The prophets foretold the coming of Christ to plant seeds of hope in the earth.
God gave us prophets to give us promises and promises to give us hope. How could Moses, David, Isaiah, among others, prophesy with such precision about Jesus and his sufferings? Saint Peter explains that the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the spirit of Christ within them was indicated. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, was in them indicating, as he predicted, the sufferings that he was going to suffer and the glories to follow. And why did God give the prophets such messages?
Peter continues, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, they were serving you and me.” Everything the prophets wrote was to encourage you, to give you hope in someone greater than your circumstances. That’s why Peter’s very next words are so encouraging. I love this verse in 1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Peter was saying that because God gave the prophets their astounding messages for you, you thereby have every right to get your hopes up because of what they said.
This advance witness of the Old Testament prophets is key to your hope. They were a diverse group whose writings spanned centuries. Yet together, they perfectly predicted the circumstances and events of Jesus life, death and resurrection. That fact, more than any other, is the primary proof that the Bible really is God’s word. It is why phrases like, “so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,” that’s why they appear so often in the New Testament accounts.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Saint Paul even placed Jesus fulfillment of prophecy ahead of eyewitness accounts. He knew that the true power of the gospel comes from God’s word. Let me repeat Peter’s verse one more time, “Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Let me repeat once again what I said at the beginning of our time today. God gave us prophets to give us promises and promises to give us hope. If you want hope, hope is in God’s word.