What Saith the Scripture?
His Resurrection Is The Highest Proof
That Jesus Is The Messiah
"And if Christ [Greek, Christos, Anointed, i.e., Messiah] be not Risen, then is our preaching vain"
by Tom Stewart
Disclaimer: As it is with the presentation of any position, i.e., that the Resurrection proves that Jesus is the Messiah, some may be persuaded by more than what will be presented, some by less, and some will never be intreated by anything at all; however, you will be best served, if you present your doubts to the Spirit of the Almighty God, and let Him persuade you from the Scriptures offered, if Jesus is-- or not-- truly the Messiah. "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His Ways, and we will walk in His Paths: for the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:2).
Christianity has already found its Messiah, but the same question that perplexes many a modern Jew was the same about 2,000 years ago. Can Jesus of Nazareth be the Promised Messiah? "27 And Jesus went out, and His disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way He asked His disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29 And He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ [Greek, Christos, the Anointed, i.e., the Messiah]. 30 And He charged them that they should tell no man of Him. 31 And He began to teach them, that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days Rise again" (Mark 8:27-31).
What evidence should satisfy the most inquisitive mind that Jesus is the Messiah? All of humanity must be born into this world, and it will be by the hand of the Almighty that He will take us out of this world, i.e., "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this The Judgment" (Hebrews 9:27), so birth and death are common to man. However, who but God Alone has the Power to resurrect from the dead? "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that Power belongeth unto God" (Psalm 62:11). Even if a questioning mind could not settle whether Jesus resurrected by His own Power or whether it was the Power of the Almighty to resurrect Jesus from the dead, Why would Jehovah resurrect Jesus and thereby vindicate the claims of Jesus of Nazareth that He would Rise again after three days, unless Jesus is the Messiah? "3 Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our LORD, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with Power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4).
And, the Gentile skeptic of the Resurrection of Jesus would do well to listen along to the evidence, for if Jesus is the Messiah of disbelieving Israel, then through the Jews' unbelief "Salvation is come unto the Gentiles" (Romans 11:11). Why then Salvation to the Gentiles? Because the Almighty wisely chose that the Gentile world's reception of the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ might "provoke to emulation them [the Jews] which are my flesh, and might save some of them" (Romans 11:14). According to the inspired testimony of the Apostle Paul, "For if the casting away of them [the Jews] be the Reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but Life from the dead?" (Romans 11:15). That is to say, When the Jewish world believes that Jesus is the Messiah, then all the Elect of the Gentile world will believe, as well. LORD, may the day be hastened of the Jews heartfelt understanding that Jesus is the Messiah!
"1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. 4 Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 and shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD" (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
Hebrew Prophecies and Clues Concerning the Promised Messiah
So many Hebrew Scriptures of the Christian Old Testament point specifically to the Messiah that only a few will be listed here to represent that body of understanding, but special mention will be made later of Psalm 2, the Messianic Psalm, and Psalm 16:10, the Resurrection Psalm.
Genesis 3:15. The Seed of the Woman. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). The Creator predetermined that though the Serpent (Satan) would bruise man's heel and seduce him into sin, man would bruise the Serpent and be delivered from the fatal toxin of the Serpent's bite through the Redemption of a Saviour, Who would be the Son of Man. This is a signpost pointing to the Virgin Birth of Christ. "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from The Beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1John 3:8). For this reason, the Messiah that would be of the seed of the woman would deliver the fatal blow to Satan, as we shall see, at the Cross.
Genesis 14:18-20. Melchizedek. "18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the Most High God. 19 And He blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Possessor of Heaven and Earth: 20 and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abraham] gave Him [Melchizedek] tithes of all" (Genesis 14:18-20). Melchizedek had to be Jehovah in human flesh, for He had an everlasting priesthood, as David said of the Messiah-- who is paradoxically the "Son of David" (Matthew 22:42)-- in Psalm 110, calling Him Lord. "1 The LORD said unto my Lord [the Messiah], Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool... 4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:1, 4). Melchizedek was greater than Abraham or the Aaronic priesthood, because "Abraham gave [Melchisedec] the tenth of the spoils" (Hebrews 7:4), where "He [Melchisedec] Whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him [Abraham] that had the Promises" (Hebrews 7:6)-- and, "without all contradiction the less [Abraham] is blessed of the better [Melchisedec]" (Hebrews 7:7). Even the New Testament speaks of Melchizedek as "King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace" (Hebrews 7:2); further, Melchizedek is described as "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a Priest continually" (Hebrews 7:3). Therefore, Melchizedek, the Priest of the Most High God, was a Pre-Incarnate appearance of the Messiah.
Genesis 22. Abraham Offers His Son Isaac. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, which was a picture of the Father's future sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son (the Messiah) on the Cross at Calvary:
(1) Mount Moriah is not a single peak, but an elongated ridge. It was
(a) the location of the site commanded by Jehovah for Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, i.e., "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of" (Genesis 22:2),
(b) the site of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite's threshingfloor, purchased by David to make sacrifice to stop the plague caused by David's census (1Chronicles 21), which was also the future location of Solomon's Temple, i.e., "Then Solomon began to build the House of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite" (2Chronicles 3:1), and
(c) the place understood by the Palestine Exploration Society (1868-1881) to be the site of the Crucifixion of Jesus, near the modern day Damascus Gate and Garden Tomb, i.e., "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen [i.e., Jehovah will provide His Sacrifice]" (Genesis 22:14).
(2) Just as the Gospels tell us that Jesus was dead for three days, i.e., "Destroy this temple [i.e., referring to His own body], and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19), it was as if Isaac was dead in the mind of his father Abraham for three days, i.e., "3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off" (Genesis 22:3-4).
(3) Jesus was called by John the Baptist, the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29); similarly, Abraham expected the LORD to provide a lamb for the required sacrifice, i.e., "God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering" (Genesis 22:8).
(4) Abraham's sacrifice of a ram was a substitution for Isaac, where the Everlasting God gave Isaac back to Abraham, as it were, from the dead, i.e., "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son" (Genesis 22:13), just as Jesus' Suffering and Death was a Substitutionary Atonement for the world, i.e., "Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). Christ "is the propitiation [Greek, hilasmos, an appeasing, i.e., a Mercy Seat] for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1John 2:2). Accordingly, the Messiah would offer Himself in Sacrifice as a Substitutionary Atonement for the world.
Genesis 49:10-11. Until Shiloh Come. "10 The sceptre shall not depart
from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh [Hebrew, Shiyloh,
tranquility, rest] come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding His foal unto the
vine, and His ass's colt unto the choice vine; He washed His garments in wine, and
His clothes in the blood of grapes" (Genesis
49:10-11). From the tribe of Judah would come "a
Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall Rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17). The Messiah was understood
to be a King; or more specifically, the King of Israel. The Christian New Testament
is replete with those who both reviled and praised Jesus as the King of Israel. "Let
Christ the King of Israel descend now from the Cross, that we may see and believe.
And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him" (Mark
15:32). "Nathanael answered and saith unto Him,
Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel" (John 1:49). Messiah the King's Triumphal
Entry into Jerusalem was predicted by Zechariah. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter
of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is
Just, and having Salvation; Lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal
of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9). Likewise, John's Gospel recorded the fulfillment. "12 On the next day much people
that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took branches
of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King
of Israel that cometh in the Name of the LORD" (John
12:12-13). In this passage of Genesis 49, Jacob's dying
prophecy concerning his offspring spoke of Shiloh, "He washed His garments in
wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes" (Genesis
49:11). "blood" refers to the Messiah's ministry
of Salvation through the "Blood of His Cross" (Colossians
1:20), while "wine" also points out His Final
Judgment of the Earth. "And out of His mouth goeth a Sharp Sword, that with
it He should smite the nations: and He shall Rule them with a Rod of Iron: and He
treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and Wrath of Almighty God" (Revelation 19:15). Therefore,
Messiah would be Shiloh the King, bringing Salvation, Justice, and Judgment.
Deuteronomy 18:15-19. A Prophet Like Moses. "15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken; 16 according to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this Great Fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My Words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My Words which He shall speak in My Name, I will require it of him" (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Just as the Messiah is both a Priest and King, He only is Prophet-Priest-and-King. Is it any wonder that Jesus received an entrance into Jerusalem befitting the Messiah? "8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee" (Matthew 21:8-11). Continuing this unfolding revelation of the Messiah, He would be a Prophet like Moses.
Psalm 118:22. Messiah to be Rejected by the Rulers. "The Stone which the builders refused is become the Head Stone of the Corner" (Psalm 118:22). The Psalmist intimated that the Messiah would be rejected by the builders of the Jewish world, i.e., their rulers, princes, ecclesiastics, etc., and the prophet Isaiah concurred with the Messiah's analogy to being a Stone, saying, "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a Tried Stone, a Precious Corner Stone, a Sure Foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste" (Isaiah 28:16). In support of His Messiaship, Jesus cited Psalm 118 in application to Himself, when questioned by the chief priests and Pharisees about:
(1) His allowing the multitudes to triumphantly escort Him into Jerusalem as the "Son of David" (Matthew 21:9) and
(2) His Authority for casting the moneychangers out of the Temple, i.e., "My house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Matthew 21:13), only days before the Almighty allowed them to succeed in having the Romans crucify Him. "42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the Head of the Corner: this is the LORD's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken [i.e., Salvation]: but on whomsoever It shall fall, It will grind him to powder [i.e., damnation]" (Matthew 21:42-44). Again, the Messiah would be rejected by the very rulers of Israel, who are supposed to be His champions.
Isaiah 7:13-14. Immanuel. "13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house
of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the
LORD Himself shall give you a Sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah
7:13-14). The All Wise God may state outright a Truth
about the identity of the Messiah, but He most likely will speak in such a way that
one can only hear by listening very attentively. "I will instruct thee and teach
thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye" (Psalm 32:8). This quest for
a Messiah is unfolded in the Hebrew Scriptures with another clue by the prophet Isaiah.
The House of David would be given a sign. Not simply that a Son would be born. And,
the specialness of the Son would not just be His name, Immanuel, which is God with
us. He will not simply be born to a chaste young woman, but He will be born of a
woman who has never known a man-- born of a virgin. Now that is a Sign! "18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ
was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came
together, she was found with Child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make
her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things,
behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou
son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS:
for He shall save His people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken
of the LORD by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son,
and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us"
Specifically, the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and prospectively, He would
be God With Us.
Isaiah 9:6-7. The Prince of Peace. "6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and Peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Already, we have been told that this special Child to be born would be Immanuel or God With Us, but would this just be naming a child "Jehovah is Salvation" or does this mean that the Child Himself would actually be God Incarnate in Human Flesh? Look at the evidence. The "government shall be upon His shoulder" (Isaiah 9:6). Okay. He should rightly be expected to be the King of Israel. But, Herod the Great of the 1st century of the Christian Era could have been spoken of as the "King of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2). Certainly Herod could not be called "Wonderful, Counsellor" (Isaiah 9:6)! It should be increasingly apparent that the Messiah must be God Himself in human flesh, for Jehovah Himself authorized Isaiah to announce the Name of the Messiah to be "The Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). Remember, Jehovah will not lightly allow anyone to take His Glory with such a Title or Name, unless the Messiah is "The Mighty God"! "I am the LORD: that is My Name: and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My Praise to graven images" (Isaiah 42:8). Further, the Messiah would not simply be an everlasting father, but "THE Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6). "I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My Firstborn" (Jeremiah 31:9). "But the LORD is the True God, He is the Living God, and an Everlasting King: at His Wrath the Earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His Indignation" (Jeremiah 10:10).
As the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6), we are told in the Gospels of the Christian New Testament that the angel of the LORD appeared with a multitude of the Heavenly Host to testify to the Peace that would come to all men because of the Messiah's birth. "8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the LORD came upon them, and the Glory of the LORD shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you Good Tidings of Great Joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD. 12 And this shall be a Sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth Peace, Good Will toward men" (Luke 2:8-14). And again, the Messiah would be a King with a government of which "there shall be no end" (Isaiah 9:7). To this, Jesus affirmed that His Kingdom was in the hearts of men, i.e., "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21), but also that His Kingdom is already of Heaven, i.e., "Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this world: if My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My Kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36). For this reason, no earthly manifestation of the Messiah's Kingdom has yet begun, until He Returns the Second Time for what the Ancient Jews understood to be the Judgment of the World. "For the Son of Man shall come in the Glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:27). The clue now resonates down the corridor of time: The Messiah is not simply a man, but God Himself in human flesh! "14 That thou keep this Commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the Appearing of our LORD Jesus Christ: 15 which in His times He shall shew, Who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords; 16 Who only hath Immortality, dwelling in the Light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be Honour and Power everlasting. Amen" (1Timothy 6:14-16). Very pointedly, the Messiah would be The Mighty God.
Isaiah 42:1-11. A Light to Gentiles. "1 Behold My Servant, Whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in Whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth Judgment unto Truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set Judgment in the Earth: and the isles shall wait for His Law. 5 Thus saith God the LORD, He that created the Heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the Earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called Thee in Righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep Thee, and give Thee for a Covenant of the people, for a Light of the Gentiles; 7 to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is My Name: and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My Praise to graven images. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. 10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His Praise from the end of the Earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains" (Isaiah 42:1-11). Thus far, we have been given to understand from the Hebrew Scriptures that the Messiah will come out of the Jewish Nation, deliver the Believing Hebrew, but now Isaiah tells us that the Gentiles also "shall wait for His Law" (Isaiah 42:4). In particular, the Messiah will be "a Light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house" (Isaiah 42:6, 7).
If Jesus were truly the Messiah, great works must follow in His steps. History richly attests to the good and great works of Jesus, works that only God could do. "30 And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them: 31 insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel" (Matthew 15:30-31). The testimony of the Christian writers of the New Testament Gospels are to be believed, because they are affirmed now by the living writers of narratives, such as this-- "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of error" (1John 4:6)-- but, even more important, the Gospel accounts are to be believed because the Holy Ghost has set His seal upon them as true. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2Peter 1:21). Anyone who is willing to do the Will of God will certainly find their testimony concerning Jesus to be true. "If any man will do His Will [i.e., is willing to do His Will], he shall know of the Doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I [Jesus] speak of Myself" (John 7:17). Is it not instructive that Jesus was not convicted by the Jewish Sanhedrin for any apparent wickedness for His miracles or healings-- which miracles, the Messiah must perform-- but for the blasphemy of claiming to be God-- as the Messiah must be? "61 But He held His peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven. 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death" (Mark 14:61-64). So, the Messiah would not be the Messiah of the Jew only, but for the Gentile, as well, delivering all from their prisons of bondage. Hallelujah!
Isaiah 53. A Man of Sorrows. This unexpected and astonishing turn of events speaks of a new idea concerning the Messiah-- the Prophet-Priest-King-- that He would be the Suffering Sacrifice of Atonement. "6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the Death of the Cross" (Philippians 2:6-8). Isaiah presents the Messiah in this altogether different setting:
(1) vulnerable, unexpected, undesirable, "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15), pedestrianly human, i.e., "For He [i.e., the Messiah] shall grow up before Him [i.e., the LORD] as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2),
(2) despised, rejected, as by our and Peter's denial, i.e., "I know not the Man" (Matthew 26:74), sorrowful, grief-stricken, unesteemed, i.e., "He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not" (Isaiah 53:3),
(3) bearing and carrying "our sins in His Own Body on the Tree" (1Peter 2:24), stricken, smitten, afflicted, i.e., "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4),
(4) wounded, bruised, chastened, yet as the "Sun of Righteousness... with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2), i.e., "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His Stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5),
(5) bearing "our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17) and our iniquities, i.e., "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6),
(6) afflicted but quietly knowing the wisdom of holding His peace-- "12 And when He was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 13 Then said Pilate unto Him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14 And He answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly" (Matthew 27:12-14)-- i.e., "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7),
(7) cut off when "all forsook Him and fled" (Mark 14:50), i.e., "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken" (Isaiah 53:8),
(8) numbered with the wicked, when "two thieves [were] crucified with Him, one on the right hand, and another on the left" (Matthew 27:38), yet buried in a new tomb provided by the rich-but-believing-rulers Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus (John 19:38-41), i.e., "And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His Death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth" (Isaiah 53:9),
(9) though oppressed, afflicted, cut off, the Messiah "for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross" (Hebrews 12:2), i.e., "10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His Knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:10-11), and
(10) bearing the sins of many, "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make Intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25), i.e., "Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto Death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12). Most emphatically, therefore, the Messiah must be characterized by His Suffering to bear the sins of many.
Daniel 9:24-27. Messiah the Prince Shall Be Cut Off.
weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring
in Everlasting Righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint
the most Holy. 25
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore
and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah [Hebrew, mashiyach, the Anointed One]
the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be
built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah [Hebrew,
mashiyach, the Anointed One] be cut off, but not for Himself: and the
people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and
the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the
week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading
of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that
determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Daniel
9:24-27). This prophecy of Daniel anticipated the timing
of the appearance of the Messiah, believed to have occurred about 2,000 years ago
by the Christians, but rejected to this day by much of the House of Israel. "We
see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that
knoweth how long" (Psalm 74:9). The appearance of the Messiah to be sacrificed for the sins of
mankind was anticipated by the devout Simeon. "25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon;
and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and
the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not
see death, before he had seen the LORD's Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents
brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the Law [i.e., dedicate
the male child to the LORD], 28 then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 LORD, now lettest Thou Thy
servant depart in Peace, according to Thy Word: 30 for mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation, 31 which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 a Light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the Glory of Thy people Israel" (Luke
2:25-32). Even the timing of the Messiah's Appearance
was calculated and prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures, so that those who looked
for Him would find Him.
Micah 5:2. Born in Bethlehem. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). Jehovah cannot be accused of not revealing the birthplace of the Messiah, for even the wicked Herod the Great was able to determine from the Scriptures where the Messiah was supposed to be born. "1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wise Men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel" (Matthew 2:1-6). Therefore, if Jesus is the Messiah, He must have been born in Bethlehem. Hallelujah!
The Divinity of the Messiah: Psalm 2
To the Hebrew, who awaited the advent of the long promised Messiah, the realization that their Anointed One or Messiah (Hebrew, Mashiyach) was more than merely a man can be seen from Psalm 2:
"1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the Earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed [Hebrew, mashiyach, Anointed One, i.e., Messiah], saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psalm 2:1-3).
Hebrew Affirmation: The "heathen" are the Goyim or Gentile nations. Israel's non-Hebrew neighbours have so often allied themselves against Israel; but, even more, the hatred of the heathen against the Almighty is demonstrated by their open rebellion against His Law, which the heathen view as only overly restrictive bonds and cords-- fit only to be broken. "2 For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones. 4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against Thee: 6 the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; 7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah" (Psalm 83:2-8).
Christian Confirmation: Jesus, Who is called Christ, was historically scourged and crucified by the Romans, just as He predicted; but, He also certified that He would do what only God could perform-- Rise from the dead. "32 For He [Jesus] shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge Him, and put Him to Death: and the third day He shall Rise again" (Luke 18:32-33). And, it was not for impure conduct that Jesus was opposed by His Jewish counterparts, but for their perception that He committed blasphemy by claiming that He is the Great I Am. "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am" (John 8:58). "30 I and My Father are One. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many Good Works have I shewed you from My Father; for which of those Works do ye stone Me? 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, For a Good Work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God" (John 10:30-33). Those Jews were entirely within their right to stone Jesus, if He were not truly God of Very God. "36 Say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath Sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the Works of My Father, believe Me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the Works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him" (John 10:36-38).
"4 He that sitteth in the Heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall He speak unto them in His Wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure" (Psalm 2:4-5).
Hebrew Affirmation: Ancient Hebrews properly understood that God was their Father, i.e., "Thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from everlasting" (Isaiah 63:16), and they worshipped the Almighty as their King, i.e., "For the LORD is a Great God, and a Great King above all gods" (Psalm 95:3). Further, it was understood that Jehovah, the Judge of All the Earth, would finally and conclusively pass Judgment upon all the Earth on Judgment Day, i.e., "Before the LORD: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the Earth: He shall judge the world with Righteousness, and the people with His Truth" (Psalm 96:13) and "I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the LORD, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, Whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of Hosts. 2 But who may abide the Day of His Coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap" (Malachi 3:1-2), then those judged to be Righteous would serve Him forever. "13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of Heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 And there was given Him Dominion, and Glory, and a Kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His Dominion is an Everlasting Dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13-14).
Christian Confirmation: Again, if Jesus was to be rightfully condemned, it could only have been for falsely proclaiming Himself to be the Anointed One, if He was not the King of the Jews, "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The Christian New Testament records that Jesus, Who identified Himself as the Son of Man (as in Daniel 7:13), claimed to be the King in His Glory. "When the Son of Man shall come in His Glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His Glory" (Matthew 25:31). He claimed to possess the Right to all Judgment normally associated with the Father. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). In short, Jesus claimed to be the Omnipotent One. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ALL Power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth" (Matthew 28:18).
"6 Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee" (Psalm 2:6-7).
Hebrew Affirmation: Only through an incomprehensible act could the Everlasting Father be said to beget the Eternally Begotten Son, "Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). It was the great understanding of the Ancient Jew that God is One. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4). But, to be sure that His people would seek Him by a Living Faith and not a dead tradition, He progressively revealed Himself, i.e., "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live for ever" (Genesis 3:22), as the Thrice Holy God-- "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of Hosts" (Isaiah 6:3)-- Whom Christians now worship as the Triune God-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. "Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I [Jehovah the Son]: and now the Lord GOD [the Father], and His Spirit, hath sent Me [Messiah the Son]" (Isaiah 48:16). Undoubtedly, Abraham faced misunderstanding and possibly the persecution of the surrounding pagan, polytheists for his refusal to worship but the One True God; in the same way, Christians are misunderstood by some modern monotheists as blasphemously worshipping multiple gods, i.e., the Father, the Saviour, and the Comforter. "The Stone which the builders refused is become the Head Stone of the Corner" (Psalm 118:22). Knowing of such future misunderstandings, the Almighty foretold Himself to become a Stumbling Stone and Rock of Offense to Israel and Jerusalem. "13 Sanctify the LORD of Hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. 14 And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a Stone of Stumbling and for a Rock of Offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (Isaiah 8:13-14).
Christian Confirmation: Gabriel appeared to Mary to inform her that she had been chosen to be the human mother of the Messiah. Being without a human father, He would be the Son of God. "26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. 32 He shall be Great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the LORD God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: 33 and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:26-35).
"8 Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for Thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a Rod of Iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psalm 2:8-9).
Hebrew Affirmation: We see in the Psalms that it is promised to Jehovah that all the world shall worship before the Living God. "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee" (Psalm 22:27). The Seventy-Second Psalm of Solomon begins with a request for the "king's son" (verse 1), alluding to himself as the son of David the former king, but by verse eight, he is referring to a kingly dominion larger than that of Israel and Judah, much larger, i.e., "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the Earth" (Psalm 72:8), driving one to the conclusion that this refers to the the Messiah, the Son of David. Undoubtedly, the ancient Jew was promised that the Messiah would crush all of His opposition at the end Judgment of the nations, i.e., those who refused submission. "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted" (Isaiah 60:12).
New Testament Confirmation: In fulfillment of Isaiah 45:23, where Jehovah claims the knee and tongue of all-- "I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in Righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear" (Isaiah 45:23)-- the New Testament writers understood this to be spoken of Jesus, but its final fulfillment yet awaits His Second Coming. "6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the Death of the Cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: 10 that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth; 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the Glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:6-11). Though Jesus shows Himself to be the "Living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (1Timothy 4:10) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it is plain in the last book of the Christian New Testament that He reserves for Himself all the capacities and responsibilities of the "Judge of All the Earth" (Genesis 18:25) to execute Judgment upon His enemies. "13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in Blood: and His Name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of His mouth goeth a Sharp Sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a Rod of Iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and Wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a Name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:13-16).
"10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the Earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His Wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" (Psalm 2:10-12).
Hebrew Affirmation: This is a potent portion of Messianic Psalm that reveals perhaps more directly than any other that the Messiah, Who is the Son begotten of Jehovah (Psalm 2:7), must be given all the prerogatives of treatment that befit His Father, "lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His Wrath is kindled but a little" (Psalm 2:12). If one is to believe the Hebrew Scriptures, it would force one to conclude that the Son must be Divine-- "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6)-- which He is. The theme of trusting Jehovah the Father is here repeated, but now in reference to Messiah the Son, i.e., "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" (Psalm 2:12). "3 Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is Everlasting Strength" (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Christian Confirmation: Again, we are told that Jesus, Who is called the Christ, will pass Judgment upon all the world, for He said, "All Power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth" (Matthew 28:18), and He shall judge the world as a shepherd would separate sheep from goats. "31 When the Son of Man shall come in His Glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His Glory: 32 And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. 37 Then shall the Righteous answer Him, saying, LORD, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? 38 When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? 39 Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. 41 Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into Everlasting Fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. 44 Then shall they also answer Him, saying, LORD, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? 45 Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. 46 And these shall go away into Everlasting Punishment: but the Righteous into Life Eternal" (Matthew 25:31-46).
The Resurrection of the Messiah: Psalm 116:10
In this One-Hundred Sixteenth Psalm, a Michtam or Golden Poem of David, the Almighty is extolled, e.g., "in Thee do I put My trust" (verse 1), "Thou maintainest My lot" (verse 5), etc., and the lyric approaches its crescendo, when the Psalmist sings, "For Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10). Though all the words seem to come from David's mouth in description of his own person, this particular utterance is elevated to describe none other than the Messiah-- the Holy One. It is difficult to comprehend that the Messiah is a real person, i.e., "a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son" (Isaiah 7:14); but at the same time, He is Divine, i.e., "The Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). If He is Divine, how could He suffer at the hands of His fellow countrymen, i.e., "The Stone which the builders refused" (Psalm 118:22)? Troubling as this sounds, He would also be put to death! "After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off" (Daniel 9:26). Horrendous! How can man kill the Very God of Heaven? But, in fact, both Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, and the unbelieving leadership of the nation of Israel delivered up Jesus to be crucified. "Yea, Mine Own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up his heel against Me" (Psalm 41:9). How dark, if that was all there was to this narrative!
As if making a timely announcement to those listening: "Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell [Hebrew, sheol, the grave]; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10). The corruption of the grave never had its hold upon the Messiah, as it has over all others that die, e.g., "Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him [Lazarus] that was dead, saith unto Him, LORD, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days" (John 11:39). The concept of resurrection from the dead was held by the Pharisees and rejected by the Sadducees during the writing of the New Testament-- meaning that it was not an unknown concept from the Hebrew Scriptures, e.g., "For the Sadducees say that there is no Resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both" (Acts 23:8). The most ancient of Hebrew Scriptures finds Job confessing, "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:26). The sons of Korah offered this statement, consistent with a bodily Resurrection, in song to the Chief Musician, "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for He shall receive me" (Psalm 49:15). The beloved prophet Isaiah anticipated all of the important elements of the Christian Gospel, including the idea of Resurrection. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the Earth shall cast out the dead" (Isaiah 26:19). The prophet Hosea wrote in anticipation of Paul's New Testament statement, "when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory" (1Corinthians 15:54). "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes" (Hosea 13:14).
When the Christian Church was inaugurated the Pentecost after the Crucifixion of Jesus, the keynote feature of the Apostle Peter's sermon to his decidedly, non-Christian, Jewish audience in Jerusalem was that the Resurrection of Jesus proved that He was the Messiah. Peter said:
(1) In response to the amazement of the crowd to the fact that these Galilean-Jewish Christians spoke in one language and they were miraculously heard and understood in another language, i.e., "6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:6-8), Peter proclaimed that these Christians were not babbling drunkards, i.e., "these are not drunken, as ye suppose" (Acts 2:15).
(2) He said the phenomenon was in agreement with the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32, i.e., "16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 and it shall come to pass in the Last Days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in Heaven above, and signs in the Earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the LORD come: 21 and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the LORD shall be Saved" (Acts 2:16-21).
(3) Knowing the Jewish leader's hatred of Jesus, and that the Romans did not act alone in the Crucifixion of Jesus, Peter bluntly leveled the charge: You killed the Messiah! "22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by Miracles and Wonders and Signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:22-23).
(4) Before the amazed Jews could respond to the charge of killing the Messiah, Peter dumbfounded them with the announcement that Jesus rose from the dead! "Whom God hath Raised Up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it" (Acts 2:24).
Before Peter called upon his Jewish hearers to repent, he unfolded the Scriptural proof texts that demonstrated that the Resurrection proves that Jesus is the Messiah. He cited:
(1) Psalm 16:8-11. You will notice that all of this Psalm, Peter ascribes to the Messiah! More clearly here than anywhere else, we are given the sense that the Messiah will Resurrect. Compare the texts. "8 I have set the LORD always before Me: because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore My heart is glad, and My Glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in Hope. 10 For Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew Me the Path of Life: in Thy Presence is fulness of Joy; at Thy right hand there are Pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:8-11). "25 For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the LORD always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in Hope: 27 because Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to Me the Ways of Life; Thou shalt make Me full of Joy with Thy Countenance" (Acts 2:25-28).
(2) Psalm 110:1. Again, notice that Peter understands this verse to say that the Messiah is Resurrected and Ascended up to Heaven at the time of his preaching! "The LORD said unto My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool" (Psalm 110:1). "34 For David is not ascended into the Heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, 35 Until I make Thy foes Thy footstool" (Acts 2:34-35).
Peter reminded his congregation that David is still dead and buried, but the Messiah-- Jesus, the son of David-- is already resurrected! "30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an Oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the Resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God Raised Up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the Promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" (Acts 2:30-33). Peter brought to his sermon the collective force of the Spirit-filled witness of his fellow Christians, who miraculously spoke to diverse ears, while simultaneously being heard in different languages, with this bold assertion: "This Jesus hath God Raised Up, whereof we all are witnesses" (Acts 2:32). This was a group of "about an hundred and twenty" (Acts 2:15) Christian Believers; and, the Mosaic Law only required that "at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established" (Deuteronomy 19:15). Is it any wonder that 3,000 souls (Acts 2:41) were added to the Church of the LORD Jesus Christ with such a sermon? Further, the concept that the Messiah was to be the son of David was born out well by the Hebrew Scriptures, for example:
(1) "He [David] shall build an house for My Name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever" (2Samuel 7:13).
(2) "11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou [David] must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish His Kingdom. 12 He shall build Me an house, and I will stablish His Throne for ever" (1Chronicles 17:11-12).
(3) "3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations" (Psalm 89:3-4).
The Resurrection Chapter of the New Testament: 1Corinthians 15
A brief outline of 1Corinthians 15:1-20:
(1) The Gospel is that Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day (verses 1-4);
(2) The Resurrected Christ was seen at least these six times by more than five hundred brethren, including Peter, the rest of the Apostles, and finally Paul (verses 5-11); and
(3) Christ's Resurrection assures us that we, too, will be resurrected in the same Hope (verses 12-20). The Cross of Christ is integral to Christianity; but, without the Resurrection of the Messiah, Christianity would be an empty hope. "If in this life only we have Hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1Corinthians 15:19). Why should the Christian Gospel of the Resurrection of Christ be held to an arbitrarily higher standard of evidence, when more than five hundred eyewitnesses were found to vouch for the authenticity of meeting the Resurrected Christ? "After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep" (1Corinthians 15:6). The Resurrection of Christ is at the very core of any Hope we, Christians, have of not just our Resurrection into the presence of the Ever Loving God, but our Hope of being ultimately reunited with our loved ones in the LORD, as well as, the host of Saints from all of time, for "if there be no Resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not Risen" (1Corinthians 15:13).
"1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 by which also ye are Saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: 5 and that He was seen of Cephas [Greek, kephas, stone, i.e., the Apostle Peter], then of the twelve: 6 after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all He was seen of me [the Apostle Paul] also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the Grace of God I am what I am: and His Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. 12 Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no Resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no Resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not Risen: 14 and if Christ be not Risen, then is our preaching vain, and your Faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He Raised Up Christ: Whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ Raised: 17 and if Christ be not Raised, your Faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ Risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1Corinthians 15:1-20).
Saul of Tarsus--
once the great Jewish persecutor of the early Christians,
and later the foremost writer of the Scriptures of the Christian New Testament:
(1) voiced his great desire for the Salvation of his fellow Jews, i.e., "that they might be Saved" (Romans 10:1),
(2) noted the confusion of his Jewish brethren concerning the lack of efficacy of the Mosaic Law to have ever made them Righteous-- God's Righteous Law demands Righteousness, but does not produce Righteousness-- i.e., "they being ignorant of God's Righteousness" (Romans 10:3),
(3) described the simplicity of the "Righteousness which is of Faith" (Romans 10:6)-- we are accounted Righteous, only when we trust God-- i.e., "the Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth" (Romans 10:8), and
(4) ended his plea with their necessity to believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead-- in other words, Jesus is the Messiah-- "[If thou] shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be Saved" (Romans 10:9).
"1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be Saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to Knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's Righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the Righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the End of the Law for Righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the Righteousness which is of the Law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the Righteousness which is of Faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of Faith, which we preach; 9 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be Saved" (Romans 10:1-9).
Even the disciples of Jesus were initially unclear about
the significance of this idea that Jesus would Rise from the dead. "9 And as they came down from
the mountain, He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen,
till the Son of Man were Risen from the dead. 10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with
another what the Rising from the dead should mean" (Mark
9:9-10). But, for the Jew who would subsequently believe
in the Resurrection of Jesus, it would not only mean believing that Jesus is the
Messiah, but living a life, which would be consistent with the Revelation of Jesus
Christ in the Christian Gospels. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself
also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John
2:6). To reject the massive amount of evidence that
is easily available to "whosoever will" (Revelation
22:17), leaves one successfully discarding the evidence
of history, the Scriptures, and the Spirit of the Living God; but, why? "And
the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him
that is athirst Come. And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely"
May the Almighty richly bless the reading of His Word!
And, may Jesus be exalted as the Messiah, the Risen Saviour!
Amen, and Amen.
The Crucifixion of Christ: Jews or Gentiles-- Who Stinketh the Most?
-- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Edit_Crucifixion_of_Christ.html --
by Tom Stewart
"Whether to lay the blame solely at the feet of the Gentile Pontius Pilate or to place the guilt completely upon the Jewish mob, i.e., 'Then answered all the people, and said, His Blood be on us, and on our children' (Matthew 27:25), it would only be a Hypocritical Comfort that any living man should wash his hands of his own personal responsibility in the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 'But God commendeth His Love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (Romans 5:8)."
Salvation is of the Jews
-- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Salvation.Is.Of.The.Jews.html --
Or, Pray for the Conversion of Israel
by Tom Stewart
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).
"We, the Church, are bondservants of the LORD Jesus Christ, 'Who gave Himself a ransom for all' (1Timothy 2:6), and we owe the Gospel to all men-- 'to the Jew first, and also to the Greek' (Romans 1:16). But, especially do we owe the Gospel to Israel, for they transmitted to us Jehovah's 'Covenants of Promise' (Ephesians 2:12)-- 'unto them were committed the Oracles of God [the Scriptures]' (Romans 3:2)-- that pointed us to Jesus Christ. Israel will soon be converted to Jesus the Messiah, Who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem' (Psalm 122:6). Pray that the LORD will fulfill His Word that Israel will again know Him, i.e., 'thou shalt know that I am the LORD' (Isaiah 49:23)."
Seven Reasons Why I Believe in
THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
-- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/The.Holy.Bible/Reasons7_Resurre_of_Christ.html --
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"The Resurrection is essential to Christianity, for by it alone can Christianity be confirmed. The Resurrection is the great corroborator of the Christian gospel. Remove this keystone and the goodly temple crashes into ruin. As life is essential to living so the Resurrection is essential to a living Christianity. Take away the Resurrection and Christianity becomes a dead letter, but another contribution to the world's Pantheon."
"And if Christ be not raised, your Faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1Corinthians 15:17).
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