Why I Believe, Part 2
In the first of two articles titled “Why I Believe” I talked about a variety of things that help confirm we can trust there is a God, that the Bible is his Word of instruction (through Jesus and his apostles), and that Jesus is his Messiah in whom we should place our faith. A book could be written (besides the Bible), and I’m not going into a lot of detail in these two short articles, but here is more on the topic.
I’ve stated: nature declares there is a God; the Bible’s authors, timeline and reliability that archeology confirms does; Jesus’ death and resurrection; and numerous atheists who were convinced of God through evidence, all mentioned in Part I. This time I will talk about fulfilled prophecies that are compelling, the miracles of Jesus that are confirming. And let me add: personal experience is verifying.
Fulfilled Prophecies. Here is a list of 9 prophecies about the Messiah from hundreds of years prior to them being fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus:
1.Triumphal entry (Zechariah 9:9, John 12:12-15), 2. Rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3, John 1:10-11), 3. Jesus silent before accusers (Isaiah 53:7, Mark 15:5), 4. His garments are divided by casting lots (Psalm 22:17-18, John 19:23), 5. None of Jesus’ bones are broken (Numbers 9:12, John 19:31-37), 6. His hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:14-16, Luke 24:39), 7. He will die a sacrifice for sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, I Peter 2:24), 8. He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9, Matt. 27:57-60), 9. Jesus’ resurrection (Psalm 16:10, Matt. 28:6).
Some critics might say Jesus had a Messiah complex and manufactured these events. But he couldn’t do that with soldiers casting lots for his clothing while on the cross, or the fact they didn’t break his bones like they did most people crucified, or that crucifixion required his hands and feet to be pierced, or that he’d be buried in a rich man’s tomb (not what you’d expect for this poor itinerant preacher). And no one could manufacture a true resurrection, his death and resurrection witnessed by many!
Miracles of Jesus. Here are just a few of the many miracles from the book of John that Jesus performed in public, even his critics were unable to refute:
1.Turning water into wine (John 2), 2. Healing a royal official’s son (John 4), 3. Healing the paralytic at Bethesda (John 5), 4. Feeding the 5,000 with a few fish and a little bread (John 6), 5. Walking on the water and then calming the storm (John 6), 6. Giving sight to a man born blind (John 9), and 7. Raising Lazarus from the grave after 4 days (John 11).
Through these miracles Jesus showed his mastery of earthly elements, of the human body, of nature, and of life and death. He is Emanuel, God in the flesh! To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, you can reject him with a misguided belief he is a charlatan (in spite of the evidence), or you can fall at his feet as Lord! You can’t say he’s just a good teacher among many. His story and words don’t provide that option.
Cross Point: Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14). He also said, “Take up your cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). The evidence is there. Will you follow?