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Spirituality & Religion

The Prophetic Credentials of the Messiah

Early Rabbis recognized the prophetic credentials in all of these passages, as referring to the Messiah.

Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 (Micah 5:1 in Hebrew Bible)
Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10
Messiah would present himself by riding on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9
Messiah would be tortured to death: Psalm 22:1-31
Messiah would arrive before the destruction of the Second Temple: Daniel 9:24-27
Messiah’s life would match a particular description, including suffering, silence at his arrest and trial, death and burial in a rich man’s tomb, and resurrection: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

In regard to lineage, birthplace, time, and lifestyle, Jesus matched the Messianic expectations of the Hebrew Scriptures. The record of this fulfillment is to be found in the pages of the New Testament.

Not all Jewish people rejected the claims of Jesus. On the contrary, all the first followers of Jesus were Jews. In fact, the rabbis of that time and afterwards, were well aware of the many messianic prophecies which were fulfilled in Jesus. For instance, although the Talmudic rabbis agreed that Isaiah 53 was a prediction of the Messiah, by medieval times the pressure from those who applied this prophecy to Jesus was so great that Rashi, one of the greatest medieval Biblical scholars, reinterpreted the chapter and said it referred to the nation of Israel. This interpretation is maintained today by many Jewish scholars, though it only dates back to the Middle Ages.

There have been false messiahs throughout Jewish history. Among the most prominent were Bar Kokhba who led a revolt against Rom (AD 132-135) and Shabbetai Zevi, a self proclaimed messiah of the seventeenth century.

During Bar Kokhba’s revolt, one of the most famous figures in Jewish history, Rabbi Akiva, proclaimed him to be “King Messiah.” Unfortunately, Bar Kochba, Akiva and thousands of Jews were killed in AD 135. when the Romans stormed the stronghold of Betar.

Shabbetai Zevi, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed messiah. Flourishing in seventeenth-century Europe, the Shabbatean movement spread among both the common people and the rabbis. But when Shabbetai Zevi was arrested in 1666 by the Sultan of Turkey, he converted to Islam rather than face death.

Jesus’ life stands in sharp contrast to those of the false messiahs, and it is a positive demonstration of what we would expect the Messiah to do. Jesus worked many miracles of healing, bringing wholeness into people’s lives, forgiving sin, and restoring relationships. In contrast to Shabbetai Zevi, for instance, Jesus carried out the Law of Moses as a devout Jew. And in contrast to Bar Kokhba, although Jesus died, he was also resurrected!

Perhaps Jesus never died; perhaps he just fainted on the cross and revived in the tomb. This idea was popularized in the book The Passover Plot by Hugh J. Schonfield. Unfortunately, the author overlooked the fact that the Romans pierced Jesus’ side, which would have most certainly killed him. Also, there was a contingent of Roman soldiers guarding the tomb as well as a huge stone that blocked its entrance. There was no way that a resuscitated Jesus could have escaped and then convinced hundreds of skeptical eyewitnesses that he had conquered death forever! Or was it all a hallucination? It must have been quite a hallucination to be seen by vastly different kinds of people at different times of day in many different places. You might be able to fool one person, but can you fool 500 who saw him at one time? And, unlike hallucinations, these appearances of the resurrected Jesus stopped as suddenly as they started, 40 days after the resurrection had taken place.

The resurrection actually occurred, just as the record says. And that’s a solid reason for accepting the Messiahship of Jesus.

Jesus transforms people’s lives. Because he provides atonement for sin and reconciliation with God, Jesus brings peace, joy, and purpose into people’s lives. Thanks to Jesus, we too, shall resurrect to eternal life in Heaven.
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[@860047,GoMilkMeARiverForMyNippleFloat] ❤️
contrails · 51-55, M
[quote]Not all Jewish people rejected the claims of Jesus. On the contrary, all the first followers of Jesus were Jews[/quote]

Duh. Jesus himself was a Jew, obviously, as was the case with all the apostles including Peter and Paul. That's why I can only shake my head whenever I hear of "Christians" saying they "hate Jews", because that would mean they hate Jesus too!
This message was deleted by its author.
contrails · 51-55, M
[@417971,LadyGrace] You talk but don't listen. I was agreeing with you, but let's leave it at that.
[@560058,contrails] It sure didn't sound like it. I couldn't tell. I thought you were making fun of Christians, given the way you put it in quotes. I sincerely apologize.
GodSpeed63 · 61-69, M
God is good!

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