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Jesus’ every act had meaning, revealed truth and was full of prophetic symbolism (i) that pointed to truth for those who wanted to seek truth. Nothing in the scriptures is superfluous. Everything is linked in Christ whose whole life was the fulfillment of the scriptures (ii), The Law (iii) and prophetic expectations.
It’s important that we believe this as it helps us to make sense of some of the many difficult scriptures and also see the links between the Old and New Covenants. Over and over the gospels declare “Jesus did this to fulfill the scriptures” (iv). This is because Jesus came in the context of all that had happened before. The whole history of mankind and especially Israel, has always been inextricably moving and pointing to the coming of the Messiah/ Christ of God. Likewise today as we await Jesus’ second coming.
When we look at the scriptures, by the Holy Spirit, we seek to understand the symbolism that is contain in the stories. Grace and truth came in the person of Jesus (v) and all scripture has to be interpreted in the context of God’s call for mankind to be saved from their independent, self righteous, sin infected lives to a life that is dependent on God and His grace found in Jesus Christ.
Here are a few examples linking the Old and New testaments and explanations of some of the symbolism.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you more as you read the scriptures. Not only is this fun and exciting but it’s revelation that will feed your spirit as you see the progressively revealed truth of the Gospel of Jesus’ Grace.
THE FIG TREE: (vi) Shame! Why did Jesus cursed the poor fig tree? – Because it was fruitless and symbolizes the fruitlessness of Israel’s and mankind’s self righteousness works, Law keeping and independence from God’s provision. The link to the Old Testament is that Adam made his own covering of fig leaves to hide his shame, instead of trusting in God’s forgiveness, grace and provision.
THE CROWN OF THORNS: (vii) Wow, painful! Why did Jesus wear a crown of thorns on the cross. What is the symbolism? – The Law and Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sin-ai in the dessert of Sin. The word Sin in Hebrew means thorns (we all know what it literally means in English, again no coincidence in the scriptures!). We know that any ground covered with thorns is just useless. Jesus wore a crown of thorns to show that the curse of Law and Sin that has caused us so much pain, bloodshed and suffering (albeit due to our failure) was on His head.
THE CROSS WAS A TREE: Why was Jesus crucified on a tree? –
Check out Deut.21:23, Gal.3:13, Rev 21:2
Jesus said that He came to fulfill the scriptures .i.e. not only to fulfill their demands but also to bring revelation of their true meaning – mankind can only find right standing with God, true righteousness, through Jesus’ grace, there is no other way
(i) Heb 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.
(ii) John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me
(iii) Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(iv) Matthew 1;22, 4:14, 8:17, 12:17, 21:4………
(v) John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(vi) Mar 11:13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
(vii) Mat 27:29 They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.