We are currently working our way through Romans a verse (more like a word) at a time. If you have missed any of the discussion, it can be found on
THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.
We have been discussing the truth that the Bible is a unified text, the theme of which is Jesus, from beginning to end. Specifically we have been discussing that the Old Testament writers were used step by step to unveil God’s plan to send a Savior from among men for men. As Paul says,
“…the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” Romans 1:2
I suppose the question can be asked, “Why did God not just reveal the whole plan at once?”
Paul offers us some insight when he says,
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor. 2:6-8
For God’s plan to work it had to be revealed in such a way that God’s enemies would not realize that they were undoing themselves by crucifying Christ. In some ways the cross was the greatest long con in history. By the time God’s plan was revealed it was too late to do anything about it. Still, the signs were there like puzzle pieces scattered across time just waiting for someone to put them all together. It strikes me that Jesus was the first one to do this on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection.
He (Jesus) said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24: 26-27
Jesus started his explanation of the gospel with Moses. Yes Moses was given a puzzle piece to share with the world too. In Deuteronomy 18 Moses shared these thoughts with the Israelites.
TheLord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name Deut. 18:15-19
Like so many other Messianic prophecies this one lay hidden in between verses that seem to have little to do with Messiahship. Many probably looked at these verses and considered that they could speak of any prophet in general. Yet, the very words “like me” mark a certain prophet out from the rest of the prophets that crowd the annals of Israel’s history. Moses was a prophet of a different sort. He was the vessel that carried the ten plagues that brought low Egypt. He walked softly and carried a big stick that span ocean in two. Jeremiah was great but he was no Moses. Ezekiel? He was awesome. Moses rose above him. The prophet of Deuteronomy 18 would be like Moses. He would be a game-changer.
In preaching to the leaders of Israel after healing the crippled beggar Peter reveals the name of this prophet like Moses when he says, “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.” Acts 3: 17-23
The Principle is this. The New Testament reality fulfills Old Testament Prophecy. What the Old Testament saints looked forward too we experience in full if wee believe.
How exciting is that?