The historical record of Jesus of Nazareth constitutes the most remarkable series of events in human history … to say the (proverbial) least.
In all the chronicles of humanity, what other person’s life consisted of one miracle after another? His very (Virgin) birth was a miracle. As was his resurrection from the dead and ascension back to heaven.
His teachings were profoundly powerful; without equal. Like no other person before or since.
He performed a mountain of miracles; instantly healing all kinds of diseases and deformities. Sometimes setting aside the laws of nature, e.g. walking on water, and turning water into wine.
In some fashion or another, everything he said (or was said about him) and did (or was done to or for him) fulfilled Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah.
Yet most Gentiles and Jews still refuse to believe the evidence or to act on it by making a personal decision to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. They persistently deny the overwhelming evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah who changed the course of history, including time itself (B.C. to A.D.)
And will once again alter the course of human events upon his return.
Even unbelievers are familiar with one of these monumental milestones in the life of this extraordinary man. Like other events in the life of Jesus, it is recorded in what is termed the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), but also, in some cases, the Gospel of John (who wrote mostly to document Jesus’s divinity).
“The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, ‘Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!’
“Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: ‘Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.’
“His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory (when he ascended back to heaven), they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him. Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign” (John 12:12-18, parenthesis mine).
Most likely you know the name of this historic scene, one that can be found on most calendars to this very day.
Followed later that week with his cruel crucifixion by the Romans on Good Friday.
Yet for an immensely important purpose as prophesied by Isaiah hundreds of years earlier. One that would accomplish God’s providential plan for humanity—redemption through the once for all sacrificial atonement of the very Son of God.
“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all…
“But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief… When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many (those who place their trust in Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice for their sins) to be counted as righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (Isaiah 53:5-6 & 10-11, parenthesis mine).
This would also be (the means to implement) the New Covenant as prophesied by Jeremiah (31:31-34). And as affirmed by Jesus himself during the Last Supper with his disciples:
“After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:20).
Then to victoriously rise from the grave a week after Palm Sunday on what is universally known as Easter (Resurrection) Sunday.
Jews (and Gentiles) in Denial
Whether during Jesus’s lifetime or the next couple of generations when the New Testament books were penned and combined with the Hebrew Scriptures to give us The Bible. Or fast forwarding to today’s world in which we have the complete Word of God publicized in hundreds of millions of copies of the Bible: many more people than not still deny the undeniable testimony (historical record) of the Bible; some even refute the irrefutable secular account of the historic Jesus.
After beginning his Gospel with what is perhaps the most unique and spectacular introduction of a person ever made in the annals of mankind, the Apostle John provides conclusive confirmation that Jesus was not only the Son of David and Son of Man as emphasized in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; but that he was also the Son of God and God the Son.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (John 1:1-4, NASB).
Along with tens of thousands in first century Israel, including many Jewish religious leaders, John and his fellow disciples had been eyewitnesses to the tremendous things that Jesus said and did on a regular basis. So much so that John concluded his Gospel with these words:
“This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:24-25).
Despite the exceptional evidence available to anyone in the first century (or thereafter) who had ears to hear, eyes to see, and an open heart/mind to know, John also submitted this summary about the preponderance of people’s response to the Living Word of God (Christ):
Yet, that very rejection led to the accomplishment of God’s mysterious but marvelous plan for Jew and Gentile alike—redemption through His Son … the God/Man Jesus Christ.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory (on the mount of Transfiguration and after Jesus’s resurrection from the dead), the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:12-14, parenthesis mine).
Many books and articles, including several Eye of Prophecy posts, have been written to explain the reasons (excuses) why non-Messianic Jews (especially the Orthodox) rigidly reject the emphatic evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and also the originator of God’s New Covenant with his chosen people (Jews) but also the Gentiles.
Though I love and admire God’s chosen people, the Jews, and long for the day that the Jewish Apostle Paul said they will in great numbers embrace Jesus as Messiah (all Israel will be saved … Romans 11:26), their insistence that he is not that Messiah is both stubborn and unreasonable. Sometimes with illogical or imprudent interpretations of key Messianic passages in their Hebrew (Old Testament) Scriptures.
That and remaining denial why (the ultimate providential reason) the Jewish Temple and the Levitical Sacrificial system are gone—destroyed and done away with in the First Century A.D.
The following is a reoccurring theme (excerpt) from Eye of Prophecy trilogy, Where is the Temple? (published Nov./Dec. 2014) regarding what once was the heart of Judaism for hundreds of years:
To repeat the basic premise as set forth in last week’s article: No Temple, no sacrifices. No sacrifices, no forgiveness of sin. No forgiveness of sin, no redemption.
And we can include one more principle: No redemption, no right relationship with God.
That and what/who has replaced this void. Hint: God himself called it … A New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Jesus and the Jewish Temple
Even if you are a believer in Christ, you may not recall that Jesus spent considerable time in the Jewish Temple between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. In fact, one of the first things Jesus did after his royal procession into the Holy City—when the people rightfully acclaimed him as the Messiah—was as follows:
“So Jesus came to Jerusalem, and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples” (Mark 11:11).
Jesus’s appearances in the Temple during the final week of his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection was prophetically significant. If for no other reason than what he said after his last visit to the Temple that week. As we shall soon see, this startling statement that Jesus made was a prophecy itself; one that matched a prophetic passage in the Old Testament.
What if there was a prophecy that foretold when the Messiah would arrive? And what if this prophecy and its fulfillment proved irrefutably that the Messiah had to and did arrive during what would be the 1st century A.D.? As opposed to the (our) future in what is now the 21st century in accordance with most Jews (especially the Orthodox, but even the secular) who are adamant that the Messiah hasn’t yet arrived … yet ardently anticipate his appearance.
Is there such a prophecy?
Absolutely. Not just one, but two!
And in the face of such evidence, how could and why would anyone diminish and even deny the truth of it.
In one magnificent passage covering four verses, we have what I believe is the most sweeping scope of predictions in all of Scripture. A passage that I’ve written about partially a few times and fully in two Eye of Prophecy articles entitled: The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & II (posted 1-13 & 1-20-18).
This passage covers the range regarding the start and finish of Israel’s redemption via the New Covenant and the First and (by clear inference) the Second Advent of Messiah. Also, the first and subsequent appearance of his antithesis, the Antichrist … written about in several Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist.
For purpose of today’s article, the focus will be on the prophecy of Messiah’s (initial) arrival.
First, however, let’s examine more of Jesus’s dramatic visits to the Temple during the week of what is often called, The Passion of The Christ.
The very next day after Palm Sunday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem with his disciples. Jesus then did something that he had done once before, earlier in his ministry. Read with me:
“When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, ‘The Scriptures declare. My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.’
“When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching. That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city” (Mark 11:15-19).
Then the next day: “Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. They demanded, ‘By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?’
‘I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,’ Jesus replied. ‘Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!’
“They talked it over among themselves. ‘If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But do we dare say it was merely human?’ For they were afraid of what the people would do, because everyone believed that John was a prophet. So they finally replied, ‘We don’t know.’
“And Jesus responded, ‘Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things’” (Mark 11:27-33).
As in other scenes similar to this one in which the religious leaders tried to set-up (trick) Jesus, they were promptly and profoundly put in their place by Jesus’s wisdom, unlike any(one) they and the common people had ever heard.
For example: “Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?’
“Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, ‘Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you.’ When they handed it to him, he asked, ‘Whose picture and title are stamped on it?’
‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.
‘Well then,’ Jesus said, ‘give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.’
“His reply completely amazed them” (Mark 12:13-17).
Every time I read this passage (and others) I never cease to be amazed. Who else could ever have come up with such a reply? Moreover, Jesus did this time and time again.
Let’s look at one more Temple scene during these few days of marvelous messages from Jesus after his triumphant ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Recall, that much of the crowd hailed him as the long-awaited Messiah as he entered the Holy City. Once again, we find Jesus in the Temple, but this time he is posing the questions and challenges.
“Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question, ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’
“They replied, ‘He is the son of David.’
“Jesus responded, ‘Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah, my Lord? For David said, The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet. Since David called the Messiah, my Lord, how can the Messiah be his son?’
“No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:41-46, Jesus is quoting Psalm 110).
Once again … you think!!
No one could answer Jesus, partially because none of the Pharisees wanted to answer him.
Despite Jesus’s dynamic teachings and miracles, they could not and would not embrace him as their Messiah; even though they knew this stunning Messianic statement by King David in their Scriptures revealed that the Messiah would be (was) of Divine origin. That and the equally emphatic evidence that the Messiah was also the Son of God (Psalm 2) and God the Son (Isaiah 9).
During his magnificent ministry while on this earth, many believed Jesus was the Messiah.
Many more did not.
Sadly, that is still the case in today’s Judaism. But also, with most of the Gentile world—both the religious and irreligious. Widespread disbelief that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Except for hundreds of thousands of Messianic Jews world-wide, most Jews continue to deny the exceptional evidence that Jesus is their Messiah.
A Phenomenal Prediction by Jesus As He Leaves the Temple
As alluded to earlier, we are going to look at what is (should be to any Jew, observant or not; indeed, to anyone with an open mind/heart) more convincing confirmation of Messiah’s arrival in the 1st century. Thereby, to demonstrate beyond any doubt that Jesus was/is Messiah.
The timeline is that of Jesus and the twelve disciples leaving the Temple for the last time before Passover began. With this Passover shaping up to be dramatically different from all the rest…. a supremely special Passover. The Passover in which the (sinless) Messiah offered himself as the once for all time sacrificial Passover lamb.
“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away… He was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong…” (Isaiah 53:7-9a).
Two days before he was crucified, we read:
“As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, ‘Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” (Matthew 24:1-2).
Although King Herod had been an evil tyrant during his reign, he had also commissioned some impressive improvements to the second Temple, which when originally rebuilt (finished) in 516-515 B.C. sorely lacked the splendor of King Solomon’s Temple. So much enhancement that the renovated Temple of the 1st Century B.C. and A.D. was a magnificent structure that rivaled the Seven Wonders of the World (at the time).
In fact, that majestic edifice was thoroughly razed by the Roman legions in the final stages of their cruel conquest of Israel that began in A.D. 66 and ended in A.D. 70—less than 40 years after Jesus predicted the fate of the Jewish Temple.
Scripture does not give us the reaction of his disciples to the Lord’s astonishing prediction. My impression, however, is that most of them had to be dumbfounded and/or dismayed. If one or more of the disciples were not shocked or even surprised by Jesus’s prophecy, it was undoubtedly because they knew that one of the Jewish prophets had predicted the same thing hundreds of years earlier. In fact, we know the exact year of this first prophecy … 539 B.C.
Yes, Jesus prediction of the Temple’s destruction was the second. Which led to several other prophecies from Jesus, most relating to the Tribulation period (Matthew 24 & 25).
Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article, Significant Sets of Twos in The Bible (posted 3-30-19) for a list of ten sets of these twos.
Some stunning prophecies also come in pairs, pertaining directly to Israel and indirectly (affecting) Gentile nations. For example: the God-given dreams to Egypt’s Pharaoh and Joseph’s prophetic interpretation of each dream being the same—seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. (We humans have such a short attention span. Repeating something for accuracy and emphasis greatly increases our chance of both believing and remembering it!)
Remarkably, this (first) prediction of the 2nd Temple’s destruction was made about two years BEFORE the project of rebuilding that temple even began.
Do you know which prophet?
Read with me this panoramic four-verse set of prophecies that includes a time-specified sequence of events, one verse at a time.
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24)
“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times” (Verse 25).
“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end” (Verse 26).
“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27).
For purpose of this week’s article, the only commentary on the final verse (27) is that it has fast forwarded from the 1st century to the (soon to come in our 21st century) Great Tribulation, triggered by the Rapture and commencing with Antichrist’s seven-year treaty with Israel. In fact, the seven-year duration of the Great Tribulation comes from this verse. (one set of seven … meaning years)
In this powerful passage there is not just one but two profound predictions from the angel Gabriel through Daniel to the Jews (and the whole world) that forecasted beyond any reasonable doubt WHEN the Messiah would come. The first is found in verse 25 and is a precise time-capsule prognostication that Jesus fulfilled when Israel hailed him as the Messiah on Palm Sunday.
The second is found in verse 26 … the first prophecy announcing the (2nd) Temple’s destruction.
(One of several depictions of the Romans conquest of Jerusalem and destruction of the 2nd Jewish Temple)
Lots of firsts and seconds … ones and twos here! Nonetheless, the fact remains: God often does things in sets of twos, not the least of which is the First and Second Advent of His Son, Messiah Jesus. And, as disclosed in my second book (non-fiction) entitled Out of The Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved … 666?; plus, several Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist: the appearance and reappearance of Antichrist … also separated by some 2,000 years!
Now for Daniel’s (two) time-related predictions of Messiah’s first arrival.
First Prophecy, A Precision Prediction & Fulfillment: The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy (posted 1-18-14).
Regarding Daniel’s prophecy, he was told that a period of 70 weeks would be needed to, among other things: “finish their rebellion … atone for their guilt … bring in everlasting righteousness…” (Daniel 9:24). One significant Hebrew expression and measurement of time is that of one week equaling seven years, which is certainly the case in this passage. Nearly all Bible scholars agree with this application. Thus, there would be a total of 490 years (70 x 7) to achieve this remarkable transformation for the nation of Israel—one that would accomplish the very purpose for being a people chosen by God (to bring God’s Word and God’s Savior to all mankind); and one that would ultimately fulfill Israel’s destiny of people and land … complete physical/spiritual restoration of Israel and Messiah ruling the world from Jerusalem..
Then, however, this specific time-lapse prophecy is narrowed down and essentially “split” as noted in the following verse. “…Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass…” (Daniel 9:25).
The preciseness of this prophecy is indisputable in terms of the exact period needed (483 years) to accomplish an integral, component part of the entire prediction. When will the 483-year count begin, and what will take place at the end of this fixed time? We find the answer in the last part of the verse: “…from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes…” (Verse 25).
I went on to clarify that Daniel is not talking about the command to rebuild the 2nd Temple; rather the command to rebuild (the walls of) Jerusalem. Continuing with that article:
The Anointed One is none other than the Messiah; in fact, many Bible translations use the term Messiah in Daniel 9:25 (Messiah means Anointed or Chosen One). Yet, Messiah Jesus was on this earth for some 33 years, so what aspect (timeframe) of his life do we select as the year/time when he would come (to the earth)? His birth, passing into Jewish adulthood (age 13), beginning of his ministry, his crucifixion, his resurrection? Answer: none of the above. The moment in time to identify the passage of 483 years can be none other than Palm Sunday, a week before his crucifixion. Why? That is the precise time when Jesus allowed others to recognize and worship him as the Messiah, which is the specific fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.
Sir Robert Anderson
In 1894, a Scotland Yard Detective, Robert Anderson, who was also an ardent student of the Bible, especially prophecy, published his book called, The Coming Prince. Through extensive study and research, he corrected and clarified previous applications of Daniel’s prophecy from such notables as Sir Isaac Newton … one of the greatest scientists of all times, but also a Christian who studied Biblical prophecies extensively. We simply can’t do justice to Sir Robert Anderson’s book in one article; therefore, we will briefly examine the two most important discoveries by him (which are really disclosures and discernment given to him by the Lord).
- Correct Application of Biblical Years: Simply stated, every Jewish month consists of 30 days (based on the moon’s phases); therefore, every year contains 360 days, not 365 days that we use on the Julian or Roman calendar. Biblical months/years are based on the Jewish calendar. The Roman calendar came along thousands of years after the Jewish calendar… Sir Robert Anderson fully realized the necessity of converting Julian years to Jewish years if he or anyone could accurately correlate precise dates in Biblical and secular history.
- Pinpoint Identification of Exact Dates, via Meticulous Investigation of Historical Records: Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!
Second Prophecy, A Non-Dated Forecast … Yet Still Time-Dedicated: “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven (69 sets of seven in all or 483 years—173,880 days), the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26a, parenthesis mine, emphasis added).
Equally astonishing in Daniel’s Chapter 9 prophecy: Not only was Messiah’s arrival on Planet Earth (prophetically earmarked in time by thousands of people in Israel hailing him as Messiah exactly 173,880 days after the Artaxerxes decree) precisely foretold, so is the fact that he would be killed and that his death would occur BEFORE the 2nd Temple was destroyed (Verse 26). The implication of that fact is stunningly significant; there is no other time for Messiah to (first) arrive other than before the temple would be (was) destroyed.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Posted 6-25-16:
Daniel’s prophecy is unambiguously clear: The Messiah would appear before the destruction of the Temple, which took place in 70 AD. And that’s exactly what occurred … Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection some 40 years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem, which irrefutably validates the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy.
Whereas, the religious leaders and people of Jesus’s time scorned him for the reasons given thus far—most prominent of which was ignoring the plain evidence for the time of Messiah’s appearance and marginalizing or outright rejecting his teachings and miracles—all those who deny that he is Messiah after the Temple was destroyed have no grounds whatsoever to refute the Messiahship of Jesus.
Because they have the 20/20 hindsight of history, right up to the present day. The Messiah would come at the end of 483 years, exactly when Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem … hailed by the people as the Son of David, the Messiah.
Then the Messiah would be killed BEFORE the Temple was destroyed by the armies of a ruler who would arise (shortly) AFTER Messiah arrived and was killed.
According to the timeline of Daniel’s prophecy, there is no way that the Messiah could (first advent) arrive on the scene of history AFTER the Temple was destroyed.
Jesus of Nazareth was falsely arrested, mercilessly mocked, brutally beaten, unlawfully tried, unjustly condemned, then ruthlessly killed (crucified) less than a week after he gloriously entered Jerusalem to complete yet another Messianic prophecy.
These events not only fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of Daniel Chapter 9, but also those of Zechariah 9 (riding on a donkey into Jerusalem); Psalm 22 (crucifixion, including everything that took place on Golgotha); and Isaiah 53 (the horrible things that Messiah must suffer for the sins of his people—all peoples).
(As the words of the song go: “I’ll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross.”)
To think all that was mere coincidence is not only illogical and unreasonable, but also absurd. Not to mention in complete denial of the experienced time-tested Laws of Probability.
Here’s just one of many instances: Old Testament Messianic passage with the Messiah speaking via King David’s prophecy, “Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads saying, ‘Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!’” (Psalm 22:7-8).
Rhetorical question: Would Jesus have had any control over what people were saying as he was dying on the cross?
New Testament fulfillment: “The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. ‘…Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!’
“The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, I am the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:39-43).
Right up to this present day, the suffering of the Jewish Messiah is a source of consternation and bewilderment to many Jews, especially the observant among them. It is such a paradox that several Rabbis endorse the theory that there are two Messiahs, not just one. See Eye of Prophecy article, More Than One Messiah (12-5-15) and a companion article, Messiah’s Arrival … On Whose Authority? (11-25-15).
The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Most Panoramic Prophecy in The Bible, Part II:
…They (the Jews … Judaism) continue to maintain that the personal pronouns applied to the Messiah (a man) speak of Israel as a nation in Isaiah 53. Which is impossible because no nation can be “an offering for sin” or “bear all their sins” or “had done no wrong” (Isaiah 53). The nation of Israel certainly couldn’t or wouldn’t be, “…buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave” (Isaiah 53:9).
I respect and admire and love the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. But with tough love I must say that for anyone, scholar or otherwise, to allege that the personal pronouns describing a man (the Messiah) in Isaiah 53 apply to Israel as a nation is a grammatically ignorant and/or deliberate contextual distortion of the passage.
For that matter, how could Messiah victoriously, but also humbly, enter Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt while at the same time appearing to Israel as their conquering King, liberating them from their enemies? In Biblical times, a king entering a city on a donkey was a gesture of redemptive-like resolution and peace, without the need for armed conflict. As opposed to a king riding into a city on a horse, symbolizing triumphant conquest in war. In fact, immediately after the verse quoted earlier from Zechariah (Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a donkey) we read:
“…I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea … to the ends of the earth. Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners…” (Zechariah 9:10-11).
The only possible explanation is that Messiah came first as Israel’s Sacrificial Redeemer to establish the New Covenant (sealed with his blood) prophesied by Jeremiah (Chapter 31), then will return as King of all kings to establish the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem.
…One day soon all of Israel will recognize beyond any doubt that Jesus is the Messiah when he returns to the Mount of Olives (from which he ascended back to heaven) and rescues the Jews from annihilation at the hands of Antichrist.. Then and only then will their redemption as a nation be complete.
Things to Ponder
Finishing on a bit of a different note: If you live in the USA, did you vote in this week’s Presidential election?
Whether you did or did not vote, dare I ask the question: “Is your candidate going to win?” Or, if the results are final now: “Did your candidate win?”
Either way, did you hear what Joe Biden said during his campaign (as did Donald Trump say something similar)? If so, did you agree with him? Said Biden: “We are in a battle for the soul of the nation. And you have the ultimate power to determine the outcome: your vote. Use it.”
Everyone’s vote is vital. Yet it is also just one of millions.
So, too, is everyone’s soul vital … of great value.
There is one vote that belongs to all of us which is the only vote that counts.
With that vote we determine our eternal destiny—everlasting life in heaven or everlasting death (separation from God) in the Lake of Fire.
The ballot is for God’s Son. The vote is either Yes or No.
But we must vote. Not to vote is the same thing as a No vote.
Because he did for us what we could not do for ourselves, through the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid. Much too high of a price to simply ignore our responsibility to vote.
“Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time” (I Timothy 2:2-6).
How does anyone vote for Messiah Jesus?
First, by knowing the platform (the truth): “For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:25).
Then, registering your vote (agreement with God): “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved… for, ‘Whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9 & 13, quoting Joel 2:32, NASB).
“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey (voting requirements) the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:36, parenthesis obviously mine).
If you haven’t, please take/make the time to say “Yes” to Jesus with all your heart.
Your vote will count forever!