Summary: This series focuses on why Jesus is the Messiah based on His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.
Why Jesus – Part 1
This week we started our Bible study on the book of John. John was one of the youngest of Jesus’ disciples. John wrote his Gospel after he wrote the book of Revelation so as he was writing his Gospel he had insight into future events that the other Gospel writers did not have. It is believed that John was in his nineties when he “dictated” his Gospel and he had a purpose in mind. There were teachings that had entered the Church about the true identity of Jesus and whether or not He was truly the Son of God and the prophesied Messiah – the Christ. John opens his Gospel with the following: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) John wanted to make an emphatic statement that Jesus was the Son of God; that He had existed in heaven prior to taking on a human form; and that He was in fact God. Everything he recorded after this initial statement was the proof to verify this statement. He wanted the readers to know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Christ!
The title of my message this morning is “Why Jesus.” This message will be part one as we prepare ourselves to celebrate Easter in three weeks. Before I go any further, I want to stress that I will not be asking “Why Me Jesus?” in this message, but explain why I truly believe in my heart that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). I believe that salvation comes through Jesus and Him only! Through this message I want to try and answer some of the questions that we all ask ourselves at some point in our faith walk about the possibility that there can be other ways to heaven. I believe that Jesus is the only way and I am prepared to tell you why I believe this. It is up to each person to decide for themselves what they believe, but I am blessed that we serve an awesome God that enables us to hear the truth and understand it when we are ready to hear. So let’s begin on this journey to understand why Jesus. Why is Jesus truly the Christ and the Savior of all who will accept Him?
I. The Odds
To begin with, I want to review a term that some of you may be familiar with. The term is “odds.” Odds are a numerical expression, always consisting of a pair of numbers. It is used in both gambling and statistics. In statistics, odds for something reflect the likelihood that a particular event will take place while odds against something reflect the likelihood that a particular event will not take place. To express odds for, if you had one die, the odds of rolling a six with a fair die (one of a pair of dice) are 1 to 5. This is because if one rolls the die many times and keeps a tally of the results, one expects 1 six event for every 5 times the die does not show a six. The results would be expressed as 1/6 chance of 16.7%. To express odds against, the order of the pair would be reversed hence odds against rolling a six with a fair die are 5 to 1. These results would be expressed as 5/1 or 83.3%. Keep this in mind as we go through the series. Now consider the odds of Jesus being the one and only person to meet the criteria as prophesied in the Old Testament. To accept this fact you must first believe what is recorded in the Old Testament. To help you get your mind wrapped around odds, let me give you an example before we examine some prophecies pertaining to Jesus.
What are the odds that if you mailed me a letter with the correct name and address on the envelope that I would get it. The odds would be very close to 1 to1, meaning that short of human error (which could happen) the letter you mailed to me would get to me every time (or 100%). This seems like a very easy calculation until you factor in that there are approximately seven billion people in the world today who could possibly be eligible to get this letter. With seven billion people in the world, why are the odds so high that I would get the letter and it not end up in the hands of someone it was not intended for? It’s because of the “qualifying” information you put on the envelope – the address. So follow along with me. I am going to mail a letter to John Doe who lives at 11111 West 75th Street, Lenexa, KS, 66215. He lives there with his wife and three daughters. There are a total of five people living in the house. I write this address on the envelope and mail the letter. When the Post Office gets my letter, it uses this information to sort through many people to ensure the letter gets to the person it’s intended for. So let’s look at the process of “weeding out” all the other people who could get the letter: