HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
This is a very important subject that I am trying to bring to your attention and I pray that your hearts be opened to you over the next several days.
1. YOU CAN’T IGNORE THE CLAIMS ABOUT HIM (Matthew 27:11).
He claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah that the Old Testament Scriptures had prophetically promised would come. That was why the Jewish leaders had condemned Him to death in the first place. Just a few hours prior, the high priest had asked Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And Jesus answered, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:63-64).
What do you do with someone who says a thing like that about themselves? And yet, just think of how the things Jesus said about Himself conformed to the promises in the Old Testament about the Messiah.
- The Scriptures promised that the Messiah—the one who would be the blessing of all the world—would be born of the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:3), and Jesus was the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1).
- The Scriptures promised that “the King of the Jews”—the One who would be the Savior of the world—would be born of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and Jesus was of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:3).
- The Scriptures promised that the Messiah would be born of the lineage of King David (2 Samuel 7:12), and Jesus was the Son of David (Matthew 1:1).
- We’re told that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:20-23).
- We’re told that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and that was Jesus’ birthplace (Matthew 2:1).
- We’re told that He would shine as a light in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2), and Jesus grew up in Nazareth of Galilee (Matthew 2:22-23).
- We’re told of the specific time in history that the Messiah would be born—some four-hundred and fifty years after the command was given in the time of Daniel to rebuild the temple (Daniel 9:25), and Jesus born at that time (Galatians 4:4).
- We’re told that the Messiah’s arrival would be announced by an Elijah-like prophet (Malachi 4:5); and John the Baptist was that very prophet (Matthew 3:4; Matthew 11:14; Matthew17:11-13).
- We’re told that, when the Messiah came, the eyes of the blind would be opened, and that the ears of the deaf unstopped, and that the lame would leap, and that the tongue of the dumb would sing (Isaiah 35:6); and these were miracles that Jesus performed publicly (Matthew 11:4-5).
Jesus claimed to be the promised Messiah—the long-awaited King of Israel. And His life substantiated His claim. And so, we read in verse eleven, “Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’”
Jesus’ claim concerning Himself is either true or it isn’t. And that, in a very real sense, is exactly what Pilate had to come to terms with. Everyone else must come to terms with it. You and I must come to terms with it.
So, this passage shows us that one thing you cannot do with Jesus is to ignore the claims that are made about Him. Everyone who encounters Him must make a decision of what you will do with this one whom the Bible testifies to be the King of the Jews, God in human flesh, and the Judge of all the earth.
And this fact about Jesus leads us to another reason why no one can help make a decision about Him. Given who He claimed to be . . . You have to believe Him or not believe Him.
TO CONTINUE TOMORROW …