10 Good Reasons to Believe that Jesus is the ChristSeries: 10 Good Reasons...
10 Good Reasons to Believe that Jesus is the Christ
1. His Life Was The Subject of Prophecy
Long before Jesus was ever born, specific prophecies in the Old Testament Scriptures had predicted not only the specific circumstances of His birth, but just as precise, many of the details of his adult life. What's astonishing is that fact that Archeological proof substantiates these prophecies actually were recorded, in varying languages, at least 300 years before Jesus Christ was even born. For example, of the Christ it was predicted:
- He would be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2/Matthew 3:1
- He would be preceded by a messenger: Isaiah 40:3/Matthew 3:1-2; 11:10
- He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9/Matthew 21:6-11
- He would be betrayed by a friend: Psalm 41:9/Matthew 10:4
- He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver: Zech. 11:12/Matthew 26:15
- He would be forsaken by His disciples: Zechariah 13:7/Mark 14:50
- His hands and feet would be pierced: Psalm 22:16/Luke 23:33
- He would be between thieves during His death: Isaiah 53:12/Matthew 27:38
- His garments would be parted and lots cast for them: Ps 22:18/John 19:23-24
- Gall and vinegar would be offered to Him: Psalm 69:21/Matthew 27:34
- He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb: Isaiah 53:9/Matthew 27:57-60
- Not one of His bones would be broken: Psalm 34:20, 22:14,17/John 19:33
- This is not a complete list-- there are some 300 such prophecies.
- If Jesus had been a mere man, there would have been many of these predictions over which He would have had no control, such as whether or not He would die between two thieves, or what people would say to Him while He was dying. Or, even more importantly, the fact that not a bone was broken during or after His crucifixion.
- The mathematical probability of one man fulfilling just eight such prophecy’s is 1 in 10 (followed by 17 zeros). If we converted that number into silver dollars, one could cover the entire state of Texas up to two feet deep.
- The type of death pictured in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 (hands and feet pierced—yet no bones broken) did not come into practice until hundreds of years after the prophecy was written.
- The prophecy about what would be done with His garments was fulfilled in a unique way. The garments were parted—except the outer cloak, which was seamless, and for that reason lots were indeed cast for it (John 19:23-24).
2. His Miracles
If God became man (John 1:1,14), then one would expect that He would do amazing things, such as walking on water, instantly exercising control over the weather, healing every kind of sickness (Matthew 4:23), healing the blind and raising the dead. These miracles were so public that even His enemies could not deny their reality (John 11:47; Acts 2:22). The only argument that His enemies had against His miracles was that they claimed they were performed by the power of the devil (Mark 3:22).
3. His Moral Character
If God became man (Philippians 2:6ff), then He would live a sinless life. The disciples, like Peter spent at least three years constantly with Jesus, and yet Peter would write concerning Jesus, “who committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Even His enemies had to acknowledge, “We know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matthew 22:16). Pilate, a Roman governor after examining Jesus conceded, “I find no guilt in Him” (John 19:6). Even the centurion who was there at His death and watched Him die said, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). Our culture is used to scandal being associated with famous people that some may be surprised that when it comes to Jesus—there were absolutely no skeletons in the closet. In fact, Jesus even challenged people to try to find something (John 8:46).
4. His Amazing Teachings
If God became man, then we would expect that He would teach the highest moral standard known to man, and Jesus did just that. People then and now are completely amazed at what He taught (Matthew 7:28; Luke 19:48; John 7:46) and if His moral teachings were applied in the lives of individuals or in foreign policies, most the world's problems would resolved.
5. His Ability to Take the Complicated and Make it Simple
Mankind will often multiply words to try to muddy the waters. But if God became man, then He would be able to take the complicated questions or broad principles, boil them down and sum them up in a single, simple statement (Matthew 7:12; 22:36-40).
6. No One Could Stump Him
If God became man then one would rightly conclude that no one could stump Him or beat Him in an argument. The Bible records a number of attempts by His enemies to stump Him. We know that these are not manufactured situations by the gospel writers, for the arguments brought to Jesus were incredibly difficult and real, such as the moral dilemma of whether or not to pay taxes to an immoral leader such as Caesar (Matthew 22:17), and the complicated argument against the reality of a resurrection (22:23-33). Jesus answered these questions without hesitation or apology, modifications, corrections or withdrawing anything that He had taught.
7. He Made the Claim
We are not putting words into Jesus’ mouth when we say that He is the Son of God, for that is clearly what He claimed on many occasions (John 5:17-29,23; 8:19,24; 58; 14:6-9). When Peter confessed Jesus as the Son of God—Jesus fully endorsed Peter’s confession (Matthew 16:16-18). Some have argued that the gospel writers more or less invented the character of Christ, yet this does not square with the facts: 1. Such men gained nothing materially from preaching Christ as the Son of God—they only received great persecution, often to the point of death. 2. How could and why would a group of deceivers invent the greatest moral character and teachings of all time? 3. We know that the entire New Testament was written within the First Century, so it had to pass the scrutiny of the generation that was alive when these events were said to take place. If they were making all this up, then that generation would have clearly rejected and exposed their stories as lies. 4. It was not centuries after Jesus lived that people started believing He was the Son of God, rather, immediately, even very near to the First Century, other documents besides the New Testament prove this point. Writing in 112 A.D., Pliny the Younger wrote that Christians were in the habit of meeting on a certain day and when they did they sang hymns to Christ "as to a god."
8. He Lived at the Right Time
The prophecies were specific: Daniel claimed that God would set up His kingdom during the time of the 4th Empire that followed Babylon (Daniel 2:36-45). That Empire is clearly the Roman Empire. It is also obvious that Jesus would be killed by a method of execution that would not break his bones, bit in which His hands and feet would be pierced. This method ended in the 4th century A.D - a very narrow window in which the prophecy could be fulfilled. The prophecies said that the Messiah would come to God’s house, the temple (Malachi 3:1)—and that Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 and has never been rebuilt. The genealogies that would clearly prove that one was related to not only Abraham, but David were equally destroyed in A.D. 70. Therefore, the Old Testament prophetic window has closed for anyone since A.D. 70 to be able to claim that they are the Messiah.
9. He Left Nothing Undone:
When Jesus was alive some in the crowds said, “When the Christ shall come, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” (John 7:31). That is a telling observation. They knew that Jesus had basically covered all the bases and really left nothing undone when providing His credentials.
10. The Only Real Choice Left
A Good Man
The Son of God
Really? Did a deceiver
Really? Are His life-
Really? He actually
The only choice left and
If God became man, then we would expect Him to do and be all that He did and was:
- He would have an unusual entrance into life.
- He would be without sin.
- He would manifest the supernatural in the form of miracles.
- He would be acutely different from other men.
- He would speak the greatest words ever spoken.
- He would have a lasting and universal influence.
- He would satisfy the spiritual hunger in men and women.
- He would exercise power over death.
- He would be exceptionally kind, compassionate and confident.
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017