For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Preaching Jesus as the Christ requires an understanding of the Old Testament. The Apostles and early church proclaimed the gospel from the Old Testament. They explained how Christ fulfilled the Scriptures. They did this in obedience to Jesus' instructions to them.
On the day Jesus rose from the dead he walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These men were confused that the tomb had been found empty. Jesus responded to them:
"O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
Afterward, Jesus disappeared from their sight. The men were so excited that they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others. When they arrived, Jesus appeared again. After assuring them that it was really him, Jesus took the time to explain the testimony of the Old Testament regarding himself.
Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:44-48, bold added)
They were witnesses of these things:
- That the Christ would suffer for the sins of his people;
- That the Christ would rise from the dead;
- That the Christ would enter into his glory; and
- That repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in the name of the Christ to all nations.
They were to testify of these things from the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. The Apostles were faithful in beginning this process from Jerusalem. Are we being faithful in our own testimony today?
In an effort to help equip the saints to be faithful in proclaiming this truth of first importance - the truth by which we are saved if we hold fast and do not believe in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-2) - the next several posts will cover at least some of the passages that Jesus would have explained and which influenced the inspired preaching we read about in the New Testament.
Get equipped. Obey your King. Glorify your God.