« AnteriorContinuar »
given of the Mesfias. St. John Baptist, of whom Josephus gives a high Commendation, and whom all Men look'd upon as a Prophet, Matt. xxi. 26. had before declar'd Jesus to be the Christ, though he now sent twp of his Disciples to enquire of him , not for his own, but for their Satisfaction , that they might be Witnesses, how the Prophecies were fulfill'd in him. And both the Preaching and Baptism of John was preparatory to that of Christ, and was foretold by the Prophets, Ifai. xi. 3. Malach. iv. 5.
But befides the Record of John, the Holy Ghost gave witness to Christ, visibly descending upon him at his Baptism, with a Voice from Heaven, pronouncing the Words prophetically deliver'd before con, cerning the Mejfiat, which were always understood by the Jews to be meant of him, Matt. Hi. 13. and this Voice was again repeated, though not so publick-i ly as before, at his Transfiguration, Matt. xvii. 5. 2 Pet. i. 17. and at a third time there came a Voice to.him from Heaven, in the Hearing of all the People, Jo. xii. 28. By the Hosannas of the Multitude, and even of the Children , and by his driving the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, several known Prophecies concerning the Messias were fulfill'd in him, Matt. xxi. 16. Joh. ii. 17
III. The Type? and Prophecies concerning the Death of the Messias, were fulfill'd in our Saviour. His Death was foretold both in the Writings of the. Prophets, and by several Types or Actions, which did represent and prefigure his Death, with the Manner and Circumstances of it, and this was one kyadi of Prophesying, by the Resemblance of Actions and Things, as well as by Descriptions in Words. Thus Abraham's Offering up Isaac was a Type of Christ's being offer'd upon the Cross, and Isaac's carrying the Wood on his Shoulders, was a Type of Christ's cai> rying his Cross. The lifting up the brazen Serpent in the Wilderness was a Type of Christ's being lifted
1^6 The Keasonableness and Certainty
up, and the Paschal Lamb was a plain Type of the Sacrifice of Christ; and our Saviour Christ was sacrificed upon the Cross, at the very time of the Passover. A bone of him was not broken, which was typified of him in the Paschal Lamb-, the breaking of his Legs was prevented-by his voluntary giving up the Ghost, when he had so much strength and vigour after all his pains, as to cry out with a loud voice, which by the course of nature, a Person who had endured so much before, and had hung bleeding and languishing for three hours at least upon the Cross, till he expired by the force and extremity of his Torments , could not have done; and his being dead sooner than was expected, and sooner than the Malefactors were, caused the fulfilling this prophetical Type , a Bone of him (hall not be broken, Exod. xii.46. Numb. ix. if. n He died likewise in the Year of Jubilee, (as Dr. Lightfoot computes) by which the release and redemption, which he purchased for Mankind was typified: But according to Archbishop Vjher , the Jubilee fell upon the Year of Christ's Baptism , when he began to preach the acceptable Year of the Lord, Luke iv. 19. and that Remission of Sins, which was prefigured by the Release in the Year of Jubilee. And as the fulfilling of these several Types concurred in our Saviour, so the fulfilling of them was brought to pass by the malice and cruelty of his Enemies, and of those very Jews, whbhad ever understood these Types to relate to the Meffias.
The Prophecies in like manner were fulfilled in him, not by any design or contrivance of his own, but by the mere envy and malice of his Murtherers. He was betrayed by one of his own Disciples, as it had been foretold of him, Pfal. xli. 9. Jo. xiii. 18. The thirty pieces of Silver, for which he was betrayed, were by the Chief Priests given to buy the Potter's
"Light. Harm. N. T. §.lix. p. 243.
Field, by which was fulfilled a noted Prophecy, that stands recorded in the Book of Zechariah; but because Jeremiah had prophesied of the same thing before him, or for some other reason, it was better known among the Jews by the name of Jeremiah's Prophecy, unless, as some suppose, Jeremy be put for Zachary by a mistake of the Transcriber, which was obvious enough in transeribing the Abbreviation of the name of Zachary, 7. as it is now to he seen in some of the Ancient MSS. not much differing from /. Our Saviour was buffeted and spit upon, according to a Prophecy of Isaiah, J fa. 1.6. He had Vinegar given him to drink mingled with Gall, and his Garments were parted amongst the Soldiers by casting of Lots, both which were foretold, Pfat. xxii. 18. lxix. n^They pierced his hands and his feet, Pfal. xxii. 16. fy crucifixion, a Punishment never used among the Jews; which yet had been foretold should be inflicted on Christ so many Ages before it was known to them. This Prophecy could not have been fulfilled, unless Christ had been delivered up to the Romans, a People* who had no Being in the World, for divers Ages after this Prediction: And no other Nation, as 0 Sca~ liger has observed, had this kind of Punishment, by festning Men to a Cross with Nails thrust thro' their Hands and Feet. They that pass'd by, reviled him in the very words of the Psalmist, and in his Agony he cried out in the words of the fame Psalm, ver. i, 7,8. His death was voluntary, for though it was in the power of his Enemies to crucifie him, yet his Life was in his own power, which he resigned in the words of another Psalm, Pfal. xxxi. 5. and he caused another Prophecy to be fulfilled, by dying at that very point of time, which, if his death had been deferred a little longer, had not been fulfilled \ for the Soldiers broke the Legs of the two other that were cm
1 . . . ■ • 11 X...
° Scaligeratu 1.
cified with them, but finding him dead, they broke not his Legs, though one of them suspecting that he could not be so soon dead, pierced his side, to try whether he were really dead or not, by which that Scripture was fulfilled, which faith, they shall look on him-, whom they pierced, John xix. 34. Zach. xii. 10. which p Text the Ancient Jews interpreted of the Meffias. The liii. Chapter of Isaiah is a clear description of our Saviour's Passion almost in every circumstance of it. He was despised and rejected os men, a man os sorrows, and acquainted with grief; he was wounded for our Transgressions, and bruised for our Iniquities; he was oppressed, and he. was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was brought as a Lamb to the Slaughter, and as a Sheep before her Shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth; his Silence being taken special notice of by Pilate himself, and his meekness towards Judas, his most ungrateful Disciple, is wonderful beyond all Example. He made his Grave with the Rich in his Death, though he died in that shameful manner, under the imputation of so much wickedness, yet Joseph of Ariniathea, an honourable Counsellor, was suffered by Pilate to bury him, which he did in his own new Tomb. He was numbred with theTransgreffors, and in that fense made his Grave also with the wicked, being crucified between two Thieves; and so was not only reputed a Malefactor, and underwent the punishment of Transgressors, but was executed at the very time and place with them, and buried when they were. He made intercession for the Transgressors, for the Penitent Thief in particular, whom he promised, that he should be with him that day in Paradise, and for his Persecutors themselves, praying that they might be forgiven. The Prophecies of this Chapter are so very plainly and directly fulfilled,' that I have known a Child apply them to the Passion of Christ.
"See Bp. Pearson.
One of the most glorious Characters, by which the Meflias was described by the Prophets, was, that he should be their Prince and King , and this led the Jews into that fatal mistake of a Temporal Meflias: for Meflias or Anointed, signifies King as well as Prophet or Priest, (in which three Offices Unction was used,) and they were all united in our Saviour, who was the Meflias anointed and inaugurated by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him in a visible lhape, and with a distinct and audible voice declaring him to be the Son of God. And that all the world might know our Saviour to be the King of the Jews, that Title was fixt upon his Cross in three several Languages, the most vulgar Tongues then in the world, that no Nation might be ignorant, that Christ the King of thejews was then crucified. For Pilate would not alter the Inscription; but though they had frighted him before by observing to him, that it was Treason against Cafar to call any one King besides him, yet when they would now have had him change the Inscription, and have written only, that be said, I am King of the Jews, Pilate gave a short and resolute Answer, what I have written, I have written. How much soever it were at his Peril to provoke a malicious people, in a point, wherein they thought the honour and safety of their Nation so much concerned, and in a point, which could not but be exceeding tender to so jealous an Emperor as Tiberim: But Pilate had suffered himself to be carried too far already against his 'own Conscience, and had shewn great aversion to their proceedings, in the whole management of his Tryal', and the fame providence, which had ordered every circumstance to the manifestation of the Truth, and the conviction both of the Jews and Gentiles, now so disposed this remarkable particular, that the last period of his Life, in opposition to all the spight of t-he Jews, should be adorned and dignified with his true Title and Character, under which he had been • 'J ;i fore