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Messianic Prophecy Revealed: Jesus Is Hidden All Throughout the Old Testament

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The biblical, historical story of Yeshua is bigger, grander, and more beautiful than many of us have imagined. Through creation, the Exodus, the Psalms, and the pleading of the prophets, His story is revealed and told. It sweeps through the entire body of the Old Testament. 

Of course, it is not novel to claim that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament. The New Testament repeatedly takes verses from the Hebrew Scriptures and tells us how Christ fulfilled them. Unfortunately for many Christians, the subject of how Jesus fulfills Messianic prophecy is often treated in a superficial and oversimplified way, causing it to be stripped of its full power, beauty, and meaning. It is not just the fact that Yeshua does fulfill the Hebrew Bible but how He fulfills it that transforms our understanding and roots us deeply in God's Word.

Messianic prophecy is not simply the measurement of specific prophecies about the future that Yeshua fulfilled. This flat, one-dimensional way of thinking about Scripture is foreign to the rabbinic way and the approach to Scripture that Messiah Jesus knew and practiced Himself. In fact, understanding Messianic prophecy involves both art and science, both poetry and math. To comprehend more fully how Yeshua is revealed in the Hebrew Bible, we need to be interpreting the Old Testament in a distinctly Jewish way and open our minds to a Hebraic, Eastern way of thinking that is sometimes foreign to our Westernized mindset.

Rather than simply looking at how Yeshua fulfilled certain predictive Messianic prophecies, I want you to see that Jesus carried the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures to their fullest expression. This is why Messiah Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill" (Matt. 5:17).

Matthew 2:13–15 highlights the passage of Joseph, Mary, and Yeshua in Egypt after an angel urged Joseph in a dream to leave Bethlehem. In the last sentence of this passage, Matthew recognizes some Scripture from the Old Testament: "This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet Hosea in Hosea 11:1: 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'" In its historical context, the reference doesn't seem to be written as a prophecy. Rather, Hosea just seems to be speaking on the Lord's behalf, recounting Israel's history, when he says, "When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son."

This verse does not seem to be anticipating an event that was to be fulfilled in the future. Upon first reading, especially to ancient Israel, it was simply a powerful declaration from the Lord to the Israelites, His chosen people, about how He called them out of Egypt when He delivered them from Pharaoh. God was reminding Israel, His firstborn son (Exod. 4:22), of its history and what He had done for them.

So how does Matthew say Hosea 11:1 was fulfilled when Joseph and Mary took Yeshua back into Israel from Egypt when in its initial context the verse was not a predictive, future prophecy to be fulfilled but rather a recounting of Israel's past?

In Hosea 11:1, God had already called Israel out of Egypt at the time Hosea wrote about it. He delivered Israel out of Egypt approximately thirteen hundred years before Jesus came. This wasn't an event people were expecting to happen; it had already happened. Yet again, Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1 claiming Yeshua fulfilled it. Why? Because Yeshua is Israel's divine representative and what Israel went through, Yeshua would also go through. 

This gets to the heart of why I say the subject of Messianic prophecy has been oversimplified. Much of the time, the way the New Testament speaks of Jesus' fulfillment of Messianic prophecy is not in the sense that He fulfilled some type of event the Hebrew people were looking forward to coming to pass. Rather, it is pointing to the fact that when Yeshua came, He filled Israel's history up by repeating it in His own life. Yeshua came and carried prophecies and stories that were already fulfilled to their fullest meaning.

Messianic prophecy is more art than science, more poetry than math. The rabbinic way of reading Scripture is an art form. In our rationalistic, modern Western culture, this way of using Scripture is considered "reading out of context." But in the ancient Jewish mind, as we see especially in the brilliant, Spirit-inspired genius of the apostle Paul, finding additional shades of meaning in a scripture was not novel. This is both the Jewish way and the tradition of Yeshua's times.

Now, I want to be clear that we are not free to give any interpretation to Scripture that we fancy. When God gave the Scriptures, He knew exactly what He wanted to communicate to us. The correct interpretation is always the interpretation the Lord intends. However, it is important to understand how and why the New Testament writers applied the Scriptures from the Hebrew Bible to Yeshua in the way they did. God's purpose is to reveal His Son throughout the entirety of Scripture, and this is what both Yeshua and the New Testament writers did.

For over two thousand years, religious Jews have encouraged this dynamic, lively way of reading and studying God's Word. This multidimensional way of reading the Scriptures is the prophetic lens Christians need in order to discover the ways in which Yeshua fulfills the Hebrew Bible. 

After a startling vision of Christ led to his salvation in 1978, Rabbi Kirt A. Schneider dedicated his life to a passionate pursuit of Messiah Jesus and being used by God for His purpose. Today Rabbi Schneider hosts the impactful television program, Discovering The Jewish Jesus, which is available in more than one hundred million homes in the United States and nearly two hundred nations worldwide. Rabbi Schneider has authored several books, including his latest release, "Messianic Prophecy Revealed." He has been featured in The Jerusalem Post, FOX, and the Christian Post and is a frequent guest on national many TV programs.

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About The Author

Rabbi Kirt A.

In 1978, having no concept of or familiarity with Jesus, feeling isolated, unfulfilled and lost, a young Jewish man was suddenly awakened from his sleep. Immediately, a vision appeared to him of Jesus on the cross. “I knew at that instant that Jesus was the answer I had been searching for,” says Messianic Rabbi Kirt Schneider. For the first time, he began reading the New Testament, devouring every verse; he says it was like fire to him. He became consumed with knowing and experiencing God, the revelation of His Word and the glory of His Son. During the past thirty years, Rabbi Schneider has