4. Egyptian time, e.g.: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=594
We have seen then how much of the early part of the Bible is guiding us towards one
person, and a particular event in his life. We can see that the death of Jesus was
not because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that some
jealous politicians had him executed. It was a deliberately engineered sacrifice
that was planned from the very beginning, even before time began. Throughout the
Torah and the whole of the Old Testament clues are laid down to prove this. It is
only after the event of Jesus’ crucifixion that this became clear. Up to that point,
much of the scriptures would have been a complete mystery, but suddenly all of the
pieces fall into place. Jesus said to the Jewish leaders, ‘Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me’
(John 5:39). After His death, walking along the road to Emmaus, Jesus expounded
the Law and the Prophets to two of his friends showing that they were all about Him
(Luke 24:27). As we look more deeply into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus,
we can see that these are described in great detail in the scriptures, hundred of
years before he was born.
There are some who would challenge the very existence of Jesus. There are some who
would challenge his authenticity. There are some who would challenge His right to
be called the Son of God. As we now begin to look into the life and death of Jesus,
we shall see that the predictions made about him, the locations, the timing were
so precise that He truly is the Son of God, that we can absolutely believe what he
said and what was written about Him. We can have confidence that he made certain
promises, even to us in the 21st Century and He sealed them with the greatest sacrifice
of all: His own death.
We have seen some examples of the precision of God’s timing. I believe He sometimes
uses memorials to bring things to our attention very forcibly. For example, year
after year for hundreds of years, the Jews were celebrating Passover as a past event,
unaware that it was predicting a much greater event on the same day and exactly the
same time many years in the future. Many Jews today continue to celebrate Passover,
without realising that it was fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus.
I have seen in my own life how of God can use events and timing to engage my attention.
At the age of eighteen, I was full of selfish ambition and determined to make a name
for myself, to be popular and be a leader. I had just started college and anxious
to begin by being selected for the rugby team. The trials were to take place on a
Wednesday and I was very fit and raring to go. On the day before, the Tuesday 22nd
of October, a day forever etched into my memory, I needed to get some washing powder
and hopped on my motorcycle during the lunch hour to go to the local shops. As I
rounded a sharp bend, with wet leaves on the ground, I had a head on collision with
a 5 ton lorry. A couple of friends happened to be walking along and heard the crash,
ran to see what had happened and, finding me smashed up in the road. One of them
ran as fast as he could to a phone box to call for an ambulance. Apparently, I was
literally broken in half. Both thighbones were broken and my body was folded over
as the thigh muscles contracted. An ambulance came and I was rushed to hospital,
where I later found out that I was within a couple of minutes of death.
When I was released from hospital 4 months later on crutches, I was a completely
changed person. I was 4 stone lighter and very weak. My left knee was so badly damaged
that it would hardly bend and any sport looked unlikely, particularly contact sport.
Gone forever was rugby and motorcycling. However, now instead of pursuing my ‘worldly’
ambitions, I became much more focused on God and seeking his plan for my life. I
was so far behind in my studies, I had to begin the 3 year course again from the
start, so that I was always a year behind my colleagues.
Now this appears to be just an unfortunate accident, but as time went on, I began
to see that there was actually a purpose to this. During my final year I started
dating the girl who was later to become my wife. Had I not had the accident, we would
never have married.
Years later I was standing by her bedside after she had delivered our eldest son
and the midwife, filling in the birth form said, ‘Your son was born at 1:45 pm on
the 22nd October’. That date and time had a familiar ring to it! It was 10 years
previously to the day, the hour and even probably the minute, I had nearly lost my
own life and now here was a new life, my own firstborn son coming into the world.
I knew then that this was no accident. I believe God had shown me that my life was
planned and under his control. We now have 6 children, all of whom are following
the Lord and fulfilling His purpose for their lives.
Many years later, I used to regularly walk during my lunch hour along paths near
Heathrow that were part of the London Loop. The London Loop, one of the Mayor of
London's routes, that almost completely encircles Greater London, covering a total
distance of around 150 miles. One day a sign was erected just at the start of my
usual walk with a rather strange direction ‘Trent Park 38¼ m’. Why anyone would have
chosen to select that particular location and that particular direction and distance
was beyond me. I then realised to my utter amazement, that it had been exactly 38¼
years since that life-changing accident which had happened to me at Trent Park. I
do not believe this could be a coincidence. Once again God was showing me that He
had planned the whole thing and had a purpose for my life.
The point of relating this story in my life is to illustrate the way God uses timing
to make a point; to show us that everything is planned. Maybe there are no accidents!
Certainly, in the life of Jesus, there were no accidents. His life was prophesied
in great detail hundreds of years before and his fulfilment of those prophecies are
indeed proof to us that God’s word is true. We shall now take a look at some of these
prophecies and types concerning Jesus. We cannot cover all of them since there are
thousands, but just some of the more significant ones.