messiah “on the heel” (a non-lethal wound which the Cross was — non-lethal because Jesus overcame the Cross and death through the Resurrection.) Notice the second half of this prophecy. God said the Messiah will “bruise” satan “on the head”, the lethal wound at the Messiah’s second coming when the devil will be bound and ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the millennial reign.
2) God revealed the Lineage of the Messiah and made a promise of blessing and curse
Genesis 12:1-3 — “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’”
In this prophecy, God reveals the Messiah will come from the descendants of Abraham, which became the Jewish people. Also notice the Messiah will prove to be a blessing to all the world, and not just the Jewish people. Because the Messiah will be of Jewish ancestry, God will honor the Jewish people by making them a great nation and protecting them throughout the ages to come, blessing those who bless them and cursing those who curse them. The Jews were to be the ultimate example of how God and His people are to relate to one another.
3) God told us WHERE the Messiah would be born,
Micah 5:2 — “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
Micah spoke these words 700 years before the birth of Jesus, identifying the town where the Messiah would be born as Bethlehem.
4) God told us where the Messiah would be born BUT did He tells us WHEN?
He did in Daniel 9:24-26 — “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
During a period of 70 weeks of years, or 490 years. At the end of 69 of those weeks, or 483 years, the Messiah will come and “be cut off,” followed by the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. So this is a prophecy that clearly revealed Jesus’ first coming. And since the six goals for the Jewish people have not yet been accomplished, we know that there is a gap in the prophecy and that the last seven years are yet to be fulfilled and will be fulfilled during the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.
5) Did Jesus ever proclaim His Second coming?
Luke 4 explains in a synagogue in Nazareth Jesus took the scroll of Isaiah and began to read from the 61st chapter. if you read Luke 4 alongside Isaiah 61, you’ll see that Jesus STOPPED reading in mid-sentence and handed the scroll back to the attendant and sat down and proclaimed the prophecy of Isaiah 61 had been fulfilled.
Isaiah 61:1-2 — “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD . . .”
In His first coming, Jesus would bring “good news” or the Gospel to those afflicted with sin and in need of reconciliation and provide hope and joy to the brokenhearted. If you continue reading Isaiah 61 verse 2 you’ll see what happens when Jesu returns: “And the day of vengeance of our God”.
6) The Messiah will Suffering
Isaiah 53:3-5, 7, 9
Most could not fathom their Lord, their Savior, their Messiah ever suffering. Ever facing death. But death was a part of God’s plan to reconcile sinful man to a Holy God. Innocent blood had to be shed for the guilty.
“He was despised and abandoned by men, A man of great pain and familiar with sickness; And like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we had no regard for Him. 4 However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, And our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, Struck down by God, and humiliated. 5 But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed.”
This prophecy clearly describes the suffering that Jesus experienced at His crucifixion. Interestingly Acts 8:26-39 records this passage as the one Philip used to convert the Ethiopian eunuch.
7) The Prophecy of the Messiah’s Death
Psalm 22:16 — “They pierced My hands and My feet . . .” This psalm describes the suffering Jesus endured at His crucifixion. Remember King David wrote this psalm 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus. At that time, there was only one way of executing someone under Jewish law, and that was by stoning. A thousand years later, that was still the case, but at the time of Jesus, the nation of Israel was under Roman rule, and the Jews no longer had the power of execution. They were required to get Roman permission, and the Romans executed by means of crucifixion.
8) The Messiah’s Resurrection
Luke 9:21-22 — “He [Jesus] answered them [the disciples], and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.’” This prophecy of Jesus about His death and resurrection was presented to His disciples several times and is also recorded in (Matthew 16:21 and Mark 8:31).
Up at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus shared this truth with His disciples and that’s when Pater said No. Jesus told Peter to get behind me satan, because Peter was unwilling following the devil's plan not the Lord's.
9) The Messiah’s will establish the Church, His BRIDE
Matthew 16:18 — “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
This statement is spoken also at Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asked a question, a question everyone one of us MUST answer, "who do you say that I am?" Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus proclaimed that HE will establish and build His church.
This began the Day of Pentecost following when Peter preached the Gospel and 3,000 people responded. The prophecy has continued to be fulfilled.
10) The Messiah’s will come for His Church
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 — “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
The rapture of the Church — specifically, the day when Jesus will appear in the heavens and take all Church Age saints out of the world, both the living and the dead. This will happen before the Tribulation begins.
11) The Messiah’s Second Coming and Reign
Zechariah 14:1-9 — “Behold, a day is coming . . . I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south . . . And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”
God specifically prophesies that the Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and will become King over all the earth. That earthly reign will last a thousand years. What happens after 1,000 years?
12) The Messiah’s Eternal Reign
Revelation 21:1-4 — “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away . . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’”
The curse established by rebellion in the garden of Eden will be abolished. All pain, suffering, and death will end.