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Before The One
by Wayne Blank
"I send My messenger to prepare the way before Me"
The Old Testament provides dual prophecies regarding forerunners of the first, and the second, comings of the Messiah:
"A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of The Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of The Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of The Lord has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3-5 RSV)
John the Baptist was the forerunner of the first coming of Jesus Christ:
"The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of The Lord, make his paths straight." John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:1-8 RSV)
Jesus Christ Himself is a forerunner (see the Fact Finder question below).
"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6:19-20 RSV)
Fact Finder: How is Jesus Christ serving as a forerunner?