Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Radical Claims of Jesus!

As you survey the New Testament, it’s easy to see that Jesus made history’s most radical claims (John 6:35,John 8:46, John 8:58, John 10:27-28, John 14:6, 9, Matthew 9:2, John 14:15). Even a cursory reading of the four Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be a whole lot more than a “good teacher,” “spiritual leader,” or a “prophet.”

Search the writings of the world’s religions and you’ll never read anything like Jesus' claims on the lips of Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, Joseph Smith, or you name the leader. But anyone could say the things Jesus said. Saying those things doesn’t necessarily mean they are true. And Jesus knew that. So, Jesus didn’t just make the claims, He proved that what He said was true by…

• Fulfilling dozens of Old Testament prophecies
• Living a sinless life for which we even have the eye witness testimonies of his enemies
• Opening the eyes of the blind
• Healing lepers
• Opening the ears of the deaf
• Causing the lame to walk
• Casting out demons
• Feeding 5,000 people with two fish   and five loaves of bread

But for His critics, these kinds of things were not enough. Matthew 12:38 says, “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
As if these other miracles were not enough! 

So Jesus, graciously, promised them another sign. Two verses down, in Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jesus here, of course, was speaking about His impending death and resurrection three days later.

On another occasion, in John 2:19-21, Jesus told them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body."

So again, we see Jesus foretelling His resurrection.

Some days later, Jesus’ enemies did try to destroy Jesus. Jesus was executed just as Daniel 9:26 and Isaiah 53 had prophesied would happen to the Messiah 600 years earlier.

And then an amazing thing happened.

Three days later, Jesus' tomb was empty. Jesus rose from the dead, just as He and the Old Testament prophets had foretold in Psalm 16:10 and Isaiah 53:10-12. 

In Acts 13:38,39 Peter, one of the Apostles, states - 'Be it known unto you therefore men and brethren (he is speaking to a Jewish audience) that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses'.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a monumental event. So monumental, it’s considered the cornerstone of the Christian faith, for it helped to prove that Jesus was the long expected Messiah, whom God promised would come into the world for mankind’s salvation.

But, can an intelligent person living in the 21st century really believe a man rose from the grave two thousand years ago? 

I believe the answer is Yes!

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