Is Jesus the Son of God? Part II
Continued from yesterday...
"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."2
Yesterday we mentioned how Lew Wallace, a distinguished general and literary genius, and Robert Ingersoll, a notable skeptic, agreed to write a book that would prove Christianity to be a myth. However, their research convinced them otherwise and they came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be—the Son of God and Savior of the world.
A similar thing happened to one of today's leading Christian authors and spokesmen, Josh McDowell. His outstanding book that supports Christianity, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, began as his attempt to deny Christianity.
Jesus Christ, however, is not the only religious leader who claimed to be God, but he is the only one who ever convinced a great portion of the world that he is. He is also the only leader who ever claimed that he would rise from death.3
According to historical evidence, he did. He was seen by the women who visited his tomb and found it empty, by the disciples, and by more than 500 other witnesses.4
Christ's resurrection was also recorded by Josephus, the Jewish historian, in his Antiquities. Josephus was a Jew writing to satisfy the Romans, so his report of Christ's resurrection wouldn't have pleased the Romans at all. He would not have included it had he not believed it to be true.
Further evidence to support the deity of Christ is seen in the more than 300 prophecies concerning him and his life that are found in the Bible and were written centuries before his birth.
For instance, 700 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, Micah wrote, "But you, Bethlehem...though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel."5
A thousand years before Christ's death David predicted how he would die. "They have pierced my hands and my feet," he wrote.6 This happened at Christ's crucifixion.
This is even more remarkable when considering that, in David's time, death by crucifixion was unknown. This inhuman, torturous death was first used by the Persians centuries later.
David also predicted that Christ would be betrayed by a friend, that people would "throw dice" for his clothes, and that he would die with criminals.7 He also predicted the dying Savior's cry: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"8 All of these predictions came true.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for all the prophecies in the Old Testament section of the Bible regarding the promised Messiah (Jesus Christ), and that all of these have been fulfilled in minutest detail. Please open the eyes of my understanding so that I will know the truth about You, the truth about Your Word, the Bible, and the truth about Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
To be continued ...
2. Matthew 16:21 (NIV). 3. Matthew 16:21. 4. Luke 24:13-43; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8. 5. Micah 5:2, (NIV). 6. Psalm 22:16, (NIV). 7. Psalm 41:9; 22:18. 8. Psalm 22:1 (NIV).