Most Amazing Man

Scripture: John 14:9, Isaiah 9:6
Jesus Christ is the greatest figure in history, the God who became man. More books have been written about the life of Jesus than any other figure. He is the center of all history. There are many Bible prophecies that predicted His coming that have been fulfilled.
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A little boy was sprawled out on the floor, drawing a picture. His sister watched him for a little while and then asked the question, "What in the world are you drawing on that paper." The boy said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." His sister said, "You can't do that. Nobody knows what God looks like."

"I know," said the boy, "but they will when I get through." That is why Jesus came so that people would know what God was like. And they certainly could have known when He got through, if they had cared to. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father," He said. John 14:9.

There is something mysterious, something different, something unique, something wonderful about the sojourn of Jesus Christ in our world. In fact in Isaiah 9:6 we find a prophecy about Jesus, and it says His very name will be called wonderful.

And viewed from any angle, from the cradle right through to the grave and beyond, His life, His ministry, His relationships, His gospel, His death, and His resurrection echo and re-echo the prophetic word "wonderful." He had a wonderful birth. It was supernatural. We call it the incarnation by which we mean "God manifested in human flesh." Christ had a wonderful childhood. At the tender age of twelve He was able to match wits with the great thinkers and teachers of His day.

He was not an author. As far as we know He didn't ever write a book. But He could write. One day He dispersed the self-righteous accusers of a fallen woman by writing in the sand. And more books have been written about Christ than about any other person.

The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, contains 5,152 volumes on the life of Jesus. There are 3,172 volumes connected with William Shakespeare, 2,319 with Abraham Lincoln, 1,755 surrounding George Washington and 1,735 dealing with Napoleon Bonaparte. John, our Lord's nearest friend, wrote: "There is much else that Jesus did. If it were all to be recorded in detail, I suppose the whole world would not hold the books that would be written." John 21:25.

Christ was no artist, but the greatest paintings in the world were inspired by Him. Christ was no architect, yet the most beautiful buildings of Christendom have been dedicated to Him. Christ was no musician, yet the greatest oratorios were motivated by His life. Christ was no historian; yet He stands at the very hub of history-all earthly events are recorded in relation to His sojourn among us. He split the centuries into B.C. and A.D. time. Christ was no doctor; yet He was the Great Physician and cured "every kind of ailment and disease." Matthew 10:1. He was even eager to relieve pain. When he passed through a village all the afflicted were helped. His cures included nervous disorders like palsy, epilepsy, and paralysis; communicable diseases such as leprosy; mental and female troubles; infection, fever, deformity, deafness, blindness, and even death!

Christ was no psychologist, and yet people of all classes came to Him for consultations: Lawyers, teachers, secretaries, government officials, military personnel, rich, poor, criminals, adulterers, thieves, extortioners, and men of temper, passion, impulse, rivalry, pride and jealousy. He was always willing to listen to anyone at any time.

Christ was not married. He had no family. But He was the ultimate in marriage counseling. He gave advice, and He also provided solutions. He restored a four-time divorcee to stability. He restored families: a son to a sorrowing mother; a daughter to bereaved parents; a brother to his brokenhearted sisters. He had no family of His own, but His children today are found in every country and island in the world.

Christ was no professor; He had no degrees; He assumed no titles. While He never went to college, some of the most outstanding universities were founded because of Him. Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter's shop until He was thirty, and for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book; He never held an office; He never owned a home; He never had a family; He never went to college; He never put His foot inside a big city; He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of those things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.

While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a Roman cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the one piece of property He had on earth, and that was His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race. The question is WHY. How can we explain the man's unique role in history?

How can a person know for sure that Jesus Christ was all He claimed to be? Is there some certain power? Yes, there surely is, and wise indeed is the Christian who carefully builds his faith on a solid foundation of the revealed facts.

After His resurrection, Jesus met two disciples walking the road to Emmaus. The men were discouraged for they did not yet believe that He had risen from the dead. To convince them would have been the simplest matter. Jesus could have drawn their attention to His physical form. He could have shown them the wounds He sustained on the cross. But instead of doing something like that He actually did the very opposite. "But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him." Luke 24:16. Thinking He was a stranger, they confided in Him the cause of their distress. They told Him of their fond hopes that Jesus was the promised redeemer and how the events of this tragic weekend had shattered and destroyed their dreams. It was then that the stranger spoke to them in these words: "O, Fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke 24:25-27. Jesus did identify Himself later (verse 31).

From the revealed facts, it is clear that Jesus wanted to found their faith, not on something they had seen, but upon the testimony of the Word of God. Under certain circumstances, appearances can be quite deceptive. And Paul warned that "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14. So Jesus showed, not the nail marks in His hands and in His feet, but rather the prophetic forecast of the coming of the Messiah. He showed what the Old Testament prophets had foretold concerning His birth, His life, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection. The disciples were convinced, and fired with a holy purpose to go out and proclaim the truth that the Christ of prophecy had really appeared in Jesus, the crucified One. After that, the evidences of their senses could be added to their faith. They were not to be the basis or foundation of it. Jesus founded their faith on the certain evidence of God's Word. Let's notice a few of the outstanding prophecies about Jesus that prove His claims to be true.

By the way, friends, the prophecies of Christ extend far beyond the time that Christ lived on the earth. In fact, a large number of these prophecies, some given by Christ himself, pointed to His second coming. They describe it in detail and pinpoint world conditions just prior to His second coming.

The prophet Micah foretold seven hundred years ahead of time that He would be born in the little town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). But His parents lived in Nazareth, 92 miles away. It is only half a day by car in modern times, but it must have been at least a four day's journey in the time of Jesus. Up until a week before his birth, Nazareth was His likely birthplace. It was the decree of Caesar Augustus that took the family to Bethlehem where Jesus was born the very night of their arrival.

During the last twenty-four hours of His life, scores of prophecies, some a thousand years old, met their fulfillment. Take for instance His betrayal. David prophesied that He would be denied and betrayed by one of His own disciples. "For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and walked unto the house of God in company ." Psalms 55:12-14.

Several centuries later the prophet Zechariah took up the story. He predicted the actual price the betrayer would receive and also the fate of the money. "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forebear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." Zechariah 11:12, 13.

It is a well-known story. More than five hundred years later the bargain was sealed between Judas and the priests, not at twenty-nine or thirty-five pieces, but exactly thirty pieces of silver. The prophet said they would be cast to the potter in the house of the Lord. Judas found, that resources gained at the price of betraying Christ, or truth, or principle, or right, is loss, not profit! Such money is too heavy to hold. It cannot save a guilty conscience. So he made his way to the temple crying "I have sinned, I have betrayed innocent blood." In desperation he offered the money back hoping to secure the release of His Lord. But the priests had their victim and were not concerned with the conscience of Judas. The agitated traitor threw the money down on the temple floor and went out to a suicide's grave.

The priests who had not hesitated to purchase the blood of an innocent man professed scruples at putting the money Judas left behind into the treasury of the Lord. Since a field was needed in which destitute persons could be buried, it was decided to use the thirty pieces of silver for this purpose. The land was owned by a potter. How very remarkable that both aspects of the prophet's prediction regarding the fate of the money should find such exact fulfillment. It was cast literally "to the potter in the house of the Lord."

In Psalms 22, King David gives several details which found their fulfillment a thousand years later in the death of Jesus. "They pierced my hands and my feet," He said (Psalms 22:16). There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that the method of capital punishment used by the Jews was stoning. Crucifixion was a Roman method of disposing of criminals. Roman soldiers nailed Jesus Christ to the cross of Calvary. His hands and feet were literally pierced just as the Psalmist had described it.

Now let us take a look at verse 17. "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vestiture." Two processes are mentioned here. One, the parting of His garments; two, the casting of lots for His vesture. The meager belongings of the Lord, according to the custom of the Romans, would become the property of the men who crucified Him. They were busy distributing His clothes between them when one soldier noticed the seamless robe. To divide it would be to destroy it. And so the more practical suggestion was made that lots would be drawn. Without knowing it the soldiers of Rome were fulfilling Bible prophecy with an accuracy that establishes the identity of their victim as the Redeemer.

"He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken." Psalms 34:20. This prophecy also found a dramatic fulfillment before Jesus was taken down from the cross. Crucifixion was a slow death, and it became obvious that the three victims would not be dead before the opening of the Sabbath hours. The Jews insisted that the bodies should not be left on the crosses over the Sabbath Day, so the legs of both thieves were broken. But when the soldiers saw that Jesus, who died not of crucifixion but of a broken heart, was already dead, they refrained from breaking His bones. There would have been no point in it. And yet the fact that they did not break His legs fulfills this ancient forecast and serves as further proof of His Messiahship.

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