Traced through the Hebrew scriptures
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the promise of the Messiah is given. The first prophecy is recorded in Genesis 3:15, where God promised that the seed
of the woman (the Messiah) would eventually crush the head of the serpent
As we journey on through the Book of Genesis, we find that "blessing" would come through the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Genesis 12:3; 24:24; 28:14.) The Messiah would be Jewish.
Then in Genesis 49:10, we read that out of Jacob's 12 sons, the "sceptor" would remain within the Tribe of Judah until "shiloh" come.
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of
the people be.
Moving forward through the Holy Scriptures, we find that the promise of Messiah would come from King David's offspring-- and that one of his descendants would occupy his throne forever. (2 Samuel 7:16)
King David wrote many prophetic Psalms pertaining to the Messiah.
The Key Messianic Psalms are Psalm 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 68, 72, 110. These
Psalms give us insight into the character of Messiah, His life, His death, and resurrection, and future eternal Kingdom.
The Lord revealed to the Old Testament Prophets many aspects of the Messiah's Person and His work.
Isaiah, the prophet, foretold that Messiah would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14) and that at the same time continue to be the "Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6).
The Lord revealed to the prophet Micah that the promised Messiah would be born in Bethlehem but also revealed that His "goings forth have been from old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)
The prophet, Daniel, predicted the exact time Messiah would come. (Daniel 9:25). This time period was VERY specific that Messiah would and must come before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. We KNOW from history that the Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70AD.
In Psalm 72:8-19, it records that Messiah shall have a kingdom spanning the entire earth and a name that shall be forever. Zechariah wrote in Zechariah 14:9 that the Lord shall be King over all the earth. So Messiah and Lord are one in the same. Yet these same prophets also predicted that the Messiah would be rejected and would die a most cruel and violent death but would rise again. Isaiah, who wrote many prophecies concerning Messiah's reign also predicted Messiah's suffering and violent death. (Isaiah 53)
Psalm 22 records the horrific crucifixion scene (before Crucifixion was even invented by the Romans) of the Messiah. Zechariah who also foretold the glorious reign of the Messiah prophesied that Messiah would be sold to His executioner of 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12)-- the price of a slave. "They
shall look upon Me whom they have pierced." Remember that it is the LORD who is speaking.
So throughout the Scriptures we read of the Messiah having an everlasting Kingdom and yet we also read of Messiah's death. How can such prophecies coincide with one another? This only makes sense in the Resurrection, recorded in Isaiah 53:5-8. We read that Messiah's days would be prolonged after He dies. Obviously a resurrection is needed and is so prophesied in Psalm: 16:10 "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
The Messiah-- the Jewish Messiah-- is Jesus Christ; known in the Hebrew tongue as Yeshua. All Scripture pertaining to Messiah's earthly life and mission was fulfilled by Him. He died for the sins of the people (Isaiah 53:10) and
did arise from the dead. Only a risen Messiah can fulfill the rest of the promises concerning Israel's glorious future Kingdom.
Isaiah 53:10 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.
When Christ arrived in Jerusalem, He arrived on the very day that Daniel predicted the Messiah was to come.
Luk 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Luke 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day,
the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Luke 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Luke 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
The Lord Jesus prophesied that the Temple would be destroyed (See Matthew 23:37-39) and that Jerusalem would be desolate BECAUSE the Jews rejected Him (Luke 21:24) as their Messiah. And so it came to pass. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD and the Temple destroyed and so it has remained for nearly 2000 years! No sacrifice has been allowed to atone for their sins--- no Temple allowed by God. One must ask the question: WHY? Because the SACRIFICE was made by Messiah Jesus-- once and for all-- upon the cross at Calvary. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures-- Messiah would be despised and rejected and would die for "the sins of many."
Interesting note is that from the year 30AD, (the year of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection), up until the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, the Jewish Talmud records strange things taking place within the Temple-- such as the Temple gates swung open every night, of their own accord, for FORTY years. The Temple menorah would go out, regardless of how many precautions were taken to prevent it from going out.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, [the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD] the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open" (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157).
The Babylonian Talmud states:
"Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).
This is very interesting indeed! Yet, a stubborn person could argue that it was simply a "coincidence" that strange things began occurring following the death and resurrection of Christ for FORTY years straight. Yet, the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures, which Christ Jesus fulfilled cannot simply by discarded.
His life recorded in the Four Gospels cannot be ignored. One would have to be completely stubborn to not seek and consider the evidence and pray to the God of Abraham for truth. Yet sadly, many people simply trust their religious "tradition" and go on rejecting the Messiah because someone told them to; but there is coming a day when Messiah Jesus shall return and the children of Israel shall then mourn for Him. Unfortunately, the Time of Jacob's Trouble will precede Messiah's Second Coming and Israel will be hated of all nations, as prophesied in Scripture.
An interesting prophecy is given in the Book of Daniel, concerning when Messiah would establish His earthly kingdom. It would be during the time of the "ten kings" in Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (See also Daniel 7:24-27). The Book of Revelation also gives us the explanation of the 10 kings that will reign "one hour" with the antichrist but Christ shall return to earth and destroy the antichrist and the armies with him. This has all been prophesied in Scripture and shall take place.
There was a first coming of Messiah prophesied and a Second Coming of Messiah prophesied. How can the Lord RETURN...if He never came to begin with? A return means that He came before. Both comings are reconciled in the Person of Jesus Christ-- He is the Son of David, the Seed of Abraham. Accept no other substitute-- Messiah must be all that the prophets predicted with TWO comings. The first coming had to have happened BEFORE the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, as recorded by the prophet Daniel. The SECOND coming must take place after the antichrist or the "willful king" will seek to annihilate the Jews at the time of Armageddon. The Lord Jesus shall destroy the antichrist and his armies, as recorded in the Old Testament. (Zechariah 12);(Revelation 1:7)
Jeremiah 31:3-33 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and
write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
This new covenant is found through the Person of Jesus Christ! He has given us the Holy Spirit and God's Law is written upon our hearts. Peace with God comes only through Jesus Christ-- the Mediator between God and men.
Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
The next chapter of Isaiah continues and should not be split up. Let us read...
Isaiah 53:1-6 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him 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. 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. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But 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. 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.
To whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
The Messiah would have his visage marred; His clothes stripped, He would be wounded, bruised, whipped and would bear the sins of many and his soul would be an offering for sin. The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all and yet He would have His days prolonged in Isaiah 53:10. Let us read the Scripture again: 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. These Scriptures find their fulfillment in Yeshua-- Jesus Christ, who is at the present time, exiled, but shall return to earth when the people of Israel will cry, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD." (At the Battle of Armageddon.)
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
We pray that this brief article reaffirms your faith of why Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Hopefully it will equip you to give an answer of why you believe in Christ. Sadly, many Christians do not read the Old Testament and truly do not know WHY Jesus is the Messiah. They have no logical answer when speaking to non-Christians of WHY they believe. One must understand that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures-- this is a fact; and by walking a non-believer through the Scriptures, one can easily see for himself the foundation of the Christian faith and by walking him through the "Roman's Road", they can see their need for
the Savior. The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Why is Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah? Because He fulfilled the Scriptures-- He met
all the requirements laid out in the Old Testament-- the Messiah was promised
to be born of a virgin, be Divine, be perfect in His life, would die a vicious death-- as a sacrificial lamb-- for the sins of many and would rise again from the dead. Jesus is the Lamb of God! His blood was shed for our sins. (Colossians 1:14) The Lord laid upon "him the iniquity of us all," as Isaiah 53 states.
Luke 24:44-48 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
Every Christian must KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES-- for they are the foundation of our Faith. May God bless the reading of His blessed Word!
For those of you who do not yet know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, please consider these Scriptures and pray to the Lord for truth. (Jeremiah 29:13)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.