The Real Christmas Story-2
Have you ever wondered why the Jews don’t accept Jesus as their Messiah?
There were several factions that made up the Jewish Sanhedrin (the ruling religious council).
The Sadducees: They rejected any concept of a Messiah. They didn’t believe in an afterlife. When you died, you were dead and gone, your soul was snuffed out of existence. They were the rich, ruling elite. They had made friends with the Romans and were in a comfortable position. They didn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ with Rome.
The Scribes: While most of them believed in 2 Messiahs, they were only looking for one—the ruling Messiah, who would set them free from Roman rule and establish God’s everlasting Kingdom.
The Pharisees: Thy observed the Mosaic laws strictly. They were very content with the condition of their souls as they mostly saw themselves as superior to the common person. They believed in a Messiah but couldn’t decide if there was one or two of them. They also wanted to establish God’s eternal Kingdom right away, hence they were looking for a political Messiah to overthrow Rome.
The Essenes: They believed in eternal life. They strictly observed the Mosaic laws even more than the Pharisees. and were looking for the Messiah. They didn’t worship in the Temple as they believed the Temple was polluted by backslidden Jews. They were a separatist sect.
In the 1st century. The Jews had 2 conflicting biblical pictures of their Messiah…one of a suffering servant and one of a reigning, kingly leader.
The suffering servant…Isa 53:2-8 & Ps 22:6-16…he would suffer & die for their sins
The reigning, kingly ruler…Ps 2:2-4 & Jer 23:5,6…he will reign & rule in peace and set up his earthly kingdom with Jerusalem as the center.
There was a variety of views on who the messiah was. Some Jews thought there would be one messiah fulfilling both roles one right after the other, others thought there would be 2 messiahs coming at the same time, while some thought that the suffering servant was the nation of Israel and that the Messiah would be a kingly, ruling one. Very few, if any, thought that it would be one messiah at two different times.
Then along came this itinerant preacher from the backwoods of Nazareth. He had the audacity to insult them and call them hypocrites. After all, they were the experts in religion, not this unlearned, untutored former carpenter. What was worse was that the people initially liked Him. With the crowds He was attracting, there might even be a revolt against Rome. What these sects had built up under Roman rule could be wiped out in a flash. And he certainly wasn’t the political, kingly messiah that most of them had longed for. He wasn’t from God as He didn’t recognize the godly lives they were leading and how they had observed the Laws of Moses. Something had to be done. Very few of the Jewish leaders believed Him, although many would after His resurrection (Acts 6:7…”So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith”).
Because of the Jews rejection of Him, Jesus said Matt 23:39 “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”.
Following Jesus’ resurrection, Peter said Acts 3:19-21 & Zechariah 12:10 (“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
Was Jesus the only one ever to claim to be the Jewish Messiah?
From 4 BC-70 AD, there were 7 ‘Messiahs’:
-Judas, son of Ezekias
-Simon, a slave of King Herod
-Anthronges, a shepard
These 3 came after King Herod’s death in 4 BC
-Menahem, a descendant of Judas of Galilee
-John of Gischala
-Simon bar Giona
These 3 came between 66-70 AD
There had been messiahs after the 1st century but they had all died (and stayed dead) and none of them fulfilled anywhere near the messianic prophecies that Jesus did.
See the 365 messianic prophecies from https://www.bibleprobe.com/365messianicprophecies.htm
Pull up http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/messianicprophecies.html.
In regards to #20 (Daniel’s prediction of the exact date when the Messiah would be revealed to Israel and the exact date when the Messiah would be killed)….Daniel 9:20-27 (Daniel received this revelation in 535 BC about the coming of the ‘anointed one’…’Messiah’ in the Hebrew language)…ancient people used lunar calendars which had 30days/month & 12 months in a year for 360 days/year. Each seven may represent one year, so 69 sevens x 7 years x 360days/Hebrew prophetic year = 173,880 days.
The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes on March 14, 445 BC (the 1st day of Nisan that year…see Nehemiah 2:1-6). Using the actual 365 day calendar along with adjustments for leap years and the final adjustment of dropping one leap year every 128 years, this brings us to April 6, 32 AD.
Jesus’ ministry began in the fifteenth year of Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1), whose reign began in 14 AD. Jesus’ ministry lasted 3 years. 14 AD + 15 years + 3 years = 32 AD. According to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England (the official timekeeper of the world), the Sunday before Passover that year was on April 6th…the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)…read Matt 21:9, this is a reference to Ps 118:22-26, which is a messianic psalm. After that time, the Anointed One would be cut off (killed). Following that time, the city & Temple would be destroyed (Rome destroyed them in 70 AD).
FYI….a few other Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah:
He is a King & rides on a donkey (Zech 9:9)
He suffers and is rejected (Isa 53:1-3)
Is crucified and pierced (Ps 22:16)
Lots are cast for His clothing (Ps 22:18)
None of His bones are broken (Ps 34:19,20)
He’s given gall & wine (Ps 69:20-22)
Pierced with a spear (Zech 12:10)
Posterity will serve Him (Ps 22:30)
Betrayed by a friend (Ps 41:9)
Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12,13)
The silver is cast on the Temple floor, then used to buy a potter’s field (Zech 11:13)
Also, since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the Jews cannot trace their tribal heritage anymore. So their Messiah must have come before that as one of the conditions was that He must be from the tribe of Judah. Jesus is the only serious candidate EVER.
Genesis specified his ancestry
Isaiah revealed the manner of his birth & death
Micah told of his birth place
Psalms & Zech told of his betrayal, his accusation by false witnesses, his manner of death and his resurrection.
The probability of one person fulfilling just 48 of these 365 messianic prophecies by chance is one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, ten trillion (1 chance in 10157th power). That would be like saying if you took the number of atoms in our universe and then took the number of atoms in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion billon of our universes and marked one of them. What would be your chance of picking that marked one out? Scientists have defined a zero chance of possibility as being one chance in 1053rd power. So, if something doesn’t have a one chance in 1053rd of happening, it’ll NEVER happen. One chance in 1054th is 10 times impossible. One chance in 1055th is 100 times impossible. So one chance in 10157th power is wayyy beyond impossible. And that’s just Jesus fulfilling 48 Old Testament Messianic prophecies.
For His Kingdom,