Session 6 Recap: Dr. Stephen Wellum, “Jesus”
Editor’s Note: Josiah is the Missions Minister at Desert Springs
Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Dr. Stephen Wellum's message
from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 17, "Jesus."
Dr. Wellum started by reading Luke 24 and showing us that Jesus taught himself to be the fulfillment of Old Testament promises. He taught that the old covenants reach their climax in the New Covenant.
David and His Children
The central idea that you see throughout Scripture from Adam to David is that Adam represents the whole race, and he brought us all down. If the Davidic King is the solution to the problem, then King David will bring the new creation. That is why so much of the Old Testament deals with David. David is given these promises, but he is not the Promised One.
The promises of David were not fulfilled by David or any of the kings of the Old Testament. Solomon started well and looked like he could be the promised savior, but then he fell and with him the kingdom split. With the kingdom separated, none of the northern kings were any good, and only a few kings of Judea were not evil. All the kings failed to be the one who would fulfill the law and establish a kingdom that would last forever.
The prophets wrestle with the question as to how God will keep his promises after the failure of the Davidic kings. All of the prophetic books were written after the Davidic promises were given, and the Davidic kings are not doing well. There overall message is one of judgement. In the midst of that judgement, they offer hope.
1. The prophets teach that God alone can save.
2. The Lord will save through a king.
The prophets bring judgement, but also many promises for a coming salvation. In Ezekiel 34 God says he himself will rescue his people; then in verse 24 we see that he will place a shepherd over his people to guard them.
In Ezekiel 25 we see that the new king will create or “cut” a new covenant with his people. We see that his kingdom will last forever. This requires faithful kings in secession even though the people of Israel had never seen a single, perfectly faithful king. So how could the people of Israel hope for an eternal secession of faithful kings? This would require a king who is God and lives forever. Isaiah 7:14 says that the promised Davidic king will be virgin born, and in Chapter 9 we see that this promised son will sit on David’s throne and is called “Almighty God.” In Psalm 110 David calls his promised son his “Lord,” who is shown to be sitting at the right hand of the Lord.
There are many other themes in the prophets that preview Christ. They talk about a new Exodus, making of a new temple, a new Jerusalem, salvation, pouring out of the Spirit, that the promised king will be filled with the spirit, and that he will forgive the wickedness of his people.
A major Old Testament question is: What are the grounds by which a person may be forgiven? The Old Testament sacrificial system was a shadow of what was to come. That is why the prophets talked about God’s servant who would lay down his life for their sins.
Wellum taught us that Jesus is a fulfillment of Old Testament promises. Matthew picks up on many of these fulfilled promises. For example Matthew 1:18 speaks of the virgin birth by the Holy Spirit, and in verse 21 he says that Jesus will save God’s people from their sins. In Chapter 3 during Christ’s baptism, the Father is quoting Psalms 2 about his son. In Matthew 11 Christ says that he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.
Conclusion: The son of God became the perfect, obedient covenant-keeper so that we could be redeemed. We see in Scripture that forgiveness is no small thing. Only God can reconcile us to himself. He did that by giving us his own dear son, so that we may be justified through him. There is now no condemnation for those of us that are in Christ Jesus. There is one person that could meet our needs, and that person is the Son of God alone.