Out of Heaven
1. What Old Testament prophecies refer to the birth of Jesus?
2. What Old Testament prophecies tell us about Jesus’ life?
3. What Old Testament prophecies tell us about Jesus’ death?
4. Which angel spoke to Elizabeth?
5. Which angel spoke to Mary?
6. Which angel spoke to Joseph?
7. How many times does the Bible say God spoke out loud to Jesus?
8. How many times does the Bible say Jesus spoke out loud to God?
9. What holy names did Jesus use to refer to himself?
10. What did other people say Jesus was called?
Christians recognize many Old Testament prophecies as referring to Jesus though other interpret them differently. For example, Isaiah says a virgin will bear a child, but “virgin” could mean young girl; he could be prophesying that a war will be over when a boy about to born comes of age. Christians read many prophesies as having three meanings—one obvious when the prophesy was made, a second true for all time (e.g. that God is always “Immanuel”—God with us), and a third, future meaning (e.g. that the virgin Mary will bear a son). Famous prophesies of Jesus’ birth, from a Christian point of view, include Isaiah 7:14 (the virgin birth), Genesis 3:15 (born of woman), Micah 5:1-2 (at Bethlehem), Genesis 49:10 (from the tribe of Judah), Psalm 132:11, Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:15,16 and Isaiah 11:1 (of David’s line), and Jeremiah 31:15 (resulting in the slaughter of the innocents).
Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ life include Genesis 12:3; 18:8 ( “all people,” will be blessed), Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (a prophet like Moses), Isaiah 9:1-7 (Galilee), Isaiah 35:5-6 (blind see, deaf hear), Malachi 3:1 (speaks with authority), and Isaiah 53:1 (won’t be believed). Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ last days include Zechariah 9:9 (donkey), Psalm 118:22,23, Isaiah 28:16; 53:3, Zechariah 13:7 (rejected, disciples flee), Psalm 41:9, Zechariah 11:12,13 (betrayed for 30 pieces of silver), Psalm 35:11, Isaiah 53:7 (falsely accused, stays silent), Numbers 21:8 (lifted up), Isaiah 53:5-9;12, (killed, crucified with criminals), Psalm 69:21 (drinks gall and vinegar), Isaiah 53:9 (buried with the rich). Psalm 22 famously gives a heartbreaking description of crucifixion and was quoted by Jesus at his death.
God isn’t just involved in setting the stage for Jesus’ life and death. God’s angels take direct action: Gabriel (the angel who spoke to Daniel) announces the births of Jesus and John (to Mary and Zechariah), an angel speaks to Joseph both before Jesus’ birth and afterwards, warning him to move to Egypt, and angels spoke to the shepherds. An angel may have told the wise men not to return to Herod (they were warned in a dream). Angels supported Jesus after he was tempted in the desert. One angel supported him in Garden of Gethsemane just before his death. Angels appeared at his’ tomb, encouraged the disciples after he ascended to heaven, and will come with him when he returns.
God himself speaks at Jesus’ baptism and the transfiguration. Jesus speaks aloud to God in the garden and on the cross. At other times he prays, or makes exclamations (“How long…”) which are probably spoken to God. Jesus uses, or allows many prophetic names to refer to himself—Lord (Sermon on the mount, as in “not everyone who says to me LORD…”), God’s son (as in “my Father”), God’s representative (as in “I tell you…”), Son of Man (refers back to Daniel and one who comes on the clouds of heaven), Christ (he praised Peter for this), and Covenant maker (as in “this is the blood…”). John records Jesus calling himself Light of the World(8:12), true vine(15:1), bread of life(6:12), the way the truth and the life(14:6), the good shepherd(10:11), the gate(10:7), I am(8:58), and the resurrection and the life(11:25). John calls Jesus the Word, the creator (as in “through him…”), the King of Israel(1:49), Lamb of God(1:29), and only begotten son of God(1:18). Others called him Lord, Master, Teacher, Rabbi, or John the Baptist, Jeremiah or one of the prophets (Matthew 16:14).