By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Often at MOVIEGUIDE® we deal with non-believers, skeptics, and biblically Christians complaining about some aspect of our biblical, Christ-centered worldview.
One of the things many of these critics forget is the amazing prophecies that God inspired the Hebrew prophets to write down in the Hebrew Scriptures, aka the Old Testament, especially the ones that make startling predictions about Jesus Christ.
The first, and one of the best, prophecies is the one that God told Satan, the evil “serpent,” in Genesis 3:15:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This passage clearly shows that the Messiah, the seed of the woman, will be born of a virgin (see also Isaiah 7:14), that Satan aka The Devil will have a special hatred against the Messiah, that Satan will hurt the Messiah when He comes, but that the Messiah will have a unique victory over Satan that destroys Satan’s power, including his power over sinful man.
Later, God tells Abraham that through, him, Abraham, will come the Messiah, the Holy Seed who will be a blessing to all nations, not just the Jews (Genesis 22:18). Then, God predicts, in Daniel 7:8-14, that the Messiah will be worshipped as God by the people and have an “everlasting” dominion or reign. God adds, in Isaiah 53, that the Messiah, the Seed of the Woman and the Branch of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-16), will die for men’s sins but will be resurrected, a fulfillment of the ending to Psalm 22. Finally, God tells Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:31-34, that at the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, God will make a “new covenant” with His people, where He will put His law in our minds and write it on our hearts in a special, new way, a way that will be similar to the old covenant, but that will be even more powerful.
As many Hebrew scholars have shown, these passages are the original meaning of these actual biblical texts about the Messiah. And, as Alfred Edersheim shows in Appendix IX of his great book THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH (see also <http://philologos.org/__eb-lat/appen09.htm>), this is also what the oldest Jewish scholars of the Talmud and other revered Jewish texts, believed about these messianic passages. See also WHAT THE RABBIS KNOW ABOUT THE MESSIAH by Rachmiel Frydland and THE PROMISE-PLAN OF GOD and THE MESSIAH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
One final note:
These messianic passages about the Seed of the Woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Branch of Jesse, the Son of Man, and the New Covenant or New Testament, are perhaps the primary reason that true, Bible-believing Christians revere the Jewish heritage of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For instance, the Messiah will be the seed of the woman, not that of the man AND the woman. Hence, it implies that the Messiah will be born of a virgin. To delete or amend the prophetic Jewish meaning of these messianic Bible passages from Christianity, therefore, is to invite the very kind of Anti-Semitism that puts a wall of enmity between Christians and Jews.
As Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Photo by Steve Snodgrass.