Who is Jesus?

Part 1 – History and OT

Jesus is a controversial and amazing figure. He existed in history and according to the Bible exists currently in the heavenly realms, seated at the right hand of God the Father. We are going to start this series called, Who Is Jesus?, with a look at his place in history and a look at what the Old Testament says about Him.

1. What scholars and historians say about his existence:

  • Among scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, though, there is little disagreement that he actually lived. Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University and author of a 2015 Biblical Archaeology Review article on the extra-biblical evidence of Jesus, notes that there was no debate about the issue in ancient times either. “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.” – History.com
  • Historian Flavius Josephus wrote one of the earliest non-biblical accounts of Jesus.
  • The first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, twice mentions Jesus in Jewish Antiquities, his massive 20-volume history of the Jewish people that was written around 93 A.D.
  • Roman historian Tacitus connects Jesus to his execution by Pontius Pilate.
  • Roman governor Pliny the Younger wrote to Emporer Trajan that early Christians “sing hymns to Christ as to a god.” 
  • Some scholars also believe Roman historian Suetonius references Jesus in noting that Emperor Claudius had expelled Jews from Rome who “were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.”

2. Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC and that he died between 30 and 36 AD.

3. Old Testament references and prophecy

Here is a chart of some of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. http://www.about-jesus.org/complete-chart-prophecies-jesus.htm

The following are just a few prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Christ and shown from the New Testament passages.

  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem
    • Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.”
    • Matthew 2:1-6, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem,” (Vs. 1)
  • Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and his name is Immanuel, God With Us
    • Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.”
    • Luke 1:34, “Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”
    • Matthew 1:23, “See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”
  • Jesus would perform miracles
    • Isaiah 35:4-6, “Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; he will save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;”
    • Matthew 11:4, “Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”
  • Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
    • Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
    • Matthew 21:7, “They brought the donkey and its foal; then they laid their clothes on them, and he sat on them.”
  • Jesus would be beaten and spat upon
    • Isaiah 50:6-7, “I gave my back to those who beat me, and my cheeks to those who tore out my beard. I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting. The Lord God will help me; therefore I have not been humiliated; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”
    • Matthew 26:67, “Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him”
  • Jesus died because of our sins
    • Isaiah 53:4-6, “Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.”
    • John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son that whoever would believe in Him, would not perish but have eternal life.”
  • Jesus was resurrected and lives
    • Job 19:25, “But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust.”
    • John 20:27, “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.”
  • Jesus would have a worldwide impact
    • Micah 5:4, “He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord his God. They will live securely, for then his greatness will extend to the ends of the earth.”
    • History has proven this. You can find Christ alive and well in the lives of people in even the most anti-Christian countries and cultures.

Stay tuned for a continuation of “Who is Jesus?” through a short study on the Gospel of Luke.

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