How can we be certain that Jesus is the Messiah?

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By BibleAsk Team


Jesus – The Messiah

Fulfilled Prophecies

The Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah to come were so specific and so clearly fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth that both Jesus and apostles used these prediction to prove to the Jews that He was, indeed, the Messiah. There are more than 125 Messianic prophecies. Let’s list just 12 of them:

ProphecyOld Testament ScriptureNew Testament Fulfillment
1.Born in BethlehemMicah 5:2Matthew 2:1
2.Born of a virginIsaiah 7:14Matthew 1:18-23
3.Of David’s lineageJeremiah 23:5Revelation 22:16
4.Attempted murder by HerodJeremiah 31:15Matthew 2:16-18
5.Betrayal by a friendPsalms 41:9John 13:18, 19, 26
6.Sold for 30 silver coinsZechariah 11:12Matthew 26:14-16
7.CrucifiedZechariah 12:10John 19:16-18, 37
8.Lots cast for His clothesPsalms 22:18Matthew 27:35
9.No bones brokenPsalms 34:20 Exodus 12:46John 19:31-36
10.Buried in rich man’s tombIsaiah 53:9Matthew 27:57-60
11.Year, day, hour of His deathDaniel 9:26, 27 Exodus 12:6Matthew 27:45-50
12.Raised the third dayHosea 6:2Acts 10:38-40

By His life, ministry, death and resurrection, Jesus showed the world that He is the Messiah the Son of God that came to save the world (John 3:16).

Dr. Peter Stoner, former chairman of the departments of mathematics, astronomy, and engineering at Pasadena College California, worked with 600 students for several years applying the “principle of probability” to the predictions of the Messiah’s first coming. They selected only eight from the many clear ones and finally decided the odds of all eight being fulfilled in one person in a lifetime is one in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. What would be the chances on the more than 125 prophecies of the Messiah? It couldn’t just happen!

Miracles

The miracles performed by Christ serve as compelling evidence of His identity as the Messiah—the long-awaited Savior promised in the Old Testament.

  • Healing the Sick: Isaiah 35:5-6 (NKJV) prophesies, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing.” Christ fulfills these prophecies by healing the blind (Matthew 9:27-30), restoring hearing to the deaf (Mark 7:32-35), enabling the lame to walk (John 5:8-9), and allowing the mute to speak (Matthew 9:32-33).
  • Raising the Dead: Christ’s ability to raise the dead further confirms His divine authority. We read about that in the Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44), the Widow’s Son at Nain (Luke 7:11-17), and the Daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:21-43).
  • Casting Out Demons: Isaiah 61:1 (NKJV) foretells the ministry of the Son of God, stating, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Christ’s authority over demonic forces demonstrates His power as the Son of God and the promised Savior. Some examples are: the Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20), the Demon-Possessed Boy (Matthew 17:14-20) and the Demoniac at Capernaum (Mark 1:21-28).
  • Feeding the Multitudes: The Bible records the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14) and the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10).
  • Authority over Nature: One example of Christ’s authority over nature is found in the Gospel of Mark 4:35-41, where the Savior calms a raging storm while He and His disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee. Another instance of Christ exercising authority over nature is recorded in Matthew 14:22-33, where He walks on water during a storm.

No other man in all history ever did the works that Christ did. These miraculous deeds provide compelling evidence of His identity as the promised Savior—the Son of God. As John 20:31 (NKJV) declares, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Eyewitness Testimony

The New Testament Gospels, written by eyewitnesses and early followers of Christ, provide firsthand accounts of His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. These accounts offer compelling testimony to His Messianic claims and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

  • Peter’s Confession: In Matthew 16:15-16 (NKJV), Jesus asks His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus affirms Peter’s confession, indicating the certainty of His Messianic identity.
  • Testimony of John the Baptist: John the Baptist, a prominent figure in Jewish society, testified to Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. John 1:29-34 (NKJV) records John’s proclamation of Jesus as the “Lamb of God” and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

The Heavenly Father’s Testimony

The heavenly Father’s testimony of Jesus is affirmed in several significant incidents throughout the New Testament such as: the Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22), the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36), after Jesus’ Prayer in John 12:27-30, when God’s voice from heaven responds, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

The Resurrection

The resurrection of Christ from the dead serves as conclusive proof of His identity as the promised Savior and demonstrates His victory over sin and death, providing the ultimate hope for humanity. As Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NKJV), “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'” Christ’s resurrection ensures the promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him.

Historical Confirmation

Historical confirmation of Christ as the Messiah provides external validation of His existence, ministry, and impact on history beyond the scope of religious texts. Here are some examples of the historical confirmation:

  1. Tacitus: The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in the first century AD, makes a passing reference to Jesus and His execution by Pontius Pilate in his work Annals. Tacitus mentions “Christus,” the Latin term for Christ, as the founder of the Christian movement who suffered under Pilate’s administration (Tacitus, Annals 15.44).
  2. Josephus: The Jewish historian Josephus provides two references to Jesus in his Antiquities of the Jews, written around AD 93-94. One passage, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, describes Jesus as a wise man, a doer of startling deeds, and the purported Messiah who was crucified by Pilate but rose from the dead on the third day (Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64).
  3. Pliny the Younger: In a letter to Emperor Trajan dated around AD 112, the Roman governor Pliny the Younger seeks guidance on how to deal with Christians in his province of Bithynia. Pliny describes how Christians gather before dawn to sing hymns to Christ as to a god and how they bind themselves by oath not to commit crimes, fraud, or adultery (Letters 10.96).
  4. The Talmud: Although written several centuries after Jesus’ lifetime, the Babylonian Talmud contains references to Jesus and early Christianity. These references acknowledge the existence of Jesus and the spread of his teachings among Jewish communities in the first century.

Transformation of Lives

The impact of Jesus’ life, teachings, death, and resurrection continues to transform lives and cultures around the world. Countless individuals throughout history have encountered the living Christ and experienced His power to forgive sins, heal brokenness, and bring hope and redemption.

In conclusion, the certainty of Jesus being the Messiah is grounded in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, His miracles, the testimony of eyewitnesses, His resurrection, the historical confirmation, and the ongoing work of God’s Spirit in the hearts and lives of believers. As John 20:31 (NKJV) declares, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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