Jesus Christ has a special place in the unfolding of history. History has a special place for Jesus. In fact, all of history is for Him (Colossians 1:16). He is not just a man nor is He just another religious leader.
The history of the Bible unfolds a great mystery that is revealed in the life of Christ. The Bible starts with creation and then goes on to tell how God’s relationship with man developed. The story is one of God’s pursuit despite man’s disobedience. It wasn’t until Abraham that God’s plan of redemption was to occur. God tells (then Abram): “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). God affirms His covenant with Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s son Jacob. God renamed Jacob as “Israel,” and his sons would be the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 32:28).
We see God give His holy Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai (Exodus, Deuteronomy). The Law gave stringent requirements on what it meant to follow in God’s statutes, and man is unable to fulfill the requirements of God’s holy law. We all fall short (Romans 3:23). Great stories such as David, Solomon, Ruth, and Esther give us historical background into the development of Israel with God, but the continuing theme is that man is unable to reconcile himself to God. Everything in the Old Testament points forward to the One who would be forsaken for us.
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. (Psa 22:1)
The major prophets such as Isaiah also told the story of one who was to save Israel, not just from physical bondage, but from the bondage of sin.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isa 53:5–6)
And so the Old Testament ends with Israel eagerly awaiting a Savior. After several hundred years a man by the name of John the Baptist, the last Old Testament prophet, spoke of the One to come.
John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:26–27)
Then, it was prophecied that John would point the people to the Messiah.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Jesus then started His ministry which lasted 3.5 years. He healed the sick, taught, and spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. He continued fulfilling Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, but His work was not complete until He died for sins (the atonement). Jesus was tried and convicted by His own people, the Jews, of heresy. He was sentenced to crucifixion by the governer Pontius Pilate, and it was on the cross that Jesus completed His work.
Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Mat 27:45–46)
But it was not enough for Jesus to just die for sin–He had to rise again and defeat death (Matthew 16:21). It is in the resurrection that human kind can now have hope. We need only to believe that Christ is the Messiah, the Anointed One, God incarnate (in the flesh), who came to die for sin and rise again on the third day. When we believe on the promises of God through Christ, we pass from death into life (John 5:24).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet 1:3–5)