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L'CHAIM - To Life!

 

Some people feel. . .
THAT A SATISFYING, WORTHWHILE LIFE CONSISTS OF:

* A good education
* Close friends
* A good marriage and healthy children
* Success in a business or profession
* Helping those in need
* Involvement with Israel and the Jewish community

 

These are important . . . 

yet we all know people who have or do these things but who 

aren't satisfied. Why? Because there is something even more 

important than all these, the Holy Scriptures* tell us five vital 

facts we need to know.

 

*All quotations from the Tenach, both English and Hebrew, 

are taken from the Jewish Bible.


 

Shalom!

1) God is the source of a satisfying, worthwhile life

"Thou wilt show me the path of life:

in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16.11

This kind of life is the result of a close relationship with God.

"In thy presence . . . . at thy right hand" speaks of a personal relationship which can be as intimate 

 as the one between Abraham and God:


    "Abraham my friend". Isaiah 41:8

 

DEEP DOWN, JUST ABOUT EVERYONE

WANTS A LIFE AND RELATIONSHIP LIKE THIS.

AS A JEWISH SCIENTIST PUT IT:

 

"The Jewish nature and soul needs to know God. This is its purpose on

earth. Our souls are looking for God and we are trying to know God."

 

Why, then, aren't most people experiencing this life and relationship?


2) Man has separated himself from God.

GOD'S CHARACTER IS THE STANDARD BY WHICH MAN IS TO LIVE.

"Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy." -- Leviticus 19:2

Anytime man deviates from God's holiness, he violates God's standard,
     and this is called sin. Obviously, then, all of us have sinned.

"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."

-- Ecclesiastes (Qohelet) 7:20 (compare Psalm 53:3-4)

Since God is holy and just, He will not establish a personal relationship with

anyone until his sin is dealt with because He cannot allow sin in His presence.

 

"Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,

and canst not look on iniquity". -- Habakkuk 1:13

 

Because sin is a violation of His standard and character, God must judge man's sin and reject it.

This is why sin causes spiritual death and results in separation from God.

 

"But everyone shall die for his own iniquity (sin)."-- Jeremiah 31:30

"Your iniquities have ever made a separation between you and your God,

and your sins have caused Him to hide His face from you." -- Isaiah 59:2

 

As long as sin separates us from God, we can't enjoy the life

and relationship God wants us to have with Him.

 

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

Most people do. However, most of us differ as to the definition of "good." The Bible says that God is 

good, and the Ten Commandments are His standard of goodness. So, we will look at God's Law to 

see if you are truly good! With a tender conscience, ask yourself if you have obeyed the following...

 

1 You shall have no other gods before Me. Have you always loved God above all else?
2. You shall not make yourself an idol. Have you made a god in your mind that you're more comfortable with, a god to suit yourself?
3. You shall note take God's name in vain. Have you ever used God's holy name as a cuss word?
4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.  Have you given at least 1 day in seven to the God who created you?
5. Honor your Father and Mother. Have you always done what was pleasing in the site of your parents, always obeying them and honoring them?
6. You shall not murder. Did you know God considers hatred the same as murder? He judges the heart.
7. You shall not commit adultery. Jesus said, "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. This also includes sex before marriage.
8. You shall not steal. Have you ever stolen anything? The value of the item and how many is irrelevant in God's eyes.
9. You shall not lie. Have you lied even once? Including answering these questions?
10 You shall not covet. Have you ever jealously desired what belongs to others?

 

Breaking one of these Commandments in God's eyes is like breaking them all. It looks like when we look at the 10 Commandments we are ALL in BIG TROUBLE! The Bible says that all liars shall have their part in the Lake of Fire (Rev 21:8) and that no thief, fornicator or adulterer will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corn. 6:9-10). The price for our sin must be paid; death is the wages of our sins (Rom. 6:23). If we are truly honest with ourselves...we are guilty and the place we will go is Hell for eternity. 
Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness that will make sure that murderers, rapist, thieves, liars, etc. receive justice. He would be a corrupt Judge if He turned a blind eye to injustice. The Scriptures says that the Law is perfect. It commands you to be perfect (Matt. 5:48). Are you perfect (in thought, word, and deed)? Will you make it to Heaven? You may say that you are still good, but God says you're not (see Psalm 14:2-3). So one of you is lying, and the Scriptures tell us that it is impossible for God to lie.

 

But can't man solve the problem

by living properly, by prayer, repentance and good deeds?

 

No, man cannot remove the sin barrier by his own effort.

"And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for no living man

can be regarded righteous before thee." -- Psalm 143:2 (cf. Ezekiel 33:13)

Human effort is not adequate because, in God's sight,

 

"We are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness (good deeds) 

are as a filthy garment." Isaiah 64:5

 

Human effort is not adequate because man cannot do enough to solve the problem.

"No one can in any wise redeem his brother, not can he give to God redemption

for himself; for the ransom of their soul is too costly." Psalm 49:8-9

 

But, then how can this problem of spiritual death and separation from God be solved?

GOD MUST TAKE THE INITIATIVE;
   HE MUST PROVIDE THE SOLUTION.


"But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave." Psalm 49:16


 

3) The sin barrier can be removed by repentance & believing faith.

God's Word (faith) and by having the blood of the atonement.

Abraham was an example of how the sin barrier can be removed.

"And he believed in the Lord; and He (God) counted it to him for righteousness." Genesis 15:6

We must follow the same pattern.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
     because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever." Isaiah 26:3-4 (cf. Habakkuk 2:4)

But Moses said that one more thing is essential, the blood of the atonement.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar
    to make an atonement for your souls;
    for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

--Leviticus 17:11 (cf. Leviticus 10:17;4:35)

But why would God want man to go through the awful procedure

of killing an animal?

 

When the offerer saw the sacrifice suffering and bleeding for the sins which he had committed,
   he was impressed with the awfulness of sin and the penalty of death
   (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) the sinner deserved.

THE SACRIFICE SHOWED HIM GOD'S:

* HOLINESS because of His hatred of all evil,
    * JUSTICE because He does not leave sin unpunished,
    * MERCY because of His readiness to pardon the truly repentant and believing by providing
       a substitute for him.

THE ANIMAL SACRIFICE THUS PROVIDED THE BLOOD OF
    ATONEMENT AND WAS AN ACT OF FAITH ACCEPTABLE TO GOD.

But without a priesthood and without a temple, there can be no
    sacrifices. How can we have the blood of atonement today?


4) God has provided the blood of the atonement for today.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
     and the Lord hath caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him." Isaiah 53.6

 

"For he was cut out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my 

people was he stricken."  Isaiah 53:8

 

"And he took off the sin of many." Isaiah 53:12

 

IN THE PROLOGUE TO ISAIAH 53 (ISAIAH 52:13-15)
    THE AUTHOR IDENTIFIES THE "HE" OF THESE PASSAGES.

He is described as God's servant who will be exalted.
    In other parts of his work, Isaiah equates this servant of God with Messiah. (e.g. Isaiah 42:1)

 

God's provision of the blood of atonement through the Messiah follows

the same principles God set up in the sacrifice system.

SIN-OFFERING:
    atonement for a man by means of a sacrifice.

PESACH:
    atonement for a family by means of a sacrifice.

YOM KIPPUR:
    atonement for a nation by means of a sacrifice.

MESSIAH:
   atonement for all by means of a sacrifice.

As we have seen, under the sacrifice system personal faith was necessary along with
    the blood of atonement. So also repentance & faith is necessary with the sacrifice of Messiah.
    He should be the object of our faith today. 

So we broke the Law (personally sinned against a Holy, Just and Righteous God), but the 

Messiah  became a man to pay the fine for us. This is called the Gospel? The word "gospel" 

comes from the Greek word euangelion which is properly translated "good news." In ancient 

history, the word was given to any message of great joy. In the Scriptures, the Gospel is the 

"good news: that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the penalty of sin 

has been paid and sinful men may be saved!

 

So what is the Gospel?

In accordance with the Fatherís good pleasure (Gods Glory), the eternal Son, who is equal 

with the Father and the exact representation of His nature, willingly left the glory of heaven, 

was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, and was born the God-man Ė Jesus 

of Nazareth. As a man, he walked on this earth in perfect obedience to the Law of God (a 

sinless man, a perfect sacrifice). In the fullness of time, he was rejected by men and 

crucified. On the cross, he bore manís sin (personal sins against God), suffered Godís wrath 

(punishment we deserved), and died in manís place. On the third day, he was raised from the 

dead. This resurrection is the divine declaration that the Father has accepted His Sonís death 

as a sacrifice for sin, that the penalty for manís disobedience has been paid, the demands of 

justice satisfied, and the wrath of God appeased. Forty days after the resurrection, the Son of 

God ascended into the heavens, sat down at the right hand of the Father and was given 

Glory, honor and dominion over all. There in the presence of God, he represents His people 

and makes requests to God on their behalf. All who acknowledge their sinful, helpless, 

estate, repent, and throw themselves upon Jesus Christ will be fully pardoned, declared 

righteous, and be reconciled to God.

 

This is the Gospel (in short) of God and of Jesus Christ His Son!

Godís plan is to save his people from their sins Ė and to bring His people fully and finally to 

Himself for His Glory sake (Matt. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:10). Followers of Yeshua (Jesus) experience 

salvation in this life in both a past and present sense, and we anticipate salvation in a future 

sense. Followers of Yeshua (Jesus) have been saved from the penalty of our sins; we are 

currently being saved from the power of sin; and one day, when Godís plan of salvation is 

complete and we are with Christ, we shall be like him, and we shall be saved even from the 

very presence of sin.

 

So if God has done this in Christ, what are we to do to be saved? We must turn to God in 

Christ, which entails turning back from sin? If we repent (decide to forsake and turn from) our 

sin (as best we understand it) and trust in (believe) Christ as a living person, we will be saved 

from Godís righteous wrath against our sins.

 

Turning to God necessarily implies our turning away from sin. The whole Bible OT & NT 

clearly teaches that to repent is to "acknowledge [Godís] name and turn from [our] sins" 

(1Kings 8:35; 2 Corn 7:14; Jer 36:3, Ezek 14:6 Acts 3:19, 8:22, 26:18; Rev.2:21-22; 9:20-21; 

16:11). We cannot start to pursue God and sin at the same time. Followers in this life still 

sin, but against our deepest desires and better judgment; our lives are not guided and 

directed by sin as before. We are no longer enslaved to sin. Though we still struggle with it 

(Gal 5:17), God has given us the gift of repentance (Acts 11:18), and we have been freed from 

sinís dominating power.

 

Our response to the "good news" of the gospel is to believe and trust Godís promise in the 

Messiah, and to commit ourselves to the Messiah, the living Lord, and his disciples (follower). 

Among Jesusí first words in Markís Gospel are "repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). 

The obedience beginning with repentance, is to result from the faith and trust we have in him 

and his word (Jos. 22:16, acts 27:25). Thus sins are sometimes called breaking faith with 

God. (Ezra 10:2). Having faith in Yeshua (Jesus), which seals our union with him through the 

Holy Spirit, is the means by which God accounts Christís righteousness our own (Rom. 

3:21-26; 5:17-21; Gal. 2:16). Such saving faith is something that we exercise, but even so it 

is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9). Godís gift of salvation has been given to those who follow 

Yeshua, but the evidence of that salvation is lived out in the continual work of Godís Spirit. 

We can deceive ourselves, and so Paul encourages his readers to "Examine yourself, to see 

whether you are in the faith Test yourselves." (2 Corn.13:5). Peter encourages followers of 

Yeshua (Jesus) to grow in godliness and so become more confident of their election (2 Peter 

1). We donít create our own salvation by our actions, but we reflect and express it and so 

grown in our certainty of it. Because we followers are liable to deceive ourselves, we should 

give ourselves to the study of Godís Word to be instructed and encouraged in our salvation, 

and to learn what is inconsistent with it. Jesusí descriptions of his followers (Matt. 5-7), or 

Paulís list of the fruit of the Spiritís work in us (see Gal. 5:22-23), act as spiritual maps that 

help us locate ourselves to see if we are on the path of salvation.


    But how can we know that Yeshua is the Messiah?

God made sure we could recognize Messiah by certain specific identifying marks.
   These are described by the prophets of Israel.

His ancestry was from the family of David (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
    The city of his birth was Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).
    He had a supernatural nature (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Micah 5:1; Isaiah 9:5-6).
    The manner of his execution was crucifixion (Psalm 22:14-17).
    He rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 53:10).
    The time of his coming was before the destruction of Herod's Temple in 70 CE (Daniel 9:26)
    Do you have any idea if anyone has
    fulfilled these prophecies, or has even come close?

HISTORY TELLS US THAT YESHUA (JESUS OF NAZARETH)
   FULFILLED THESE AND MANY OTHER PROPHECIES. 

 

                (Click Here for more Fulfilled Prophecies)

There are at least 48 specific prophecies concerning Messiah which Yeshua (Jesus) fulfilled.

The probability that one person could fulfill all 48 prophecies is 1 out of 10 with 157 zeros after it!

 

During his lifetime many people called him Messiah ("Christ" is the Greek translation)

and believed in him (Matthew 16:16; John 1:45-51; Acts 6:7)

 

Many people since that time, both Jews and Gentiles, have had their sins forgiven

and have gained a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through 

Messiah Jesus. Through him one becomes a completed person; e.g., a Jewish person becomes a 

completed Jew.

 

Since the blood of atonement has been provided

through Messiah Jesus, there is only one thing left for you to do.


5) You must by Faith Repent of your sins and Trust in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah to save you and to restore your relationship with Him.

Some people think that receiving Messiah Jesus by Repentance & Faith 

means you're no longer Jewish.

 

THAT'S NOT TRUE!  AS JESUS PUT IT:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have

not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:17

 

THE APOSTLE PAUL FELT THE SAME WAY

"It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain" (in jail). Acts 28:20

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL OF THIS INFORMATION?

Realize that God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became the God/Man to pay the fine. Yeshua (Jesus) suffered and dies on the cross to satisfy and atone for the Law you and I broke. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death forever. Therefore God can forgive us and grant us the gift of everlasting life! But you may still think that you can keep the Commandments. But isn't it true that the best of us have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, failed to love God above all else, and failed to love our neighbor as ourselves? How can we then live a "good" life if we have already sinned against God? At best we are reformed liars and thieves...but still Lawbreakers. Think of it this way - would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? Would you sell both for $100 million? I'm sure you wouldn't. Your eyes are priceless, yet they are merely the window of your soul. What then must your life (soul) be worth? With these thoughts in mind, what would be a fair price to pay for everlasting life? It is utterly without a price. Yet, if we trust in our own goodness to enter Heaven, we are saying to God, "I should enter Heaven because I have done good -- I have earned my way in."

 Imagine if you wanted to give me a brand new (very expensive) car, but I said, "I can't take it! I feel embarrassed receiving such an expensive gift...here is 10 cents for it." I am sure you would be very insulted by such a pathetic offer of payment. Besides, if I pay for it, it is no longer a gift, it's a purchase - it's mine by right.

When we talk of entering Heaven by being good, by trying to keep the Law etc., we are tossing God 10 cents of "self-righteousness," which is a terrible insult to Him, in light of His sacrifice. The only thing we can do is humble ourselves, repent (turn away from our sin, not just confess it) of our sins, and receive the gift by trusting (not just believing) in Jesus Christ alone! Almighty God demonstrated how much He loves you when Yeshua (Jesus) suffered for your sins on the cross. If you want to trust in your own goodness, then you are saying His agonizing death on the cross was in vain. The Bible says, "For by grace you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves,  it is the gift of God." You cannot earn a gift. When Jesus said to "believe" on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don't merely believe in the parachute - you put it on. 

 

Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. The Bible says, His wrath abides upon you  (John 3:36). God doesn't want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins (repent of them) to God right now, put your trust in Messiah Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life. The read the whole Bible (Old and New Testaments) daily and obey what you read. Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God , He will never fail you. 

 

If you are unsure of what to say to God, how to pray...may we recommend going 

to Psalm 51 and make it your personal "Repentant Prayer" to God. 

 

Messiah Jesus

always keeps his promises.

 

DID YOU RECEIVE HIM BY FAITH JUST NOW?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

 

It means that the following promises are now true in your life:

1. Messiah Jesus came into your life, and he's there permanently. (Revelation 3:20; Hebrews 13:5)

2. All your sins are forgiven. (Colossians 2:13).

3. You have a brand new relationship with God - you're His child! (John 1:12)

4. You've become a completely new person inside, and you've got a great new life!

(2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:11-13)

5. You've been set free from yourself to help others. (John 8:31-35; Galatians 5:13).

 

So, what now?

CONTINUE TO TRUST MESSIAH JESUS.

The way you began is the way to keep going (Colossians 2-6; Hebrews 11:6).

If you keep trusting Him, you'll grow in your new relationship.

 

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Let him communicate to you, read his words (1 Peter 2:2).

2. Talk to him about everything (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7).

3. Get together with others who have received him (Hebrew 10:24-25).

4. Tell other people about him (Acts 1:8). Remember to be tactful and kind.

 

"From all your filthiness will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you,

and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes" Ezekiel 36:25-27.

 

Don't forget, keep trusting Him alone!


      A Case for Messiah

A. Prophecies concerning his birth:

1. He would be born in Bethlehem. -- Micah 5:2

2. He would be born of a virgin. -- Isaiah 7:14

3. He would be a descendent of David. -- Jeremiah 23:5 (inter alia)

4. He would be called out of Egypt. -- Isaiah 11:1

5. He would come 434 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem -- Daniel 9:24-27

 

B. Prophecies concerning his ministry:

1. He would be preceded by "a voice crying in the wilderness" -- Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1.

2. Through him God would honor Galilee. -- Isaiah 9:1,2

3. He would be a "light to the Gentiles." -- Isaiah 42:6

4. He would speak in parables. -- Psalm 78:2

5. He would heal the blind, the deaf and the lame. -- Isaiah 35:5

6. He would work quietly, without fanfare. -- Isaiah 42:1-4

7. He would enter Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. -- Zechariah 9:9

8. His people would reject him. -- Isaiah 49:7, 52:14, 53:3

 

C. Prophecies Concerning his suffering and death:

1. He would be betrayed by someone he ate with. -- Psalm 41:9

2. His " sheep " would be scattered. -- Zechariah 13:7

3. He would not protest. -- Isaiah 53:7, 12

4. His back would be beaten. -- Isaiah 50:6

5. They would spit on him. -- Isaiah 50:6. 

6. He would be sorely disfigured. -- Isaiah 52:14

7. He would die among criminals. -- Isaiah 53:9 , 12

8. His hands and feet would be pierced. - Psalm 22:16

9. People would cast lots (like drawing straws) for his clothes. - Psalm 22:18.

10. He would rise from the dead. - Isaiah 53:11,12

 

A. Prophecies concerning his birth:

1. He would be born in Bethlehem. -- Micah 5:2

Every Sunday School child knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but his mother lived in a town some 60 miles away, with, at most, a donkey for transportation. It would have been easier for Jesus to have been born in Nazareth, but because the government picked that year to take a census (for tax purposes), the Holy Family was required to make the journey to Bethlehem, and Jesus was born there just as the prophet had said.

2. He would be born of a virgin. -- Isaiah 7:14

According to Matthew, Mary the mother of Jesus had never had a man until after Jesus was born. Even those who deny this usually agree that there was something out of the ordinary about his conception. Early enemies claimed that he was the son of a soldier named Panthera, but nobody simply said he was the son of Joseph and Mary and there was nothing special about it. The fact that they feel they have to explain it in unusual terms reveals that something out of the ordinary had occurred.

3. He would be a descendent of David. -- Jeremiah 23:5 (inter alia)

Matthew traces the legal descendency of Jesus back to David (Matthew 1:17) through his adoptive father Joseph. Although not a physical descendant of Joseph, Jesus was Joseph's legal heir, and as such was entitled to all the privileges of Joseph's lineage. Luke also traces Jesus' descendency from David, through another path. It appears that Mary, too, was a descendant of David, and, as she had no brothers, was entitled to pass her inheritance on to her son, in her husband's name.

4. He would be called out of Egypt. -- Hoseah 11:1

When the Magi came in search of the "King of the Jews," they first went to Herod, assuming they would find the King they were seeking at the palace. Herod determined from the teachers of the Scriptures that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. Jealous of this rival king, he ordered all boy babies in that town to be killed. Hearing of this, Joseph took the family away into Egypt. Matthew cites this incident (Matthew 2:13-15) as a fulfillment of Isaiah 11:1.

5. He would come 434 years after the decree to rebuild

Jerusalem (after it had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar) -- Daniel 9:25. According to Nehemiah 2:1, such a decree was issued in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes, i.e., 445 B.C. Calculating 434 years from that time would put us at 9 B.C. According to Compton's Encyclopedia, the birth of Jesus occurred sometime before 3 B.C. That is certainly close, and I believe if we knew the exact dates, and made proper adjustments for the differences in the calendars, the date would coincide with prophecy exactly.

B. Prophecies concerning his ministry:

1. He would be preceded by "a voice crying in the wilderness" -- Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1.

Mark cites John the Baptist as the fulfillment of these prophecies, and that certainly fits. John lived as a sort of wild man, wearing a coat of camel's hair (rather than the woven cloth of a city man) and ate "locusts and wild honey," i.e., he lived off the land rather than tilling the soil or buying food in the marketplace. He lived and preached in the wilderness. People went out to the wilderness to see him; he did not come into the city.

John claimed to be the precursor of someone greater, "whose sandal-thong I am not worthy to untie" (Mark 1:7). John later claimed Jesus was the someone he had spoken of. (John 1:29-34)

2. Through him God would honor Galilee. -- Isaiah 9:1,2

In Bible time, Galilee was the part of the country known for being rather lax in its responsibilities toward God. Religious people of that day might have expected the Messiah to come to Jerusalem, where the temple was and where the great centers of religious learning were headquartered. But the prophet Isaiah here states that God would honor Galilee. Although he was born in Bethlehem (in accordance with prophecy), Jesus' family home was in Nazareth, in the north. It was there that he grew up, and as an adult, he centered his ministry in Capernaum, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 4:12-16)

3. He would be a "light to the Gentiles." -- Isaiah 49:7

When Jesus was born, the angels said they brought "Good news, which shall be to all people." (Luke 2:10) There are occasions recorded where Jesus performed miracles for non-Jews, e.g.: the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15:21-28, or the Centurion of Luke 7. Millions of Gentiles have since received the blessing of his redemptive work, as his church spread far beyond its original Jewish constituency. Jesus referred to himself as "the Light of the World" (John 8:12)

4 He would speak in parables. -- Psalm 78:2

A parable is a story of ordinary events used to illustrate a spiritual truth. Jesus used them constantly. (Note Matthew 13, especially verse 35).

5. He would heal the blind, the deaf and the lame. -- Isaiah 35:5

None of the Old Testament prophets is ever said to have healed the blind, although they worked other miracles. Healing the blind seems to be reserved for Messiah. Jesus healed blind people on more than one occasion. Particularly notable is one man who was widely known in his community as a man who had been blind from birth (so no one could say he was a plant, placed in the crowd to pretend to be healed). (John 9) This is the man who testified of Jesus "Whether this man is a sinner or not, I don't know. What I do know is once I was blind, now I can see!" John the Baptist once sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask if he was really the Messiah. Jesus simply told them to go back to John and report what they had seen: the lame could walk, the deaf could hear and the blind could see. That would be enough to remove all doubt.

6. He would work quietly, without fanfare. -- Isaiah 42:1-4

Until the time was right, Jesus kept a relatively low profile. He healed many sick people, but told them not to tell who he was. (Matthew 12:15-21)

7. He would enter Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. -- Zechariah 9:9

Jesus fulfilled this prophecy one week before his crucifixion. In so doing he identified himself with the promised King of Zion (John 12:12-16), although he made it clear that his kingdom was not of this age. (John 18:36)

8. His people would reject him. -- Isaiah 49:7

52:14, 53:3. As a whole, the Jews of Jesus' day did not accept him. When Pilate offered them their final chance, they opted for Barabbas the thief instead. As John says "He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (John 1:11)

C. Prophecies concerning his suffering and death:

1. He would be betrayed by someone he ate with. -- Psalm 41:9

Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, was present at the last supper, and dipped matzah with him. Jesus said at that time that the scripture would be fulfilled: "He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me." (John 13:18-30).

2. His sheep would be scattered. -- Zechariah 13:7

When Jesus was arrested, his disciples fled. (Mark 14:50).

3. He would not protest. -- Isaiah 53:7, 12

One of the remarkable things about the Gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus is that he did not fight back or argue. When he was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, his disciples attempted to defend him. Jesus told them to put their swords away. (John 18:1-11, Luke 22:47-53)

4. His back would be beaten. -- Isaiah 50:6

His enemies wanted him killed, but Pilate, reluctant to crucify a man who had committed no capital offence, at first tried to satisfy the angry mob's blood lust by having him scourged with the infamous cat of nine tails. See Matthew 27:26, John 19:1.

5. They would spit on him. -- Isaiah 50:6

When Jesus was handed over to be crucified, he suffered considerable abuse from the soldiers, which included mockery and spitting. (Matthew 27:30).

6. He would be sorely disfigured. -- Isaiah 52:14

A man who had gone through the scourging described in the Gospels would end up looking less like a man than like a carcass.

7. He would die among criminals. -- Isaiah 53:9 , 12

Jesus was crucified between two thieves. (Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32)

8. His hands and feet would be pierced. - Psalm 22:16

Zechariah 12:10.

Crucifixion involved piercing the feet and hands with nails. To pierce the side would have been unusual, but John 19:31-37 describes how this came about in Jesus' case. Pilate had ordered the legs of the crucifixion victims to be broken in order to hasten death. The soldiers carried out this order on the two thieves, but when they came to Jesus they saw that he was already dead. Perhaps to be doubly sure he was dead, one of the soldiers thrust a spear through his side. After the resurrection, the disciple named Thomas, who had not yet seen the risen Lord and was skeptical, made reference to these marks when he said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands . . . and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later Thomas "looked on him whom they had pierced," (Zechariah 12:10) and believed. Someday, so will all of Israel.

9. People would cast lots for his clothes. - Psalm 22:18

The soldiers divided the belongings of the crucifixion victims among themselves. Luke 23:34 tells us they "cast lots" for Jesus' robe. See also Mark 15:24 "they cast lots to see what each would get." John 19:23,24 also describes this incident and ties it to this prophetic Psalm.

10. He would rise from the dead. - Isaiah 53:11,12

Isaiah said that the Servant (Messiah) would, after his suffering, "see the light of life." It is essential to Christianity that Jesus rose from the dead. Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20 all describe the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If all prophecies fulfilled in Jesus were not enough to convince you that he is the promised Messiah, if all the miracles he performed still left you uncertain, the fact that he was definitely dead and rose again should be the clincher that removes all doubt. Like once-doubting Thomas you can fall down before him and say "My Lord and My God!"

Conclusion:

Many may come and claim to be Messiah, but only Jesus fits the prophecies. Is it only by chance? Not likely -- the prophecies are too numerous and to diverse to be fulfilled by chance alone. Did Jesus deliberately arrange his life to satisfy the prophecies? This is also improbable, since many of them refer to his suffering and death, or circumstances beyond human control. (How did he "arrange" to be born in Bethlehem? What kind of madman would want to "arrange" to be crucified among criminals in order to fulfill a prophecy? How did he "arrange" to rise from the dead? Only God could do these things!) Our conclusion is that Jesus is indeed the Messiah spoken of by the ancient Hebrew prophets. What do you think?  Maybe you still have some questions?


 

BELOW ARE SOME FREQUENT QUESTIONS ASKED FROM OUR JEWISH FRIENDS

 

#1 "Don't Christians really believe in three Gods"

 

Christian's believe in One God (Deut. 6:1) in three persons: Father, Son and Holy 

Spirit. Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yeshua spoke 

of the Father as a distinct entity, yet also affirmed "I and the Father are One." The 

Holy Spirit is also spoken of as God.

 

Even though the theme of God's triune nature is more fully explained in the New 

Testament, there is also evidence for it in the Old Testament.

 

Dueteronomy 6:4 

1) The word for "one" used here is the Hebrew word echad meaning a composite 

unity, as opposed to the Hebrew word yachid which means absolute oneness.

2) Echad is also used in Genesis 2:24 and Ezekiel 37:17

 

See also Genesis 1:26; 11:7 Isaiah 48:12-16

 

God's triune nature is difficult to comprehend but we must accept by faith the 

evidence of the Scriptures. God is one, and he has provided a mediator between 

himself and man (1 Tim. 2:5)

 

#2 "The Messiah is to bring peace. If Jesus was the Messiah, 

why is there no peace on earth?"

 

Do you realize that the Messiah was to come twice (Zechariah 12:10)? He came 

once to bring peace between man and God by taking care of our sin (Isaiah 53:5). 

He will come a second time to bring peace on earth (Zechariah 9:10).

 

 

#3 "If Jesus was the Messiah, why don't our rabbis believe in him?"

 

First of all, many Jewish leaders did believe in Jesus (John 12:42a; Acts 6:7) and 

some still do. Isaiah predicted there would be unbelief directed toward the 

Messiah (Isaiah 53:1-3). We must remember that the rabbis are only human. Our 

final authority MUST be God's Word!

 

#4 "I can't believe in Yeshua (Jesus). I am Jewish!"

 

A true follower of Yeshua can be anyone, Jew or Gentile, who believes in and identifies with Messiah Jesus. Did you know that Yeshua (Jesus) was a Jew (John 4:9), that the first believers in Yeshua (Jesus) were Jewish (Acts 2:5, 41), and that there were literally thousands of them (Acts 21:20), and also the authors of the New Testament were Jewish, except possibly Luke. The real issue is the qualifications for the Messiah. For thousands of years Jewish people have longed for, awaited, and anticipated the arrival of their Redeemer, the Messiah. Since that is the case, what could be more "Jewish" than to believe in the Jewish Messiah? Therefore, look at the evidence we have posted above and see if Yeshua (Jesus) has met the qualifications for the Messiah, and if so, what is your response?

 

 

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Life in Messiah International: 
    P.O. Box 5470, Lansing, IL 60438-5470
    http://www.lifeinmessiah.org/

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