Summary: Biblical evidence to support Jesus Messianic claims for the Christian argument that Jesus is the Messiah are numerous and compelling leaving the Jews with a real problem. Faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah will not go away.
Easter Message 2017
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is borne out in non-Christian historical writings not just our Bibles. It is one of the surest documented events of history but contentious because there is no body.
That’s because Jesus is alive and is seated at the right hand of God the Father awaiting the time of His Second coming. A time which we are ever closer to.
In coming to faith in Jesus Christ I was a policeman who needed the evidence. That sent me to the library. This was before the internet. It was there that I poured over the Biblical evidence, the Christian evidence and the secular evidence that pointed to a person named Jesus Christ. I found Him in all three sources.
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
That quote is from the Gospel of John but it is a Christian source. What about non-Christian sources?
The historicity of Jesus Christ is not a superstition, myth or legend. Jesus is a historical fact. The New Testament is just one source of ancient writing that verifies Jesus lived, died and rose to life during first century Judea.
Christian Biblical scholars argue Jesus arrival was foretold by prophecy from the Old Testament of the Jews. Jews dispute this claim because Jesus did not ascend to a throne in Jerusalem but was instead crucified by the Romans. The Jews were looking for a King in the model of King David who would conquer the Romans and institute the promised Jewish reign of Genesis 17:6 that God told Abraham would one day happen.
When that did not happen Jesus was labeled a false Messiah by the Jewish leaders and sentenced to death for blaspheme. However:
Biblical evidence to support Jesus Messianic claims for the Christian argument that Jesus is the Messiah are numerous and compelling leaving the Jews with a real problem. Faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah will not go away because the Jewish sources support Jesus claim to the title more clearly than any other person of history to date.
Psalm 22 written by King David contains elements consistent with the physical sufferings associated with crucifixion. Crucifixion would not be invented for another 500 years by the Persian Empire who modified it from the Assyrian method of impalement on a pole. The Greeks would also use it and then finally the Romans perfected it.
Jesus utters the first line of Psalm 22 from the cross “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”
Psalm 22 also speaks of exact details concerning Jesus crucifixion. Difficult things to prearrange if you’re the one being put to death.
16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
Psalm 22 even goes on to describe the physical suffering consistent with crucifixion. It’s uncanny in its exactness which leads to the logical conclusion that it is indeed a foretelling or prophetic writing. The Messiah would be a suffering servant rather than one who would lead military conquest.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
What the Christians did and continue to do is to use Jewish sources to validate and authenticate the Messianic proof that Jesus is the only person of history who fulfills the prophetic promises. Some scholars figure that Jesus has fulfilled more than 44 prophecies concerning the Messiah to the letter. Many remain yet to be fulfilled but these concern His Second Advent or return and we watch for these in our time.
The denial of Jesus as Messiah is the greatest self-denial of any nation in history.
The Jewish nation thinks of itself in terms of exceptionalism much like the United States of America and for that reason it also rejects Jesus because He included Gentiles as part of His plan of Kingdom making and redemption from sin.
But even this too is a very Biblical idea.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."