[Jesus, the Christ (Messiah)] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.”Acts 3:21-23
This reference by the Apostle Peter to Deuteronomy 18:18-19 is profoundly helpful for our understanding of the many Messianic prophecies in the OT.
Most of these prophecies point to a powerful ‘King’ who would subdue all nations and bring in the blessing of all nations in accordance with the promise given to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Because the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, latched onto the Kingly reign aspect of the Messianic prophecies, they failed to recognise the rejected, crucified Saviour when he came.
So, on the occasion of the miraculous healing of the crippled man outside the Temple, Peter takes the opportunity to remind the Jews gathered round him, that ALL the Messianic promises are fulfilled in a two-part scenario: firstly: their Messiah comes in his prophetic role to declare God’s truth in accordance with Deuteronomy 18:18-19, followed by his priestly role of dying in our place as the sacrifice for our sins (cf Isaiah 53:4-6), and then secondly, and some time later, after continually interceding for his people in heaven at the throne of grace, he will come back as the promised victorious reigning Messiah King to ‘restore everything’ (cf Psalm 2).
Let us pray earnestly that more Jewish people today will come to recognise this TWO-PART scenario, will listen to what their Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) has DECLARED in the Gospels as the living WORD of God so as not to be guilty of failing to recognise the implications of Moses’ warning in their Torah (Deuteronomy 18:18-19), will see Jesus’ once-for-all death on the Cross as the reason why they have not had a Temple in which to make sacrifices for 2,000 years, and will join with us in longing for his Return as the Conquering King – “Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20b-21).