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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « A Quote on Election | Main | Biblical Reflections on Hebrews 6 »

    The Messianic Claims of Jesus Christ by Pastor John Samson

    "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." - Peter, to Jesus - Matthew 16:16

    "And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ." - Acts 5:42

    To say that Jesus is the Christ is to say that He is the long awaited Messiah of Israel. "Christ" comes from the Greek word "Christos" which is the equivalent of the Hebrew word for the Messiah or Anointed One. Christ is not Jesus' last name (He was not born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Mary Christ), but rather His title - the Anointed King Messiah.

    Through what we call Messianic Prophecies, God provided a sure way to recognize His Messiah when He came. These prophecies are events written in the Bible, hundreds and even thousands of years before they would take place in time. Only God Himself could reveal such amazing detail millennia in advance of the historical events.

    God had declared that His Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), and a son of David (Jer. 23:5,6; 1 Chron. 17:10b-14). God had also said that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14), in poverty (Isa. 11:1-2), would be proceeded by a herald (Isa. 40:3-5, Mal. 3:1) and would be born in Bethlehem, the city of David (Micah 5:2), He would be seen riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9, 10) and would be present 483 years after the decree was made to rebuild Jerusalem, after the Babylonian captivity (Dan. 9:24-27). He would be a prophet (Deut. 18:15-19; Isa. 61:1, 2), a priest (Psalm 110:1-7), and a king (Gen 49:10; Isa. 9:6,7),

    But there’s more…

    He would be legally tried and condemned to death and would suffer and die (Isa. 50;4-9; 52:13-53:12, Psalm 22), by means of piercing his hands and feet (Zech. 12:10; 13:7; Psalm 22), His death would be substitutionary (in the place of others), He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb and He would be resurrected from the dead (Isa. 52:13-53:12; Psalm 16:1-11; Psalm 22).

    All in all, around 330 prophecies such as these were fulfilled by Jesus in His first coming. A French mathematician, George Heron, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of these prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is a 1 followed by 157 zeros. We need to bear in mind that many more prophecies will be fulfilled when He comes back to earth to reign. He will rule the Gentile nations (Psalm 2:7-12), and the Messianic Kingdom (Psalm 110:1-7).

    More than 30 of these biblical prophecies were fulfilled in just one day - the day Jesus Christ died!

    Ps 41:9 - Mark 14:10 - Betrayed by a friend
    Zech 11:12 - Matt 26:15 - Price: 30 pieces of silver
    Zech 11:12 - Matt 27:3-7 - Money used to buy a field
    Zech 13:7 - Mark 14:50 - Shepherd killed, Sheep flee
    Isa 50:6 - Matt. 27:26-30 - Spat on and mocked
    Ps 69:19 - Matt 27:28-31 - Shame and dishonor
    Ps 35:11 - Mark 14:56 - False witnesses
    Ps 22:18 - John 19:24 - Gambling for His clothes
    Isa 53:7 - Matt 27:13, 14 - Opened not His mouth
    Ps 109:24 - Matt 27:32 - Too weak to carry cross
    Ps 69:3 - John 19:28 - Jesus is thirsty
    Ps 69:21 - John 19:29 - Given vinegar to drink
    Ps 22:17 - Matt 27:36 - They stare at Jesus on the cross
    Ps 22:16 - Matt 27:35 - They crucify Him
    Ps 22:14 - John 19:34 - Water flows out of wound
    Ps 38:11 - Luke 23:49 - Friends stand afar off
    Ps 109:25 - Matt 27:39, 40 - People wagged mocking heads
    Ps 22:8 - Matt 27:43 - Challenge for God to save Him
    Isa 53:7 - John 1:29 - Jesus the Lamb of God
    Isa 53:12 - Luke 23:34 - Jesus prays for His killers
    Ps 22:1 - Matt 27:46 - He cries out to God
    Isa 52:14 - John 19:5, 14 - A broken man, yet King
    Isa 53:4, 5 - Matt 8:17; 1 Pet 2:24 - He bears our sins and sicknesses
    Ps 22:31 - Luke 23:4 - Jesus declared faultless
    Ps 31:5 - Luke 23:46 - He gives up His spirit
    Exo 12:46 - John 19:36 - His bones not broken
    Isa 53:12 - Luke 23:33 - Numbered with the transgressors
    Daniel 9:26 - John 11:50-52 - Jesus died not for Himself
    Gen 3:15 - John 19:18 - Satan bruises Jesus’ heel on cross
    Isa 53:9 - Matt 27:57-60 - Laid in a rich man’s tomb
    Amos 8:9 - Matt 27:45 - Darkness at crucifixion

    The evidence is overwhelming - Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world, the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).

    The vital question then is this: How do you stand in relationship to Him? Is Jesus the Christ your personal Lord and Savior? If not, the time to make Him so is now, "for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    Posted by John Samson on February 3, 2006 11:28 PM

    Comments

    Wow - excellent apologetical arguments, Pastor Samson! I just wanted to add a final argument that is just the cream on the cake, really. Just the final touch, an argument I heard from a friend and found to be very persuasive.

    The apostles firmly believed and frequently proclaimed that Christ was the Messiah. Logically, we must assume that, with the wide number of Jesus' followers, that such a group of people were not mad. Besides, the reasoned thinking in the gospels, which the apostles authored, shows that they had no mental disabilities.

    Furthermore, the apostles could not be lying. If the apostles had stolen Christ's body after the resurrection to make it simply look like He was the Messiah, then would they not have confessed of such a deed at the stake?

    Thus, the apostles must have been telling the truth. Christ did resurrect from the grave. Christ was, therefore, a special Person. Thus there is further evidence towards the fact that Christ was the Messiah - but more importantly, that He was the Son of God.

    A. Shepherd
    Aspiring Theologian

    http://aspiringtheologian.modblog.com/

    I would like to highly recommend a book which is perhaps the most extensive articulation of the above apologetic. Its called Jesus: Divine Messiah: A New and Old Testament Witness by Robert L. Reymond

    Hmm. I'll check out "Jesus: Divine Messiah." I'm already halfway through Reymond's Systematic Theology and have been highly impressed with it, so I'm sure "Divine Messiah" will be top quality.

    Thanks,
    A. Shepherd
    Aspiring Theologian
    http://aspiringtheologian.modblog.com/

    Does anyone have a copy of Reymond's Systematic Theology that I may have free of charge? I am unemployed, battling cancer, care giver for family menbers.

    Daniel Marsh
    6539 Linville Drive
    Brighton, MI 48116-9531 USA

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