For one who has already made up his or her mind that Jesus is not the Messiah, no amount of evidence will be convincing. But for those who are honest in asking, the evidence speaks for itself.
The idea of a Messiah comes from the Hebrew Bible.
Imagine looking up a friend by first locating his country. That would not be enough information, so you would need to ascertain his city, street, and specific street number. It would also help if you had a phone number and when he would be home.
Similarly, the Bible tells us the “ID” of the Messiah. His ethnic background, place of birth, the timeframe of his arrival and other identifying characteristics are given. These “credentials” enable us to identify the Messiah and to recognize imposters.
What are some of the credentials of the Messiah?
Only a few can be listed below; there are many others. Early Rabbis recognized all of these passages as referring to the Messiah.
- Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 (Micah 5:1 in Hebrew Bible)
- Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10
- Messiah would present himself by riding on an ass: Zechariah 9:9
- Messiah would be tortured to death: Psalm 22:1-31
- Messiah would arrive before the destruction of the Second Temple: Daniel 9:24-27
- Messiah’s life would match a particular description, including suffering, silence at his arrest and trial, death and burial in a rich man’s tomb, and resurrection: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
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