September 07, 2012
Session 6 speaker: Walter Kaiser--"The Sufficiency of the Old Testament Predictions of Christ"
Introduction: Kaiser wants to show us the sufficiency of Christ in looking at four aspects of the Messiah refered to as the "Branch." This botanical figure of speech has its origins in 2 Samuel 23. In Zechariah 6 there is a looking forward to a man whose name is "branch." This is what Luke's Gospel refers to. Isaiah 4 is the final depiction of the branch, "the branch of the Lord." These four aspects Kaiser wants to hammer home.
1) In Jeremiah 23:5-7 we have the first aspect of the "branch." ("The days are coming when I will raise up a righteous Branch.") This is a promise from the Lord. Here we see the Messiah as th Branch. The idea here in Samuel is that the Messiah will cause to sprout all of the Father's salvation and desire for creation. The name signifies the nature, essence and work of the Messiah to come, He is "our righteousness." The Messiah will bring all of Israel back and they will live in safety. The days are coming when the Messiah will fulfill what the Father has willed for Him, restoration. This branch of David will reign and rule as King (v. 5). God will complete in history what he has said he will do. Preach hard preacher, the time is close, he will come soon as king of kings. Matthew picked this up and traced this royal geneaology. It is a shame on the church how we have hurt the Jewish believers. We must repent. This is not about an ethnic group, but about the word of God.
2) The "Branch" in Zechariah 3:8. The Christ as "my servant the Branch." The branch as a servant, who gives his life as a ransom for many (paralleled to Mark 10:45). Christ is sufficient in his representation as the servant. The Messiah is God's servant the Branch. The Messiah is the one that will bring the ransom for many.
3) The "Branch" in Zechariah 6:12-13. The "Man whose name is Branch." The Lord gives four promises: 1) there will be a "priest on the throne" (how can you have a priest on the throne? unless he is both priest and KING), 2) he wil build the temple (which temple, the third temple!), 3) he will be clothed with majesty, 4) they will come to him from afar. This is a sufficient Messiah! All recognize his divinity, in His blood shed for us of infinite value. It was only as a man that Jesus could impart that ransom to us.
4) The "Branch" in Isaiah 4:2-5. The "branch of the Lord." We get the divine nature of Jesus here clearly. The prayer of the church ought to be salvation to the Jews! They are part of the branch! The Branch will wash people from their sin. The Branch's glory will be a Huppah, a canopy of glory. When will the branch of YHWH rescue the Jews? We don't know. But this ought to be our prayer. The Branch will gather and bring the home, sprinkling clean water on them. This is th sign of the Messiah's second coming. The biggest sign is that he will gather his people back in the land. Half of the Jews have returned. Wake up! Our salvation is a lot closer than we think.
So preach like it is coming, preach like it has gone out of style, preach that he is coming very soon. Preaching need to be urgent. Christ is the sufficient Messiah in the OT, not just the NT.
Conclusion: Is he sufficient? Yes, his kingship speaks to it, his servant ransom speaks to it, his fleshly incarnation speaks to it, his divinity speaks to it. He is sufficient. The OT speaks of Christ as sufficient as much as the NT. What a privilege to be an announcer of the word of God in these days. The Branch of the Lord whose name is Jesus Christ, sufficient, altogether sufficient. Preach this!
JT Holderman is pursuing a Th.M. in Homiletics here at Gordon-Conwell. He earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2012. JT is currently in the ordination process of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church with hopes of taking a call as a pastor in the coming year. His journey to Gordon-Conwell began when he sensed a deeper need for clear Biblical teaching in preaching to prepare him for ministry. He hails from Seattle, WA by way of Idaho and New Jersey. JT blogs at Praise and is an avid Mountain Biker and Bodyboarder.
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