In part 1 of this series, we looked at the fact that the Jews rejected Jesus when He was on earth and Judaism has continued with that rejection up until the present time. One of the reasons why Jews have rejected Jesus is the false notion that He did not even exist. We refuted this claim by looking at the evidence that shows that Jesus did exist with proof from many sources.
As alluded to in the first part, Jews also reject Jesus as the Messiah because they question the accuracy of the New Testament Scriptures, and they state that He simply did not fulfil the mission of the Messiah.
Of course, the New Testament is accurate in describing Jesus, His life and His mission. We firmly believe that there are no contradictions in the Bible but would agree that He did not fulfil the mission of the “mashiach” which is the Judaic belief that we believe is in error and which we will explain in this series. We will also show why Jews reject clear Old Testament passages identifying Jesus as the Messiah.
Regarding the many proofs for the infallibility of the original writings of the New Testament, please consult our free booklet, “The Authority of the Bible,” chapters 3-6.
In addition, on the website https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/is-the-bible-reliable-for-truth-about-jesus-christ-11598166.html we read the following:
“We should believe the Bible because Christ believed the Bible. Such reasoning may sound circuitous or circular. It is not. As the British theologian John Wenham argued, Christianity is rooted first and foremost in faith in a person: ‘Hitherto Christians who have been unaware about the status of the bible have been caught in a vicious circle: any satisfactory doctrine of the Bible must be based on the teaching of the Bible, but the teaching of the Bible is itself suspect. The way out of the dilemma is to recognize that belief in the Bible comes from faith in Christ, and not vice versa.’ In other words, confidence in the Bible rests upon confidence in Christ. Is Christ who He said He was? Is He just a great man or is He the Lord? The Bible may not prove to you Jesus Christ is the Lord, but the lordship of Christ will prove to you that the Bible is the very word of God. This is because Christ regularly spoke about the authority of the Old Testament (see Mark 9). He claimed authority for His own teaching by saying, ‘I tell you’ (see Matthew 5). Jesus even taught that the teaching of His disciples would have divine authority (see John 14:26). If Jesus Christ is trustworthy, then His words about the authority of the Bible should be trusted as well. Christ is trustworthy and He trusted God’s Word. So should we. Without faith in Christ, you will not believe the Bible is the self-disclosure of God. With faith in Christ, you cannot help but believe the Bible is God’s Word.”
We read in Luke 24:44 these words of Jesus: “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’” By this, Jesus endorsed the Old Testament Scriptures (which the Jews accepted anyway, at least so they said.)
Continuing with the statement from the website www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm :
“On the contrary, another Jew born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal [as taught and believed in by Judaism] than Jesus did. [We will see later what the (false) Jewish concept of the Messiah really means.] His name was Shimeon ben Kosiba, known as Bar Kokhba (son of a star), and he was a charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord. Rabbi Akiba, one of the greatest scholars in Jewish history, believed that Bar Kokhba was the mashiach. Bar Kokhba fought a war against the Roman Empire, catching the Tenth Legion by surprise and retaking Jerusalem. He resumed sacrifices at the site of the Temple and made plans to rebuild the Temple. He established a provisional government and began to issue coins in its name. This is what the Jewish people were looking for in a mashiach; Jesus clearly does not fit into this mold. Ultimately, however, the Roman Empire crushed his revolt and killed Bar Kokhba. After his death, all acknowledged that he was not the mashiach.
“Throughout Jewish history, there have been many people who have claimed to be the mashiach, or whose followers have claimed that they were the mashiach: Shimeon Bar Kokhba, Shabbatai Tzvi, Jesus, and many others too numerous to name. Leo Rosten reports some very entertaining accounts under the entry for meshiekh in The New Joys of Yiddish. But all of these people died without fulfilling the mission of the mashiach; therefore, none of them were the mashiach. The mashiach and the Olam Ha-Ba lie in the future, not in the past.”
In this statement above, we read that “another Jew (Bar Kokhba) born about a century later came far closer to fulfilling the messianic ideal than Jesus did.” They further write that “Jesus does not fit into this mold” after discussing “Bar Kokhba (son of a star), and state that he was a “charismatic, brilliant, but brutal warlord.”
We should be very happy that Jesus did not fit into such a mold; in fact His approach for Him, as a Man, and for His disciples was exactly the opposite, as we read in Matthew 26:51-53: “And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?’” (see also Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50-51; John 18:10).
Jesus also sternly rebuked His disciples as we read in Luke 9:54-56 when they wanted to command fire down from heaven to destroy the Samaritans after they had refused to give them shelter. In Matthew 5, we read of Jesus’ approach; verse 9 commands us to be peacemakers, not warmongers, and not even to get angry with your brother without a cause; verses 22-25 talk about reconciliation, and verses 38-42 tell us to “turn the other cheek” (an Aramaic idiom), instead of resorting to violence. These were Christ’s instructions then and for now. Jesus certainly did not fit into the category that the Jews were looking for, that of a human warlord.
As will be shown below, Christ WILL fight when He returns to this earth, but then He will come as GOD. However, when He became a Man and was here on earth, in the flesh, born of a woman, born under the law, to fulfil His role as a human Messiah and to overcome sin in the flesh and to suffer and die for us, He categorically refused to and rejected war in any manner, shape or form.
The huge mistake in Judaism is that they misunderstand the Old Testament Scriptures which clearly reveal that the Messiah would have to come TWICE—first as a human being who would suffer and die for mankind and thereby bring about forgiveness of sin; and second, as God who will establish the Kingdom of God on earth “in the last days” and rule all of mankind with a rod of iron.
While confusing these passages and believing that the Messiah would only come once to fulfil all these Old Testament prophecies at the time when He will appear to rule mankind, many Jews and modern Judaism reject the supreme Sacrifice of Christ and the fact that the Messiah would have to come FIRST to DIE for mankind. (In fact, they do not even believe that the Messiah would come to die for man.) As we will see, they totally pervert Scriptures in the Old Testament which establish this, by giving them a distorted meaning.
Returning to www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm , they give the following information:
“The following passages in the Jewish scriptures are the ones that Jews consider to be messianic in nature or relating to the end of days. These are the ones that we rely upon in developing our messianic concept:
“Isaiah 2, 11, 42; 59:20
“Jeremiah 23, 30, 33; 48:47; 49:39
They certainly apply to the Messiah and the end times but they see them to be fulfilled by a human warlord as mentioned in the case of Shimeon ben Kosiba who was thought at one time to be the “mashiach,” as well as others, but the reality for them has not yet happened. When these Scriptures are reviewed, it seems clear that they are all about the time at the end and the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth when Jesus Christ, as the immortal and eternal GOD BEING, will be King of kings and Lord of lords (see Revelation 17:14 and 19:16). For example, Isaiah 2 is about the future house of God when “He (that is Jesus who is God) will teach us His ways – not some human warlord. Zechariah 14:9 speaks about the time when “the LORD shall be King over all the earth,” not some human being. These and many other verses have been explained in a number of our booklets about biblical prophecy.
Before we move on to review further information as to what the Jews are looking for, it is appropriate to explain why we do believe that Jesus Christ, at His first Coming, was indeed the Messiah.
On the website www.bibleprobe.commessianicprophecies.htm, a list of 365 Messianic Prophecies is given from Genesis to Malachi that Jesus fulfilled, when He was here on earth during His first Coming as a HUMAN BEING. Of course, space prohibits listing all of these. (In fact, others, like Edersheim, see below, claim that Jesus, when He was here on earth as a human being, fulfilled as many as 456 Old Testament prophecies.)
On the website: https://empower.global/the-mathematical-probability-that-jesus-is-the-christ/ we read about the “Mathematical Probability” that Jesus is the Christ and that He fulfilled the prophecies about Him as a human being during His first Coming:
“A professor at Westmont College, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university students. The students carefully weighed all the factors, discussed each prophecy at length, and examined the various circumstances which might indicate that men had conspired together to fulfill a particular prophecy. They made their estimates conservative enough so that there was finally unanimous agreement even among the most skeptical students. However the professor then took their estimates, and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more than fair.
“Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented. For example, concerning Micah 5:2, where it states the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the professor and his students determined the average population of BETHLEHEM from the time of Micah to the present; then they divided it by the average population of the earth during the same time period. They concluded that the chance of one man being born in Bethlehem was one in 300,000.
“After examining only eight different prophecies, they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17. To illustrate how large the number 10^17 is (a figure with 17 zeros), the professor gave this illustration: If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They’ll cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the one silver dollar that has the special mark on it. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time.
“In financial terms, is there anyone who would not invest in a financial venture if the chance of failure were only one in 10^17? This is the kind of sure investment we’re offered by God for faith in His Messiah.
“From these figures, the professor concludes the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of the prophecies – the likelihood of mere chance is only one in 10^17. Another way of saying this is that any person who minimizes or ignores the significance of the biblical identifying signs concerning the Messiah would be foolish.
“But, of course, there are many more than eight prophecies. In another calculation, the professor used 48 prophecies (even though he could have used Edersheim’s 456), and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is the incredible number 10^157. How large is 10^157? 10^157 contains 157 zeros!
“The professor gives an illustration of this number using electrons. Electrons are very small objects. They’re smaller than atoms. It would take 2.5 TIMES 10^15 of them, laid side by side, to make one inch. Even if we counted 250 of these electrons each minute, and counted day and night, it would still take 19 million years just to count a line of electrons one inch long. With this introduction, let’s go back to our chance of one in 10^157. Let’s suppose that we’re taking this number of electrons, marking one, and thoroughly stirring it into the whole mass, then blindfolding a man and letting him try to find the right one. What chance has he of finding the right one? What kind of a pile will this number of electrons make? They make an inconceivably large volume.
“This is the result from considering a mere 48 prophecies. Obviously, the probability that 456 prophecies would be fulfilled in one man by chance is vastly smaller. Once one goes past one chance 10^50, the probabilities are so small that it is impossible to think that they will ever occur.
“As the professor concludes, ‘Any man who rejects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact, proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world.’”
We have given conclusive proof that Jesus did exist and have quoted the source that shows that there are 365 [or even 456] Messianic Prophecies in the Old Testament that are given that Jesus fulfilled from the book of Genesis to Malachi. We have further shown that the mathematical probability that Jesus is the Christ and that He was and is the Messiah is overwhelming.
Many Jews claim that Jesus (if they believe that He existed) knew the Old Testament Scriptures and just arranged His life in such a way that it appeared as if they were to apply to Him. But they should readily admit that there are hundreds of prophecies, concerning the Messiah, over which He, as a human being, could have had no influence or control. For example, how could He have “inspired” Judas to betray Him for 30 shekels of silver? How could He have arranged it to be born in Bethlehem; and how could He have influenced His parents to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod?
There is no doubt that due to a misunderstanding of Scripture, the expectations of the Jewish people of that time were that of a leader who would liberate them from the oppressive yoke that the Romans had laid on them, and when Jesus came preaching a gospel of love even for one’s enemies, and when He subsequently died without replacing the Roman government and establishing Jewish rule over the land, those expectations remained unfulfilled for most of the Jews at that time. Jesus stood in stark contrast to other false messiahs that had arisen and failed.
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link