The Christian life is a beautiful balance of faith and intellect; faith and fact. God has given us plenty of facts that confirm the events of Scripture, most notably surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But there also remains a large faith element. I personally think that is why Jesus appeared to so few people – and most of them in secret – after His resurrection. He left a little mystery so that we would need to exercise our faith to believe who Jesus is and that He is risen and seated at God’s right hand. I also think this faith requirement helps quench our pride, knowing that we can’t figure everything out just on our smarts alone.
One of the things that bolsters our faith with facts are the fulfilled prophesies of the Old Testament. Regarding the coming Messiah, there are many, many specific predictions in the Old Testament that came true in Jesus. Prophesies addressing His lineage (Gen 49:10), His birth (Mic 5:2, Hos 11:1), His titles (Is 7:14, Is 9:6-7), His ministry (Is 61:1-2), His death (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53), and His resurrection (Ps 16:10, Ps 49:15) all point to Jesus of Nazareth as the Anointed One; the Messiah.
One of the specific threads of Old Testament prophesy is God’s promise of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36); a new arrangement between God and man. This new covenant was brought by Jesus and purchased with His blood. At the last supper, Jesus told His disciples, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Lk 22:20). Seeing Jesus fulfill the historical prophesies gives us great confidence that He is indeed the bearer of the new covenant. And all the promises of a new life, a new heart, a new nature, and a new power are coming true just like the historical predictions have done.
Finally, seeing the prophesies fulfilled in Jesus strengthens our faith to believe the promises yet to come. The future events of Christ’s return, His rule over a new heaven and a new earth, His final and complete defeat of Satan, and our abiding in His physical presence forever all stand on the foundation of seeing God keep His promises in the past. Seeing God’s prophesies being woven throughout the entire Old Testament and then seeing them come true in Jesus is a great faith-builder for new covenant saints today.