Why did Jesus live?


Unit 1: The Gospels as the fulfillment of Old Testament

Welcome to the first unit in our course on the mission of Jesus. The anonymous author of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews describes the mission of Jesus as focused on the cross. He writes:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

In order to understand the mission of Jesus, we have to understand the nature of his ultimate purposeful action – his passion. We will spend most of our time in this first unit carefully examining the passion of Jesus and how this passion fulfilled the many prophecies in the Old Testament about the expected Messiah.

We will also examine the sacred scriptures themselves to see what the Gospels declare about the betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus.

There are seven sections in this first unit of the course:

  1. Unit introduction
  2. The passion prophecy fulfilled: “He had no beauty”
  3. The passion prophecy fulfilled: “He was despised”
  4. The passion prophecy fulfilled: “He was forsaken”
  5. The passion prophecy fulfilled: “He was an offering for sin”
  6. The passion prophecy fulfilled: “He was betrayed”
  7. The betrayal, arrest and trial of Jesus in the Gospels.

Do make sure to have your Bible and a notebook ready as you progress through each of the sections and units of this course. We encourage you to make use of a good, literal and contemporary translation of the Bible in your study. For this course we will use the English Standard Version (ESV). For a free online version, visit ESVBible.org.

Do not hesitate to stop, reflect and re-examine the material presented. It is not the hurried reading and watching of material that makes for great learning, but rather the careful reflection on the truths communicated that makes for transformed thinking.