There are many little-known facts about Jesus (Yeshua) that are not taught to His followers by those who ought to
be knowledgeable. Sometimes it is because it seems irrelevant and other times it seems the truth might damage a preconceived tradition of some denominational doctrine. Most frightening is when those educated to teach the Bible have never really studied it but rather, studied their professor’s notes or classroom textbooks. Because they have never had to actually read and study the Bible text and wrestle with the enormous volume of information found therein, they have adopted whatever spoon-fed education as well as ill-conceived traditions their mentors pass along. They get a good grade but are not prepared to deliver the Bible’s exhaustive truths to us.
Is this really a problem? It is if you become a lifelong student of the Book and discover that many exciting and revealing truths will lock you out of classroom discussions because “those ideas are too controversial”. Maybe they are controversial but that does not mean they are not understandable and believable! Many truths are exciting and enriching. Many of these findings are best kept between God and you alone (Romans 14:22), as they would only bring unhappiness to many others who have been taught with certain expectations opposite to what can be read. In addition, they are not matters of salvation or understanding of faith, grace, or love.
One intriguing truth about Jesus that many are not aware of, that does make a difference to how we see the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, is the rule of life under which he lived and died. Many see the Gospels as part of the New Testament since there is a page that has been placed between Malachi and Matthew that demarcates them as such. However, Jesus was born, lived, and died under the Old Testament with its Law, traditions, bloody sacrifices, taxes, and tithe. The New Testament (NT) teachings did not begin to challenge the Mosaic instructions until the day of Pentecost when the Apostles announced the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2). From this day forward the fulfillment of the last days of the Mosaic age had begun.
When Peter announced that the manifestation of the Spirit of God that day, with a fire from above, was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy saying:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
This too was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to restore the kingdom to Israel; the last thing he said before he left his followers:
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1: 6-9).
If the kingdom that was preached as yet to come (Matt. 3:2), had come, then the Old Testament’s final days (the last days) had begun and a New Covenant was replacing that which was growing old and near to disappearing (Hebrews 8:13). The next 40 years would see the restoration of all things being preached and happen as the God of the Jews conquered the Nations of men by the love of Christ (Rev. 11:15).
How do we reconcile the King of the New Order to be the Christ of the Old Order? For certain Jesus was the fulfillment of the one predicted to be the son of David (Psalm 132:11, Luke 1:32), son of man (Daniel 7:13, Matt. 9:6), the suffering servant (Isaiah 53:3-10, Luke 24:25-27). The Gospels announce him as the Messiah (Matt. 1: 21-23). John says he came to his own people, but they did not receive him (John 1:11-13). Jesus said he came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:21-28). He said he did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it; the law would not pass away until all things about him where fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-20). All things written about him in the Old Testament were to be fulfilled (Luke 18:30-32, Luke 22:37, Luke 24:44).
Later, the Apostle Paul made it clear that the Messiah was born of a woman, under the law of Moses to save those under the law (the Jews) from the damnation of the law of Moses (Galatians 4:4-7). Free of the legal demands of the law, the Jews were to live by the Spirit; no longer following the passions of their bodily desires (Gal. 5:13-25). Gentiles now receive the benefit afforded the Jews only by the grace of God in Christ (Romans 11:11-12).
If this is not enough to show that Jesus did not live under the New Testament but was the fulfillment of the Old Testament, making the Gospels clearly Old Testament literature then we can neither understand nor trust the scriptures. Jesus’ whole life was dedicated to being the perfect, that is, sinless sacrifice for God on our behalf (1 Peter 2:21-23). His life was a perfect life, without spot or blemish, making him the sacrifice sufficient to set aside the Law, with its guilt and accusations against us, and by his death, he established a second covenant becoming a mediator of this new life (Heb. 10: 1-10). In correctly understanding where the Old Testament was and where the New Testament began the followers of this way can properly know what kind of life they are to lead; whether a life of law leading to the curse of death (Galatians 3:10-12) or a life led by the Spirit of Christ which is the fullness of life (Romans 8:1-3). Even though our bodies will die because of sin, we will live because of righteousness in Christ (Romans 8:10).
So many look to the Gospel accounts and do not see the Son’s obedience to the Law. As disciples, we are not asked to be obedient to the law but having been set free from the requirements of legal perfection –and its just requirements of death for sinners, we can live as free people with a conscious clear of shame and guilt (Romans 3:3-5). Christ’s disciples are free from sin and of death. Being set free we can live according to right thinking, being transformed after the image of Christ.
This is different “good news” that is often preached; for God to live as one of us and to suffer for us is indeed good news. But to be set free from the burden of religious law, the demands for money, the requirements for attendance, the
sacrifice of tithe, the obligations for feasts, and the compulsion for holy celebrations, while carrying the debt of a wretched life with no hope of a full and final remission is a truly life-changing experience.This is a rebirth! Religiosity is not what God wants but a relationship of trust. No sacrifice is needed save the sacrifice of a living memorial to His honor. No amount of symbol, circumstance or pomp can ever please God as it once did. We are to be reborn. Christ has set us free; not to sin but to live completely free of a consciousness of sin. Christ has set us free; not be religious but to be alive in him who is the beginning and the end.
If your “Christian faith” demands religious duties do you think you have really met the mediator of the New Covenant?