The Need for Jesus (Part 2): More than Just Another David - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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October 17, 2016

The Need for Jesus (Part 2): More than Just Another David

As discussed in the part 1 of this blog, Jesus fulfilled the prophetic promise of a Messiah, but He is much more than another David ruling Israel. He is much more in three ways. First, He is the Son of God as well as the Son of David. He is Emmanuel, as Isaiah prophesied, meaning “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) “For a child will be born to us,” Isaiah wrote elsewhere. “And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom.” (Isaiah 9:6-7) Jesus Himself pointed out that David in Psalm 110 speaks of Messiah’s victories and calls his Son “lord.” “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” Jesus asked. (Matthew 22:45) The Pharisees had no answer to that question: fathers do not call their sons “lord.” The answer lies in Jesus’ identity as the Son of God as well as the Son of Man.

Jesus is more than simply another David in a second way. Immediately after Peter said, “You are the Messiah,” Jesus scandalized Peter by telling His disciples that, according to the Scriptures, He would be rejected by the leaders of Israel, handed over to the Romans, crucified, and after three days He would rise again. His reign as Messiah would appear to end even before it began. What Scriptures taught such a sad fate for the Messiah?

Isaiah foretold a Servant of the Lord Who would bring justice to the nations, Who would be a covenant to the people, Who would restore Israel’s fortunes, Who in short would be the Messiah. But Isaiah continued and said that the Servant of the Lord would be pierced through for our transgressions. He would be like a lamb led to slaughter, and He would be buried with the rich. (Isaiah 42:1-9, 49:3-13, 52:13-53:12) Messiah, the Servant of the Lord, would die to take away Israel’s sin. The last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, taught the same thing. When he saw Jesus, he said, “Behold the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Finally, Jesus is more than just another David because after three days He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to rule all nations. Isaiah implied a life for the Suffering Servant after He died when he wrote, “But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief. If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days.” (Isaiah 53:10) David himself, Peter noted on the Day of Pentecost, prophesied Messiah’s Resurrection in Psalm 16 when he wrote, “Thou wilt not suffer Thy Holy One to undergo decay.” (Psalm 16:8-11, Acts 2:25-31) And Jesus Himself said many times that He would rise on the third day. Psalm 22, whose opening lines He quoted on the cross, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken Me” (Matthew 27:46, Psalm 22:1), ends with triumph, “I will tell Thy name to my brethren.” (Psalm 22:22-31) The resurrected Jesus fulfills the words of Psalm 110 by sitting at God’s right hand, not on earth but in heaven. (Acts 2:34, Psalm 110:1) Jesus, the Son of David, is also the Son of God, He is the Lamb of God who died for our sins, and He is the Resurrected King. He is much more than another David.

By being the Son of David and God’s chosen Messiah to suffer for His people, rise to life, and ascend to heaven to rule, Jesus fulfills God’s Covenant with David beyond Israel’s wildest dreams. Let’s look more closely now at how Jesus fulfills God’s Covenant made through Moses. First, He is the fulfillment of the central feature of Israel’s God-given worship under the Mosaic Covenant, animal sacrifice. Daily, weekly, and especially at the great feasts, the priests at the temple sacrificed animals on the altar. On the Day of Atonement the High Priest sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place. Could the blood of bulls and of goats really take away sin? The writer to the Hebrews answers “No,” and shows why from the very sacrificial system of Moses. Sacrifices had to keep being offered over and over again for the same sins; hence they weren’t efficacious. What animal sacrifices did was foretell the coming perfect sacrifice, Jesus, the Savior. Jesus fulfilled all of the Temple worship. Not only is He the sacrifice, He is also the Temple. Concerning the Temple, He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it again.” (John 2:19) And He is the priest who offers the sacrifice. The writer to the Hebrews calls Jesus our perfect High Priest, Who entered into the Holy Place of heaven with His own blood to make intercession for us. (Hebrews 9)

Second, Jesus unites in Himself the identity of all three Mediators that God established between Himself and Israel. He is the King Who rules His people for God. He is the Priest Who brings the people before God in worship. He is the Prophet Who speaks for God to the people. He is the Prophet like Moses, only greater. (Deuteronomy 18:18, Acts 3:22) God’s final word to the world has come through His Son, Jesus. The canon of Scripture closes with the witness of His immediate followers. Jesus, in fact, spoke as One greater than the prophets. He never said, “Thus saith the Lord,” the common introductory claim of God’s prophets. He spoke with authority as God’s own Son, a way of speaking that people marveled at. (Matthew 7:28-29) Here is a sample of how Jesus taught as He revealed the depths of the moral law. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28) Note the authoritative, “but I say to you.” No man ever spoke like Jesus.

-Dr. Bill Edgar, Geneva College Board of Trustees Member and Former President