JESUS IS | The Long Expected One
July 30, 2016
“Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” – Jesus (Luke 24:44)
Everything about Jesus is unique. There is simply no one else like Him who has ever lived. Even atheist historians admit that Jesus was the first “most interesting man in the world.” The highly influential H.G. Wells stated,
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
When you think of the humble beginnings of Jesus it becomes even harder to imagine how He changed the world in so little time. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had a combined 120 years of teaching that modestly influenced the world. The influence of Jesus dwarves them all and He only publicly spoke for 3 years. Jesus did what was humanly impossible to do. For the next several weeks we will be digging deeper into the person and work of Jesus. Our goal is to identify all the things that make Him different from every other man who has ever lived. My prayer is that you see Jesus like you have never seen Him before.
People were expecting God to send a Messiah.
Most of us are born into families that are anxiously awaiting our arrival. Now think of the entire Jewish people as a family. For thousands of years their prophets had been specifically detailing the coming of God’s chosen Messiah. Then, just as foretold, in Bethlehem, a baby is born in “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4). We can clearly see the expectation of the people as they interacted with Jesus in the New Testament. John the Baptist asked, “are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another” (Matthew 11:3). After meeting Jesus, a man named Phillip ran and grabbed Nathaniel and exclaimed, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote” (John 1:45). Just like we anxiously await the second coming of Christ now… The Jewish people anxiously awaited the first coming of Christ.
2. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament.
Many books have been written on the amazing accuracy in which Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning Him. Understand that the prophecies are recorded with amazing detail concerning how Jesus would be born, where he would grow up, how he would die (crucifixion wasn’t even invented when prophecies were made) and many others in which Jesus would have no control over. Mathematicians have long concluded that the odds for Jesus to come and fulfill just 8 of those prophecies were 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000! Here is the real kicker… there are over 300 messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t just fulfill 8 of them. He fulfilled EVERY ONE OF THEM!
3. The Disciples used the Scripture to prove Jesus was the Messiah.
God’s people have always been people “of the book.” We believe God has spoken, both in the Old Testament and the New. The early Christians were no different. After Jesus conquered death and ascended back to heaven, the disciples went from town to town preaching about Jesus from the Scriptures. Peter preached, “This is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets” (Acts 3:18). Paul also used the Scriptures when preaching, “reasoning with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead” (Acts 17:2-3). The early Christians believed that Jesus fulfilling the Scriptures was clear and total evidence of His office in being the Christ. So should we.
Blaise Pascal was a mathematical genius. He invented the first calculator in the early 17th century, and today a computer system is named after him. After surveying the above information he stated, “If a single man had written a book foretelling the time and manner of Jesus’s coming and Jesus had come in conformity with these prophecies, this would carry infinite weight. But there is much more here. There is a succession of men over a period of 4,000 years, coming consistently and invariably one after the other, to foretell the same coming; there is an entire people proclaiming it, existing for 4,000 years to testify in a body to the certainty they feel about it, from which they cannot be deflected by whatever threats and persecutions they may suffer. This is of a quite different order of importance.” Some things are no-brainers… While other things are simply just not of this world. The miraculous reality of the person of Jesus leaves the mere logical astounded and enters a whole new realm that bursts through the doors of natural understanding. Believe!
From John 5:30-47, discuss the importance of Jesus telling the people that the Scriptures were about Him.
They early Christians are certain of who Jesus is because of the Old Testament. Can we have that same certainty today?
Do you know any other spiritual or religious leaders whose lives were expected via prophecies made in which they lived and fulfilled? How does this make Jesus different from every other religious teacher/person in the world?
After reading this, has your faith increased or decreased concerning the promised second coming of Christ? Why or why not?