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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Seven

Three Prophecies Tied Together

Prophecy - Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:14
Fulfillment - 1 Peter 2:6-8

The Apostle Peter describes Christ as a “living Stone” (1 Peter 2:4) and hastens to say that in a similar way, God’s children are also “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Then in the following three verses he speaks exclusively of Christ and reaches back into the Old Testament, harvesting three separate prophecies and binding them together to show the importance and uniqueness of the Son of God.

This “marriage” of three prophecies occurs because of the similarity of their messages. They all prophesy of Christ through the singular idea of Him being a stone or rock. Thus He is referred to as the “chief corner stone,” a stone which is made “the head stone of the corner,” also “a stone of stumbling” and finally “a rock of offence.” It is easy to see the connection between these three ancient prophecies; yet, through them three separate views emerge. It appears that Peter was using those prophecies to reveal three different views of Christ.

First, there is the Father’s view of Him. In 1 Peter 2:6, Peter reveals how God the Father feels about His only begotten Son, declaring that Jesus is “elect” and “precious.” Peter is basing these concepts upon an ancient prophecy of Isaiah. Centuries before Isaiah had described Christ as God’s Elect. He wrote, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:1). Our heavenly Father laid Christ in Sion as the CHIEF corner stone. Notice that the word Sion is the New Testament spelling of the Old Testament word Zion. As God’s Elect, Jesus was indeed precious to His Father. He gave His precious Son to die for sinners. Obviously, these few words can never fully communicate the fulness of how special Jesus was and is to His Father, but they do set forth His view of Christ.

Second, there is the saint’s view of Him. In 1 Peter 2:7, we are reminded that those who believe in Jesus consider Him precious. He is precious to us because we love and trust Him as our Saviour. Therefore, Jesus is not only precious to His Father but to us also. He is the precious, living, incarnate, Word of God. He is the object and essence of our “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1). He is so precious that His value exceeds all the riches of mankind. Earthly wealth cannot redeem us, yet Jesus redeemed us when He died for our sins. Peter said, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Indeed, Christ Jesus is precious, more precious than our mortal minds can comprehend.

Third, there is the world’s view of Christ. In 1 Peter 2:7, the last part of the verse acknowledges that not everyone feels the same way about Jesus. There are people who do not count him “precious.” Peter reminds us here of the “disobedient” and presents their view as one where Christ is a “stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.” They stumble at God’s word of revelation about Christ and the very concept of His perfect being is an offence to them. Some then and now, have no love or appreciation for Jesus. They do not believe He is the sinless Son of God nor do they put value in His inspired Word which declares His deity. Not only is He not precious to the world but they even hate the blessed Saviour of sinners. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Millions are still stumbling and taking offence at the mere mention of His wonderful name.

Having briefly considered these three views, let us look more specifically at the three prophecies themselves. Hopefully, in doing so we can get a better idea of why God inspired them in the first place. They are no doubt intended to magnify and glorify Jesus.

The first of the three prophecies which Peter mentioned was Isaiah 28:16. It reads, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” It is interesting to notice that twice the verse refers to Christ as a “foundation.” The foundation is the first structure laid when starting a building. The strength of the building depends largely upon the strength of its foundation. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells of two men who built houses. The first used a rock for a foundation and it stood against the storms of winds and floods. The second simply built upon the sand and when the same forces came against that house, it fell and great was the fall of it. (Read Matthew 7:24-27). In that simple but profound passage Jesus established the importance of a strong foundation. The parable teaches Christians throughout the ages, that we should build our lives upon the “foundation” of Jesus Christ. There is no other trustworthy foundation. Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say of Christ, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Thank God for such a strong and enduring foundation upon which we may build our lives and rest all our hopes.

Although it is important for us to view Christ as the foundation provided for God’s people, there is yet another wonderful truth set forth in the prophecy we are considering. Notice that Christ is spoken of as “a precious corner stone.” Let us think about Christ as a “corner stone” where two walls meet and are connected together. God is telling us that Christ is the corner where two walls meet. When we think about it, He truly is! When we look at Christ from this perspective, we can see that the Old and New Testaments meet in Him. He was prophesied in the Old Testament (as Isaiah and others wrote) and He is seen fulfilled in the New Testament (as Peter and others wrote). In Christ, the Prophets and Apostles come together. He brings together Jew and Gentile elect (John 10:16). Saints in heaven above and on earth below, are all saved by Him (Ephesians 1:10). Through Him a holy God and mortal sinners are brought together (1 Timothy 2:5). What a rich blessing to see and understand such glorious truths.

The second of the three prophecies Peter mentioned is found in Psalm 118:22-23. It reads: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” While this prophecy is more abbreviated than the one from Isaiah, it is equally important. It is to some degree an echo of what Isaiah prophesied. Notice that Isaiah spoke of Christ as the “chief” corner stone and the Psalmist said He is the “head” of the corner. In the Old Testament credible evidence was given in the mouth of two or three witnesses. In the Gospel of Matthew we are reminded of the importance of credible witnesses in dealing with offenders (Matthew 18:16). Since God values plurality of witnesses, the passages from Isaiah and Psalms reaffirm each other. Christ is the “chief” or “head” of the corner.

What a marvelous truth is held in common by these prophecies. They declare that as the chief or head corner stone, Jesus is exalted above all. He certainly is, for Christ is Head of the church. Paul said He is “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:21-22). To the Church at Philippi he wrote, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). Since He is above all, His name is above all names. May we never take His blessed name in vain but speak of Him always with the greatest love and reverence.

The third of the three prophecies Peter mentioned is found in Isaiah 8:14. It reads: “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” While the other two prophecies have viewed Christ in positive light, this passage speaks of Him in a more offensive way. It looked to the future, to the new dispensation and covenant of grace. It tells us that while we may love Him more than life itself, not everyone has or will. Perhaps Peter used this ancient prophecy as a means of denouncing some of the Jews in his day. It appears that this segment of the prophecy was repeated more often in the New Testament than the other two which appears with it. For example, Paul also mentioned it in Romans 9:33. He said, “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

But Peter also used this passage when He preached Jesus to the very folks who had forbidden him to do so. He said, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12). Apparently Peter knew the passage well and their attention that they were stumbling and offended at Him, but at the same time declared that Jesus is the ONLY hope sinners have to escape the horrors of hell and enjoy the glories of heaven.

In the days when Jesus walked upon this earth some were offended at His humble birth and parentage, for they did not understand that God was His Father, not Joseph. The Bible says, “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house” (Matthew 13:54-57).

In those ancient days, the Jews as a whole did not understand Who Jesus really was; nor do they today. Paul said, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23). Many Jews and Gentiles alike stumble at the words of John 1:1-2 and 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” And yes, there are those today who continue to stumble at Christ and are offended by Him. People continue to stumble at the fact that He is the Son of God (John 6:69) born of a virgin (Luke 1:35). They stumble at the fact of the Trinity and His eternal sonship (1 John 5:7). Men stumble at election and predestination which rest upon Him (Ephesians 1:4-5). No doubt, as long as time goes on, some will be offended at Him and stumble; yet, others around the world will lovingly and devotedly serve Him, as many of us are now doing.

Indeed these are great prophecies which were bundled together by Peter as the Holy Spirit inspired him to write about Jesus. Such great and wonderful truths can only be understood through the gracious working of a loving and merciful God. Let us thank God for His Holy Spirit and for grace to believe such great prophetic truths. May we continue to praise God for the truth of His Word and seek daily to understand these rich treasures of truth He has laid open for us to explore. If we study diligently and prayerfully, our lives will be enriched and Jesus will continue to be praised.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015