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The Baptizer and the Betrayer in the Old Testament

One of the remarkable features of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament is that some of them were directly about individuals who played a  crucial role in the life of the Messiah. Such is the case with John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1), the forerunner of the Messiah--who prepared the way of the LORD by pointing men to Him at the beginning of His ministry. The fact that the Old Testament predicted the forerunner of Christ is well attested at the beginning of every Gospel record. It serves the purpose of giving a decreed and prophetic witness to who Jesus is.

Its equally remarkable that the betrayer of the Messiah is prophesied of in the OT. (Psalm 49:9; 69:25; 109:8) In John 13, in the Upper Room--immediately prior to the betrayal of the Son of God--Jesus told His disciples, "But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.' I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he" (John 13:18-19). Citing Psalm 41:9, Jesus reveals that His betrayer was prophesied of in the pages of the Old Testament. The prediction about the betrayal of Jesus is integral to our faith in Him as Messiah.  Additionally, the Apostle Peter acknowledged two other places in the Old Testament which spoke of Judas. The first was Psalm 69:5, which reads, "Let his habitation be desolate and let no one live in it"--a reference, which when coupled with the other citation of Peter, is understood to mean that "another is to take his office" as an Apostle (Ps. 109:8).

It is a striking thing to see that both the forerunner of Christ and the betrayer of Christ were both prophesied of in the Old Testament. Jesus said that those prophecies about Judas were foretold so that "when it does take place you may believe that I am He." Our faith rests on the Messianic prophecies of the OT. The One who stands in between the Baptizer and the betrayer is the Savior of the world.

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