Jesus did not first come into being through Mary. Sure, Mary played a vital role in the incarnation of the Word of God. But the scriptures are clear – Jesus existed before the world began. In fact He was there at the creation of the world. It was Jesus who said, “Let US make man in our image”. Why did God create humans to look like they do? Because that is the way Jesus looked. We are made in the image of Jesus.
It was Jesus who said, “Let Us go down and confound their language” at the tower of Babel.
It was Jesus who appeared to Abraham. Abraham saw the whole salvation story, the death of Jesus, the resurrection, and the ascension. This is how Abraham could easily believe that God would raise Isaac from the dead. This is how Abraham didn’t blink an eye to sacrifice Isaac. Jesus is Abraham’s seed, typified in Isaac. The scriptures say that the gospel [of Jesus] was preached to Abraham. How? Jesus Himself appeared to Abraham. Abraham saw the crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Abraham also understood that Isaac was a “type” of Jesus, and in response to a prophetic plan Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. Jesus made it VERY clear that He existed BEFORE Abraham (John 8), and that Abraham saw Him.
It was Jesus who appeared to Moses time and time again. From the beginning of Moses’ ministry to free Israel, to the end of his life – Moses knew Jesus intimately.
How did God tell Moses to throw his rod (branch) down, let it become a snake, and then take it up again? God told Moses in a vision. Moses saw that Jesus (the Branch) would be thrown down by God the Father, become a snake (become “sin” on the cross), and be raised back again, thus turning the snake back into a rod.
This concept is not new. Consider this: Jesus likened Himself to the bronze snake on a pole in Moses’ day.
We can go on… and on… and on… Jesus IS the Word. The Word IS the written representation Jesus!
Jesus can be found in every book of scripture, the Law, the Prophets, the Writings. It ALL speaks of Jesus. And when Jesus came He was the personification of the writings.
Many people erroneously believe that all or parts of the “Old Testament” is not relevant today. They fail to see Jesus in the Old Testament. They fail to realize that the “church” from the book of Acts, onward, for hundreds of years preached Jesus from the Old Testament. They didn’t have the New Testament to preach from! Think about it!
The Names of Jesus
I can just hear someone say, “Jesus is not in the Old Testament. Nowhere do we see the name Jesus”.
The English name, “Jesus” is a transliteration of a transliteration. And much is lost in the process.
“Jesus” is the English transliteration of the Greek name, “Iesous”
“Iesous” is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, “Yeshua”.
So then, we can say that the name of Jesus, Yeshua, or Joshua, IS in the Old Testament. But Jesus has MANY other names. He goes by The Word of God, Son of Man, The Branch, Son of David, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Emmanuel, Jesus, and hundreds more… But the good news is… He answers to them all.
Jesus and the Law
Note: The word “law”, and “Torah” are used synonymously here. “Torah”, meaning, “law” or more specifically, “guidelines and instructions”.
Since Jesus IS the Word manifest in flesh, then Jesus IS the Law manifest in the flesh. This is what Jesus meant when He said that He did NOT come to destroy the Law, but rather to fulfil (obey) it. This is also what Paul meant when he said that Christ is the “end” of the Law. Some of the Hebrew translations of this passage bring out the true meaning saying, “Christ is the purpose of the Torah (Law)”, or “Christ is the goal of the Torah (Law)”.
In other words, the purpose, or goal of the Law is to make you more like Jesus – because Jesus IS the Torah (Law) manifest in the flesh. Since Jesus is the personification of the Law, the more you obey the Law, the more you become like Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to destroy the Law, but to establish the Law more thoroughly in your life. For example, He took the law regarding murder deeper by saying that if you hate your brother without a cause you are already guilty of murder. He established the Law on a higher plane.
Another example – Jesus took the Law of adultery and said that you don’t have to physically commit adultery in order to be guilty of it. You can commit adultery in your heart and be just as guilty.
Jesus established the Torah on a higher plane. He took the Torah, and drove it further than anyone has ever done before. Jesus and the Torah (Law of Moses) is 100% compatible – in fact Jesus, and the Torah are one and the same.
Jesus is the One who is the author of the Torah. The Torah is the Word. The Word is the Torah. Jesus is the Word. Jesus IS the Torah personified.
The Torah (the Law of Moses) was Jesus’ idea! It all started with Him. He doesn’t change. Neither does His Word.
So, Would Jesus Support the Death Penalty?
Yes! Absolutely! The death penalty was Jesus’ idea in the first place. Why wouldn’t He support it?
The death penalty was instituted by Jesus Himself. He is the One who originally established it as proven in the Law given to Moses.
Some people have the position that somehow God is stupid – that God didn’t know better when He gave the Law to Moses. They imply that God needs an upgrade – as if He is constantly getting more “civilized” and “modern”. This position is an absolute insult to God. It is blasphemy.
Others don’t believe that the Law applies today, that somehow God didn’t do a good job by giving the Law, and now He just wants us to forget the Law and just “believe” in Jesus. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Jesus came to drive the Law deeper in our hearts and minds. Jesus came to set us free from sin (disobeying the Law), and make us His servants – servants of righteousness, servants who obey the Torah. The scriptures are clear. Either you are a slave to the Law, and free from sin. Or you are a slave to sin, and free from the Law. But you can’t have both. You can’t serve two masters.
Jesus would, beyond a shadow of a doubt support capital punishment. It was His idea in the first place. He doesn’t change. And neither does His Word.