The Cross/Altar of Jesus Christ, Part 1

by Jeremy Edmondson

The earthly life of Jesus Christ is nothing short of remarkable and we only have a fraction of all that He did and said as recorded in the Word of God. But we have no reason to feel short-changed, for what we have is more than enough Light. It proves His claims, vindicates His Person, leads men and women to salvation, and heartens the child of God to pursue Him in living a holy life.

The fulfillment of prophecy alone in Jesus’ earthly life is enough to stagger the mind of the most educated men, seeing that the time gap between the foretelling of an event and the actual occurrence of the event in His earthly life is 400 years in the least, to some 1500 years at the most. The following is a list of forty-five of the most significant messianic prophecies that were fulfilled during the first advent of Christ as recorded by Mark Hitchcock.

1. He was born of a woman (see Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4).

2. He was a descendant of Abraham (see Genesis 12:3, 7; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16).

3. He was of the tribe of Judah (see Genesis 49:10; Hebrew 7:14; Revelation 5:5).

4. He was of the house or family of David (see 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Luke 1:31-33; Romans 1:3).

5. He was born of a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23)

6. He was called Immanuel (see Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

7. He had a forerunner (see Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Mathew 3:1-3; Luke 1:76-78).

8. He was born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6; Luke 2:4-6).

9. He was worshipped by wise men and given gifts (see Psalm 72:10-11; Isaiah 60:3, 6, 9; Matthew 2:11).

10. He was in Egypt for a season (see Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15).

11. His birthplace was a place where infants were slaughtered (see Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18).

12. He was zealous for the Father (see Psalm 69:9; John 2:17; John 6:37-40).

13. He was filled with God’s Spirit (see Isaiah 11:2; Luke 4:18-19).

14. He was a mighty healer (see Isaiah 35:5-6; 61:1; Matthew 8:16-17).

15. He ministered to the Gentiles (see Isaiah 9:1-2; 42:1-3; Matthew 4:13-16; 12:17-21).

16. He spoke in parables (see Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:10-15).

17. He was rejected by the Jewish people (see Psalm 69:8; Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11; 7:5).

18. He made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-5).

19. He was praised by little children (see Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:16).

20. He was the rejected cornerstone (see Psalm 118:22-23; Matthew 21:42).

21. His miracles were not believed (see Isaiah 53:1; John 12:37-38).

22. He was betrayed by His friend for thirty pieces of silver (see Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 25:14-16, 21-25).

23. He was a Man of Sorrows (see Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 26:37-38).

24. He was forsaken by His disciples (see Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31, 56).

25. He was beaten and spit upon (see Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67; 27:26).

26. His betrayal money was used to purchase a potter’s field (see Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10).

27. He was executed by means of piercing His hands and feet (see Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37).

28. He was crucified between criminals (see Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38).

29. He was given vinegar to drink (see Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34).

30. His garments were divided, and soldiers gambled for them (see Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34).

31. He was surrounded and ridiculed by enemies (see Psalm 22:7-8; Matthew 27:39-44).

32. He was thirsty on the cross (see Psalm 22:15; John 19:28).

33. He commended His spirit to the Father (see Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46).

34. He uttered a forsaken cry on the cross (see Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

35. He committed Himself to God (see Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46).

36. He was hated without a cause (see Psalm 69:4; John 15:25).

37. People shook their heads as they saw Him on the cross (see Psalm 109:25; Matthew 27:39).

38. He was silent before His accusers (see Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12).

39. His bones were not broken (see Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20; John 19:33-36).

40. He was stared at in death (see Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 27:36; John 19:37).

41. He was buried with the rich (see Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).

42. He was raised from the dead (see Psalm 16:10; Matthew 28:2-7).

43. He was and is a High Priest greater than Aaron (see Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:4-6).

44. He ascended to glory (see Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8).

45. He was and is seated at the right hand of the Father (see Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 10:12-13).[1]

In this list, we will quickly notice that #22-41 involve His betrayal, crucifixion, and death. One’s personal study of the above references would certainly be humbling and fruitful, yet it is what was accomplished IN the event of Jesus’ death that unifies the Scriptures and proclaims the heart of God for His fallen creation.

In the cross, God is talking to mankind, displaying the atrocities of sin, the debt incurred, the payment demanded, and the necessary Provision graciously supplied. In every way, the cross of Jesus Christ should incite a sober sense of helplessness, an otherwise-untapped appreciation, and an instant swell of humility.

“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other” (Isa 45:22). It is this verse that resonates straight from God’s heart, demonstraing the call of God Himself to the human race. We are often wandering, listless, and needy, yet wanting and scheming and lustful, all of which blind us from our bankrupt condition and separated status from the Almighty.

God’s love for the world is still complete, unending, and unwavering despite our prideful justifications for our sin. The actual event of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ tells the story of God’s relationship with mankind in communicating a picture, a sacrifice, and a testimony. Herein lies the grand marker of all history and existence stretching to the farthest reaches of the universe.

The cross is the centerpiece of all time, space, and existence.

In the cross, God speaks.

[1] Mark Hitchcock, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days(Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012), p. 31-33.

Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Portage, Wisconsin.

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