Only Jesus Can Be the Messiah
Who is the One who is eternal, who will be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah? (Micah 5:2) Who is Jehovah, “the one they have pierced,” for whom Jerusalem and all the nation of Israel will someday weep and mourn? (Zechariah 12:10).
Yeah, today on the johnny Coburg show, did God give specific prophecies? Hundreds of years in advance about a special person he would send to earth called the messiah? What specific prophecies did God give? Where can they be found in the Hebrew scriptures? Did the jewish people to whom the prophecies came recognize that they had been given special promises? That pointed to a coming messiah. In this series, we will examine 16 prophecies given to the Jewish people from Adam to Abraham, from Moses to Davis, from Isaiah to Daniel and Zechariah. We will ask do these remarkable prophecies prove jesus is God’s messiah. My first guest is dr walter Kaiser. He’s one of the leading theologians and biblical scholars on the Hebrew scriptures in America. Today, dr Kaiser is President emeritus and Distinguished professor of Old testament at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton’s massachusetts. And second dr Darrell bock, he is one of the leading theologians and biblical scholars on the new testament text. He is senior research professor of New Testament studies and executive director of Cultural engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas texas, join us for this special edition of the johnny Coburg show. Welcome to our program. I’m john Achterberg and my guests are dr walter Kyser Dr Darrell bock and you’ve just heard their credentials and they’re amazing scholars and we’re talking about a tremendously important topic namely has God placed prophecies predictions, promises about a future person called the messiah that actually took place. And we are down to putting the dots together here, the different prophecies together. Going toward a conclusion here from the old testament toward jesus. And we’re asking the question, would God go so far as to name a specific city where this messiah would be born. I want you to look at this verse, we’re going to put it on the screen. This comes from the prophet Micah Micah chapter five verse two. But you Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come for me, one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old from the very days of eternity. Dr Kaiser explain this verse. Well, it is a very specific verse because it not only mentions lowly Bethlehem which is south of Jerusalem and out in the shepherd’s fields, but it gives the old name for it to just to make sure you don’t get it mixed up effort to so you’ve got Bethlehem effort to and he says uh from you, there’s gonna be one who is going to come and he’ll be ruler over Israel. But that’s not the big surprise. He said his origins go way back from old and that’s still not the surprise. He adds white from eternity. As a matter of fact, the translators gets so uh baffled by this, they can’t understand how could this be. So they translated from days of old again, but now the text is clear in the hebrew. He goes all the way back and his eternal, so this one who is going to be born has been here a long time ago, even from eternity. Now, think about that one? Who would fit that criteria? There’s only one the Lord jesus himself, the messiah, the one who is the branch and the servant of the Lord dr bock. When we get to christmas time, we’ve heard this so much that we kind of put it into, into a fairy tale. Okay. And yet this is in the hebrew scriptures and showed up hundreds of years before jesus and take us. Even the jewish people when Herod asked them for advice, they went right to this verse. Talk about that. Well, I think it’s really interesting. There’s there’s something that’s that’s embedded in the old testament passage that I don’t want us to miss and that is the illusion to Judah. The illusion to Judah takes us back to genesis. We were told not only would this come out of out of Abraham, Not only would this come from Jacob, but we were told which tribe, this figure would come out of this figure would come out of the tribe of Judah. So when the Magi come before Herod and say, we’ve seen a star in the east, we’ve read that we’ve read the sky, something seems to be happening. Do you know where your messiah is going to be born? Uh Herod? He’s a politician? So he goes to the theologians and says, where’s the Messiah’s supposed to be born in the thumb through their text and oh, there it is, Michael five. He’s going to be born in Bethlehem. That’s where he’s going to be born. And what’s surprising about this is is that is that you would think if you were making up the story or something like that, you wouldn’t have jesus born in a little town of Bethlehem, you have been born in a capital city like Jerusalem. So, he’s here born in Bethlehem, backed in a manger. As we find out showing the humble roots of this one who’s taken on human flesh and who has he represents the divine mission in the world to identify with each one of us. Even in this coming, I like to think of this passage as kind of a GPS. You know, people have their phones and they want to go from point A to point B. You hit google maps and the and the little slot at the top comes in, telling you where you’re gonna start. You’re starting here. You’re starting in Bethlehem hundreds of years before the person was born, we were told where he’s gonna be. You drop that piece into the puzzle. It’s yet another detail about who this figure is yet. Another detail that connects to jesus. All right. Uh it’s a stunner. It’s, I mean, it’s like putting a roadmap, Put a flag on the road and saying this is the spot and and that it actually happened that way is amazing to me. All right. Let’s look at what God says about what’s going to happen to the servant. Just like he’s very specific about where he’s going to be born. He talks about he’s going to die. Okay. And this goes with Isaiah 53 but it’s really from Zachariah the prophet, Chapter 12: verse 10. Let me put it on the board for you. And they shall look on me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him as one, mourns for an only son. And they shall be bitter over him as one. That is in bitterness over the firstborn dr Kaiser. This is amazing, amazing prophecy. What is it saying? Well, here the Lord is saying they will look on me, Ellie, who is he talking about? The Almighty. And uh so the look on me whom they pierced. And the question is, how could God, the living God have gotten pierced? They’ll look on me whom they have pierced. There’s only one way and that was at the crucifixion. That’s where he was pierced. And they will mourn for him As one mourns for an only son And they will be bitter over him as one is in bitterness over the loss of a firstborn Zechariah 1210. And I think the day is coming very, very soon when all of the nations of the earth, but particularly the people God chose to be his channel. A blessing to all the nations upon the first face of the earth. Remember the promise back in genesis 12 3 in your sage, all the nations of the earth be blessed, but particularly Israel which was supposed to be the channel. They too will finally wake up and say, oh no, uh we had thought that that he wasn’t the messiah. We thought he was a gentile. No, no, he’s jewish. His disciples were jewish. The writers of his book were jewish and he calls us and they will mourn and weep and come in humble adoration and confess that messiah is the christ, he is the lord, He is the one who is none other than God who is among us. Dr bock. How do you get away from taking that interpretation? I mean what is done? I mean, these words seem to be pretty clear, they are pretty clear. I mean I think that it’s a portrait of the fact that one day those who uh were responsible for the crucifixion, The nation that was responsible for the crucifixion or better the leadership that was responsible for the crucifixion and the idea that Israel had put her messiah to death one day, they’ll realize we made a mistake and crucifixion was a particularly painful and horrific kind of death. In fact, uh there are jewish historians who write about it who say how horrible it is. Um there are emperors who said, I don’t want to see what it involves. Terrifically horrific kind of death. So horrific that roman citizens were not allowed to be crucified. So we know this is a painful kind of death. In fact, it’s so painful and so horrific that when Mel Gibson tried to portray it in the passion, there was an effort to try and tone it down. I was at a pre screening of that film in which all the blood and gore associated with the crucifixion and the whipping that happens beforehand was portrayed very, very graphically and very, very realistically. And someone in the audience asked for the toning down of the violence. And my response to this question was, don’t tone it down. This is a particularly horrific death. People need to understand the depth of the suffering that’s involved in the crucifixion. So jesus bore this. He chose to go through this pain on our behalf. Why did he do it? It wasn’t just to wipe the slate clean. You know, Oftentimes when we talk about forgiveness of sins and dying for our sins, we think, well, that’s just to wipe the slate clean so so that I can get a fresh start now, there’s more to it than that, because what comes with that forgiveness of sins is God’s enablement. God’s presence in our lives. He gives us his spirit. Actually, that’s a key part of the good news is that we get the spirit of God that now enables us to walk with God to cease being dysfunctional, to cease being those sheep who go astray. And I remember one time in Scotland, I was walking in a field and I was face to face with one sheep. It was me and him eye to eye. So I stared him in the eye and using my best texas accent, I went boo and he headed off, he went astray, that’s us. We bolted and we bolted in a direction away from God God by his death. And through jesus draws him to himself and forgiveness. And when we accept that, not only do we get forgiven, but we have the gift of God given us our dysfunctional life now has the potential to become very functional and we can live exactly as we were designed to live and having been made in the image of God. And in fact, even in the early preaching and acts, you have this challenge coming from the apostles that you put to death, the author of life. Uh and and the challenge here isn’t, it isn’t so much to shake a finger in their face and say you did wrong as it is to look and see what you’ve done and the opportunity actually exists to correct that problem, the opportunity exists to rewind and undo it, and you rewind and undo it by recognizing who this figure is, by embracing who this figure is, by recognizing that he died in your place, that he took on your sin, that he dealt with your mistakes and in dealing with your mistakes before God reconnecting you to the living god. So they should look upon him who was pierced. Yes, they should mourn at what it is that took place and the mistake that it represented. But they need to move past that morning. They needed to pass that morning to an embrace of faith. That brings one to the one who died in their place. Yeah. And in a sense, these passages also tell us that the messiah knew in advance and volunteered for this job and he knew what they would do to him and he still went through with it and on the cross, jesus says, father forgive them for they know not what they do. And he opens the door to be their substitute and offer them forgiveness and doesn’t hold it, hold it against them. It’s an amazing savior. Well, it’s the story of how God treats all of us, isn’t it? It is the story that all of us like sheep have wandered and gone astray christ died for us while we were yet sinners, no matter where you turn in scripture, what you see, God continually doing is dealing with the rebellious people, not by spanking them or beating them to death, but by wooing them back to himself by offering himself on their behalf and saying this is how much I love you and then the the the the picture that we should get is here’s a God who loves us so deeply that he does everything he can to bring us back to himself. And so hopefully we’ll listen. Hopefully we’ll pay attention. Hopefully we will come back to him because in the coming back to him, not only do we gain his embrace, but we gain his presence and his power and we also gain the blessing of being reconnected to the living God. It’s great stuff, folks, you’ve got to listen to it and take this stuff seriously. But we’re in a end this program, we’re going to end it. Whether I called the topper God now he predicts that the messiah is going to be born in Bethlehem, effort to God predicts that the messiah is going to be pierced. But then he gives us a time period of when the messiah is going to show up and when he’s gonna get cut off, when he’s going to die and it’s the answering the question, who is the anointed one, Who’s gonna be cut off after 483 years again, this is daniel in chapter nine verses 24 through 26. Let me read it. And then you guys can comment 70 weeks. God says, are decreed for your people and your holy city to do a couple things to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy No one understands this from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one. The ruler comes. There will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench. But in times of trouble After the 62 weeks, the anointed one will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. A lot of stuff going on here. Talk about it, dr Kaiser, well this is a beautiful prophecy. Uh Jeremiah has uh given the prophecy about 70 years, they would be in captivity and daniel reading it By the way, less than uh 75 years later on, he is saying, Lord are you going to fulfill this now? It seems like this is the time for it to be fulfilled. And yes, as a matter of fact he calls what Jeremiah had their scriptures, they were the holy writings. So they didn’t wait for uh council or for a jewish group at Japanese to really say which books were in or out, he already knew within a century they were received as being authoritative. And here in this prophecy, the Lord said, well I’ve got 70 more sevens for you. So this brings up the famous discussion about the 483 the 69 sevens. And then there is a major break in which he says and after these uh 69 weeks, the seven and 62 he said messiah will be cut off and and then he said the holy city will be taken to, well that was an event that brought us right up to the time of christ about 30 A. D. And the destruction of the temple in 70 A. D. So there’s a gap and that gap has existed from that day until this moment. Uh It is a period of time in which messiah was crucified, the city was destroyed and yet it still has not concluded the last seven weeks at a time of enormous difficulty for Israel, but yet a time that will conclude the whole historic process. And anyway he gives six purposes for these 490 years, 70 times seven. Uh it’s gonna finish transgression, wow, no more sin is going to put an end to sin wow and to atone for wickedness that was done on the cross and to bring in everlasting righteousness and the seal up the vision and prophecy And then to anoint the most holy, the most holy place or the most Holy one, we don’t know and we just kind of go between the two of them. It may be both, but the point is this is the finale, here comes the conclusion to the whole story, the whole plan of God and these were declared for Daniel’s people and Daniel city, the holy city Jerusalem. So it’s very very clear and he wants us to understand know and understand this isn’t to confuse us. He said from the going forth of that decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Uh and he adds that all up and he said it will be 69 weeks until the anointed one, the messiah comes. So it without giving us the precise day or even the year of our Lord said no one knew that yet. It does tell us very clearly there was a break and God is gonna conclude it with one more seven year period. Darrell. Well, the reason that’s important is that for some people, Jesus didn’t do everything you expected a messiah to do. So. Some people say that messiah can’t be jesus, he hasn’t done everything yet. And this reply is a really simple one. It is, hey, the story’s not over yet. We’re in, we’re in the process of watching this story play itself out. We’ve had act one. We’ve taken the intermission. There’s act two. Now this is a very lopsided opera that I’m talking about Because we had the 1st 69 weeks and now we’re taking a break and we just have one very short act to follow. We have this one week left the tribulation which leads into the consummation and brings us to the end of this story, messiah hasn’t done everything that he is going to do yet, jesus hasn’t done everything that he’s going to do yet. And the fact that we haven’t seen everything yet shouldn’t surprise us because Daniel told us there’s more to come. I mean, let me even be stronger in the objection, I’d like to believe in jesus as the messiah. But the fact is we don’t have peace in the world and uh he’s not reigning over all the earth and the Israelites are still under attack and a pressure. Okay, the messiah’s supposed to rescue all of that. It’s not happening. So why should I believe jesus is the messiah? Well, what we’re told is is that the tribulation period is an intensely difficult period for Israel and nothing before the tribulation tells us that anything is supposed to be different for her. In fact, in the midst of the new testament, Jesus talks about the house of Israel being desolate until she says blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. So we know that the world is going to be a difficult place until the job is finished. And we know that the period leading up to the finish of the job is going to be especially difficult. We shouldn’t be surprised. We live in a fallen world and until messiah completely fixes it. It’s not fixed. Dr Kaiser. I want you to finish this by talking to folks that say you know what the bible and those prophecies have persuaded me that Jesus is the messiah, the one that God sent into the world to be my substitute to atone for my sins. How do I come into a relationship with him? What do you want me to do? What does Jesus want me to do, john I think what Jesus wants me to do and what this whole story in the whole bible wants us to do is Just believe. Come and agree. The facts are too many. Look, we’ve just picked out some 16 highlights here, but that’s only to show the main points. It is this one who came and lived amongst us and demonstrated that he was God by his miracles and then went to the cross, died for us was buried and rose again and he went up into heaven and the angels said why you men of galilee, why are you standing here gazing up into heaven? I mean why when a person you’re talking to goes vertical without a backpack or any kind of thing on I guess you would all you know just be amazed out of your mind, but he’s gonna come the same way. So if you argue is its literal or not know. The text made it clear. So no wonder there’s one god and one mediator between God and man. The man christ jesus who will come again and like manner. Listen friends that are viewing this program, you need to put your faith and trust in the lord, jesus christ you really do. You were born to answer that question And God wants you to put your faith and trust in his son. He gave you a lot of evidence now and he wants to take your guilt and all of the stuff of life and redeem your sin and make you whole and make you new in christ, won’t you do that? You need to because he is your savior and my savior too praise be to his name. God invites you to come to him just as you are with your sin, you would put your faith in jesus and he will give you the power to live the way he wants you to live. It won’t be perfect. But the fact is he will start to change you. That’s his work in your life. But you need to start and you need to do it today. You need to call right now and just pray in your own words and tell the Lord you recognize you’re a sinner, you’re far from him. You feel separated from him. But you realize now he’s inviting you to come to him by faith. You don’t do something, you just put your faith in what christ has done for you and you accept his gift which is free. All right. And if you will, there’s a promise that God gives in scripture, whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, put your name there in that whatsoever. If you call and you pray, what does God say, he’ll do shall be saved. Not maybe if he gets around to it when you call, he’s he’s open, he wants to save you right then. So I invite you to do it. And guys, I want to just say thank you for coming the long distances to be here on the program to share this tremendous information that God has given you, that God’s put in scripture with our audience here and overseas. I appreciate you very, very much. And folks, I want you to stay tuned for a moment and we’re gonna tell you how you can get all of this information wherever you’re at. So listen, yeah, thanks for joining us today. I hope that you’ve enjoyed these programs with these two outstanding scholars, dr walter Kaiser and dr Darrell bock As they walk us through 16 prophecies that prove Jesus is the messiah and I find it astounding how much clarity God has given us on this, how he has filled the old testament with very specific prophecies given through various people over hundreds of years. That all point perfectly to jesus as we’ve examined a few of these today. I hope that it has strengthened you in your faith that jesus is indeed God’s promised messiah who came into this world to save you from your sins and it’s coming back to reign forever If you know someone who questions if jesus truly is who he says he is, I encourage you to share this series with them. One way you can do this is through our app, it lets you watch this program and over 100 others, anytime, anywhere. Absolutely free to download the app. Just go to the app store on your device and search for the john anchor, berg show. Once you install it, you’ll also be able to watch our Q and A videos where we have some of the world’s leading scholars answer life’s toughest questions along with this, it will let you read or listen to the bible in over 1000 languages if you have not yet downloaded our app, I encourage you to check it out. You can also access these resources for free on our website at J A show dot org. There we have put over 8000 articles outlining the evidence for Jesus existence and what it means to follow him. If you’ve ever run into tough questions about your faith, this is a great place to turn, although these are mostly in english, there are a number of web browsers that can instantly translate them for you. Maybe as you’ve been watching today, you’ve come to see for the first time that jesus is indeed God’s promised messiah. If you’d like to learn how to receive his forgiveness for your sins and enter into a personal relationship with him. I encourage you to go to either our app or to our website and click on prey to accept jesus. Thanks again for watching. I hope that you’ll join us at the same time next week for another episode of the john Achterberg show. Until then, God bless you and we’ll see you next week. The invitation is, we’ve got to come to him. It’s plain ridiculous not to put one’s heart and trust and faith in this living God. You ought to do it, too.