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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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How Does the Bible Point to Jesus as the Messiah?
The Bible: One Big Story
Christians believe the Bible is special. They do not see the Old Testament as simply ancient writings with little in common with the New Testament. They see it as one big story, beginning with the creation story, followed by the Fall, with everything from this point leading up to Jesus' birth.
What's more, the Bible gives vital clues to who Jesus is.
The Old Testament is full of prophecies - a type of prediction - about a ‘Messiah’ or ‘Anointed One.’ Ancient Israel experienced great trouble, with many wars, until eventually, it was conquered and the Jews were taken as prisoners to Babylon. The Jews were promised that they would receive help from the Messiah, somebody sent by God to help rescue them and bring his salvation and love to earth.
Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah and that these prophecies came true in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
Old Testament Prophecies
The Old Testament extracts below are examples of prophecies about the coming Messiah:
- Isaiah 7:14
Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him ‘Immanuel.’
- Isaiah 9:6–7
A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.”
His royal power will continue to grow;his kingdom will always be at peace.
He will rule as King David's successor,basing his power on right and justice,
from now until the end of time.
The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.
- Isaiah 11:1-4
The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David's descendants. The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord's will and honor him,and find pleasure in obeying him. He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless.
- Micah 5:2
The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.”
Is it a coincidence that Jesus was born in Bethlehem? Christians don't think so! They believe that these prophecies, and many others, are clearly about Jesus.
There are other Biblical texts that Christians feel point to Jesus. Psalm 22 is interesting because King David wrote it about 1000 years BC, and it accurately describes crucifixion, the way Jesus died, even before the Romans had invented it! Matthew’s gospel records Jesus himself saying the words of this Psalm from the cross (Matthew 27:45-46).
You can learn more about the Bible's 'big story' in a video here.
Download this sheet for a list of 44 Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled: Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled by Christ
a) The Messiah was promised to the Jews, as someone who would help them. What qualities does someone need to help people? Kindness? Courage? Make a list.
b) Read the prophecies above again. Make a list of qualities the coming Messiah will have. Do you think this sounds like someone who could help the Jews conquer their enemies?
c) Using your two lists, create a job advert for a Messiah. Be sure to include:
- Job title
- A list of what they have to do
- Desirable qualities
- Essential skills