Messianic Prophecies, Pt. 2

Messianic Prophecies, Pt. 2

Scripture: Psalms 22:18, 1 Corinthians 15:5-8
This is the second in a two-part series on the topic of Jesus as being the Messiah. This program looks at more claims of Christ, Bible prophecies made about the Messiah, and a look at the resurrection of Jesus. Can someone rise from the dead?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi there and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. My name is John Bradshaw, with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. Today I think we have a very interesting topic for our listeners. We're going to be looking at Jesus as the Messiah. Can we know for sure that he is the divine son of God?

John: Before on Bible Talk we have talked about the fact that prophecy provides us with plenty of evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. History provides us with evidence that Jesus certainly existed. How much further can we take this? A couple of things we didn't talk about when we've spoken on the subject before. A couple of prophecies I just find interesting, I want to mention them to you. In the Old Testament the Bible says that they were going to cast lots for the clothing of the one who is the Messiah, that's what happened in the case of Jesus Christ, right?

Gary: That's right. That prophecy actually is in Psalm 22:18, "They divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots."

John: Something really interesting, if you've never seen this before you'll really wonder also in Psalm 22 these words are written, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Gary: The last words Jesus spoke on the cross were actually prophesied long time before.

John: Yes, the chances of anybody fulfilling these prophecies or a handful of them are minuscule, astronomical odds but Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, incredible. We know he lived. We know he died. We believed that prophecy points to Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Now what about this matter of the resurrection?

Gary: Well, it's one of the most ostentatious claims of Christianity that a person dies and he doesn't stay dead. I mean throughout the history of mankind when you die that is the grand finale. That is it. People just don't come back from the dead and then go to live somewhere else. That's mythological and yet here Christians believe that this man named Jesus lived a life, a perfect life at that, died and resurrected now lives in heaven and has the power over the whole universe.

John: Now, I want to say this, Christianity is a matter of faith. We are saved by grace through faith. We believe in God by faith. We accept the Bible by faith but at the same time we can have some pretty good supporting arguments. We can have lot of, let me just call it evidence to suggest that this isn't merely blind faith but its intelligent faith. Intelligent faith suggests that there is a God who started all of this. Intelligent faith suggests that the Bible is inspired and is reliable and trustworthy but does intelligent faith suggest that somebody was buried in the ground and three days later came out of the grave to live again? How can we be sure that the resurrection is solid and biblical and trustworthy?

Gary: I think the manner in which Jesus died really was intentional from God in this sense, John, that people -- everybody -- was focused on what was happening the last few hours of Jesus' life. We had this triumph full entry in the Jerusalem, now tens of thousands of people heralding him as the Messiah. They're watching him moment by moment during that last week of his life, his arrest, his public execution. Everybody knew it, everybody in Jerusalem. Jerusalem would have been filled with maybe a couple million people at that time of the year for the Passover and so this isn't something that he went off in the dessert and died somewhere and supposedly resurrected in this remote place. You had millions of people who were witnesses to the fact that indeed he died on the cross and then you had all these people surrounding the resurrection that could testify all that.

John: The death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus, these were very, very public events. Many people knew him and saw him alive. A lot of people are witness to his death and knew about his death. Now what about in the wake of his death? People who hadn't believed on him before were willing to follow him. This is a compelling argument in favor of the veracity of the biblical teaching of the resurrection. The priests and various others who were opposed to Jesus, many of these became ardent followers of Jesus.

Gary: They were willing to die for him. Countless men and women were willing to die for their beliefs and here they were living in a society where it costs them to change their faith. This wasn't something you would just go out on a limb and do naturally unless something dramatic, something supernatural we might say, something spiritual change your life.

John: Now here's somebody else, the apostle Paul saw, he's on his way to Damascus. He testified that he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. He was zealous for the things of the Jewish faith. This was somebody who persecuted Christians and had no reason in the world to sacrifice his high standing in order to go on and become a Christian. What does the Bible say about this man?

Gary: Well, he had an encounter with God we shall say. He was knocked off his horse by a vision of Jesus actually showing up and speaking to him and telling him he was persecuting the wrong people.

John: He was a man who was acclaimed to have everything, "I had this, I had that. I was from this tribe and I had all of these things going for me." Then he was able to say, "Man, I count all of these things as dung."

Gary: As rubbish.

John: "They mean nothing to me so that I can know this Jesus." In Paul's mind, he met Christ, this resurrection happened, this savior is truly the Messiah of the universe, of our world. Paul's behavior and his dramatic conversion gives great credence to the idea that this resurrection really took place. Our savior lived, died and lives again.

Gary: I think you go right back, John, to the very event of the resurrection. There were a hundred Roman soldiers guarding that tomb and those soldiers, if they would have slept on their watch, they would have been executed.

John: Sure

Gary: But the priest bribed the soldiers into saying that they were sleeping on their watch because the priest didn't want to admit to the fact that the body wasn't stolen that there was a resurrection. These soldiers saw the angel come down. They heard the angel call Jesus back to life. They watched the stone roll away. These were Roman soldiers. They saw this, they heard it and obviously they must have talked because the disciples later record this story.

John: Now, somebody could say this is a circular argument that is, this resurrection you are substantiating it from the Bible but how do we know the Bible is true? We've talked about that before and we've got the historical evidence, contemporaries of Christ and the disciples have written about these things that have taken place, manuscript evidence, many evidences. The prophetic evidences suggest the Bible is true so we're standing on something that's solid. Hey, before we go any further, Gary, something we want to offer today on Bible Talk, why don't you talk about it?

Gary: Yes, in fact we have been offering a number of different individual resources, pamphlets and books. Today we want to offer our listeners, John, the opportunity to partake of an entire Bible Study series that would really open their eyes to what the Bible teaches in so many different areas. It is a Bible Study series that includes 27 lessons covering prophecy, covering what happens when we die, covering who Jesus is, all these fabulous topics in the Bible and they can partake of this series simply by calling the number or writing us at the end of this program.

John: Be sure to get that number, get that address, get in touch with us, we want to give to you this fantastic opportunity to be enrolled in a magnificent Bible study course. We want to give that to you free from us here at Bible Talk. Hey, something else about Jesus being the Messiah, the resurrection taking place, the truth of the whole Bible story in the plan of salvation that really impacts me and that is that for this Jesus and through this Jesus lives have been changed. Countless, thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of lives have been powerfully changed by this Jesus who died and rose again.

Gary: That's an argument you can't gainsay. It's there. You got people who have been willing to die for the name of Christ. People who were getting ready to blow their brains out or shoot drugs into their arms or whatever and God changes their lives.

John: I have a friend who was on his way to end his life. He was going to do this at a remote point on the side of the hill. For some reason, he stopped for gas. He stopped to fill his truck with gas. While he was filling his truck with gas for what he thought was going to be the last time, someone approached him, said to him, "I haven't seen you in a while. Something I'd like to invite you to. Would you like to get together and study the Bible on such and such a night?"

My friend said, "Hey, I don't have any plans for that night, why not let's give it a shot?" You know, he met Jesus, Jesus intervened there. Prevented him from taking his life, gave him another opportunity. In these studies, he met Christ. Oh, he's a solid, fine, upstanding, secure Christian today. He met Christ in this power, in the resurrected Christ to change your life.

Gary: So many stories like that. John in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8, the Apostle Paul, he was writing about 55 AD. Now Jesus died in what, about 31 AD, I believe it was.

John: That's right.

Gary: We're looking at 24 years later and Paul says that the resurrected Christ had been seen by Peter, the 12 apostles, and more than 500 people. Many of whom were still alive at the time of Paul's writing. James had seen him. Paul himself had seen the resurrected Christ. Here he is within 24 years of this event and he is making this huge claim, this great claim and it's a claim that anybody could check out. If they were still alive, they could check this out. Yet, we don't have any record of his claim being doubted when he wrote it.

John: If anybody has any doubt as to whether Jesus Christ is for real, whether the Bible can be trusted, whether there is a savior who lived and died and rose again, my encouragement to you is seek that Jesus and discover for yourself whether he is true and whether he lives. I had a man meet with me recently. He said to me, "There's nothing you are teaching that I don't believe is true. I know it all to be true." He said, "But I still don't care." He said, "I think I'm lost and I don't really care." His wife was sitting alongside him saying, "He means what he says." He said, "I've been in the church for years but now I've been out of the church for years and man I just don't care."

I said to this man, "Brother, here is what I want you to do. Go find a Bible, take your Bible, start in the gospels, anyone, I don't care. Start reading and look for Jesus and see whether you can find Jesus in there and if you find him, just ask yourself if he's worth following and if he might be able to do something for you."

Oh, he came back at me and said, "You don't understand. I have these problems." His wife said, "You don't understand, he doesn't want to change." I said, "Man, I'm not asking him to change. I'm just asking him to open this Bible and see if he can find Jesus in there and then do whatever you think is right once you find Jesus."

Just a few days later I said to his wife, "Well, how are things going?" You know, she was all teary eyed, "Oh, things are just great. Oh, I've never been better." I didn't know what she meant. I thought she was just getting a bit emotional. A few more days after that, I said to his wife when she was a little more together frame of mind, "How are things doing?"

She still wasn't much help. I asked the daughter, "What's going on?" She said, "My dad went home, took your advice, read the Bible. He found Jesus in there and decided that for the very first time in his life he would truly and could truly give his heart to this Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, this power in the risen Christ.

Gary: All this time he was rejecting a God that he had never really met, he had never read the book...

John: We mustn't make that mistake.

Gary: ...and had not read it with an open heart.

John: Read that book, look for Jesus. I'm confident that when you find the Christ of the Bible in the Bible you'll want him to be your Christ and live in your heart. Thanks so much for joining us today. Be sure to join us next time here on Bible Talk. [music]

Announcer: If you would like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for Enrollment in the Amazing Facts Bible Study Course. The toll free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058, Roseville, CA, 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of LifeTalk Radio.

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