Friday, 27 July 2012
How do you Know that Yeshua is the Messiah?
The prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures assure us that Yeshua is the Messiah. God wanted us to be able to recognize the Messiah when He came:
- The Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:1-2). See Matthew 2:1-6, Luke 2:1-20.
- The Messiah would be more than a man. He would be God in human form (Isaiah 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Psalm 110:1, Proverbs 30:4). See John 1:1, John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8.
- The Messiah had to come before Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD (Daniel 9:24-27). See Luke 1:5, 2:1-7.
- The Messiah had to be a direct descendant of King David, a member of the royal family of Israel (Jeremiah 23:5-6, Isaiah 9:6-7). See Matthew 1.
- The Messiah was to be tried and unfairly condemned, even though He was perfectly innocent (Isaiah 53:8). See Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 23:1-25.
- The Messiah would die to make atonement for the sin of Israel and the world (Isaiah 53:5-6, 8, 10-12; Daniel 9:24-27; Zechariah 9:9, 12:10; Psalm 16:10, 22). See John 1:29, 11:49-52; 1 Corinthians 15:53.
- The Messiah was to be a light to the nations, so that God's salvation could reach to the ends of the Earth (Isaiah 49:6). Yeshua is the most popular, the most studied and the most influential figure in the history of mankind. He is the most famous Jew who ever lived: more famous than Abraham, more famous than Moses, more famous than King David or any of the prophets, more famous than Freud or Einstein! If people throughout the world know about Israel, or pray to the God of Israel, or read the Holy Scriptures of Israel, it is because of Yeshua. No Jewish person should be indifferent to the fact that the Jewish Messiah has had such a tremendous part in the history of mankind. The love He has inspired, the comfort He has given, the good He has engendered, the eternal hope and joy He has kindled are unequaled in human history. He truly has become the light of the world!
- The Messiah would rise from the dead (Isaiah 53:8-12; Psalm 16:10, 118:21-24; Zechariah 12:10). The New Testament records th!
at after His death and resurrection, Yeshua appeared to a wide variety of Jewish people in varying numbers and under varying circumstances. He appeared to Mariam (John 20:11-18); to some other women (Matthew 28:8-10); to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34); to two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35); to 10 of the apostles (Luke 24:36-43); to all 11 apostles eight days later (John 20:24-29); then to seven by the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee - see John 21:1-23). Yeshua appeared to 500 people at once, most of whom were alive and could verify the event when the New Testament was written (1 Corinthians 15:6)! Yeshua appeared to His brother James, who became the leader of the Jerusalem Congregation (1 Corinthians 15:7), and to Saul of Tarsus, who became better known as the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-16). Since the first century there have been millions of people, both Jewish and Gentiles (including some of the greatest thinkers, philosophers and scientists), who have claimed to have encountered the resurrected Yeshua. What transformed all of these people? Only one explanation makes sense - He is alive today!
History tells us that only one - Yeshua of Nazareth - fulfilled these prophecies and many others. No other in history even comes close. The probability that one could fulfill all these prophecies by chance is infinitesimally small. There is only one rational conclusion: Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel whom the prophets told us to expect.