Let me take a moment and be completely, painfully honest with you. I grew up in church and was saved at a very young age, so I didn’t have the advantage of the proof of a changed life. I spent 15-20 years doubting my salvation. I cried myself to sleep many a night because I knew this is the one thing I had to get right. I am not alone in this. All over the internet, all over my hometown, I am surrounded by others who are doubting or who have doubted.
This is not something we discuss openly because there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” mindset going on here. If we admit to our doubt, we fear that others will suspect we’ve never actually encountered the real God. However, God knows how human we are. How often we forget or doubt Him. He is well acquainted with the nature of His people. Read Exodus if you want to observe a nation who constantly doubted and forgot God in spite of having witnessed the 10 plagues and having walked through the Red Sea.
Most of my studies are motivated by one thing: proving to myself that the Word of God is true, and that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong to look into these things, to use your brain instead of your heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
How many Jews and Muslims would come to Christ if they would investigate instead of believing what mommy and daddy taught them? Instead of believing the rabbis and the imams? It may seem to you that I am kicking against tradition here. Let me clarify that for you: I am kicking AND screaming. I will not be guilty of believing what I’ve been told merely out of respect for a religious denomination or leader. That is not placing your faith in Jesus Christ. That is placing your faith in religion.
There is only one standard for my faith, and that is the revealed Word of the Living God. This Word has proven its faithfulness to me, over and over again, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. I’m not just being sappy here or placing my belief in something I cannot prove. The Word is historically, scientifically, and prophetically accurate. I challenge you to look into it. See if it’s true.
In case you’re one of those who feels guilty for having occasional doubts, let me encourage you. There’s nothing wrong with seeking proof: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4
Here is the wonderful thing about being human: doubting leads to seeking, and seeking will lead you to the proof you are looking for. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
The articles that I’ve been posting recently are an effort to share with you some of the things I have learned about the Word. I want you to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind. Here’s the irony: some of the greatest proofs lie in what the Jews reject about their Messiah and what Christianity has forgotten about Him.
Point Four glances backwards at previous posts, especially point Three. Here is point Four: Messiah is not a contrivance of the Jews any more than Jesus is an invention of the Christians. This is more proof that He is, in fact, Messiah. The Jews don’t understand Christianity, and Christians don’t understand Jewishness, but if either party would look into what the other believes and why, they would find a perfect fulfillment of Scriptures, a perfect harmony between the Testaments that only God could be responsible for, especially since Jews and Christians don’t understand each other.
Now, take a look at this quote:
When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: “Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!” ( LeMann’s Jesus Before the Sanhedrin, page 30.)
LeMann also tells us that in AD 11, the Sanhedrin lost the judicial power to issue capital punishment. The Roman Empire took it upon themselves to try capital offenders. This event is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:10: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
If you want more proof that the loss of the scepter refers to this event, or that Shiloh refers to the Messiah, or even more details surrounding the quote, I recommend Josh McDowell’s book The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It is more than 700 pages long and filled with scholarly evidence that Jesus is the Christ. If you have it already, you can find this topic on pages 195-197.
Here’s my point: Jesus was alive and walking among the Jewish people when this event occurred. God had kept His promise to Judah and had sent the promised Redeemer at the appointed time. If Messiah had not showed up on time, then God would have been guilty of lying to them. If He could lie about one thing, who is to say that He couldn’t lie about everything? Why even believe in a Messiah at all if He did not arrive when prophesied?
If Jesus were not the Messiah, then it is too late. There will not be another one. I find it strange that the Jewish nation would more easily believe that God had failed in keeping His promise to them, rather than accept Yeshua as Messiah.
Let me just remind you that Jewish rejection of the Messiah is also a fulfillment of prophecy. It’s a prophecy they do not want to fulfill, but they are doing it in spite of themselves. More proof for the accuracy of the Scriptures? Assuredly so.
Here’s what Jews have failed to understand: Messiah had to have shown up before the scepter departed from Judah. That means He has been here already. If the Jewish nation would look into this more deeply, they would realize that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning Messiah ben Joseph. (Prophecies concerning Messiah ben David will be fulfilled at the return of Christ.)
Here’s what the Christians have failed to understand: The significance of Genesis 49:10 is absolute proof and should be very helpful for winning Jews, agnostics, and atheists. For instance, if Jesus as Messiah was a set-up, how could the conspirators have controlled what Rome was doing to the Jewish nation in AD 11, or even what the Sanhedrin would say concerning the Messiah? Jesus just happened to be alive already when that event took place and when those words were uttered? How much “coincidence” is needed before it begins to be a body of evidence?