In today’s society, we seem to trust more greatly that which we can see. We place our faith in the experts of health and politics, and we even convince ourselves to purchase a lottery ticket for a jackpot we will never win. Men and women put their trust in NASA to launch them into the heavens. They strap themselves to a million pounds of fuel, then it is set on fire and propelled skyward, all while being constructed by the lowest bidder. Not only is that fact hard to comprehend, these same select individuals must rely on the intelligence of a few specialist in their fields to map a course through space to keep them from crashing into something already in orbit. And the scientific community thinks the faith world is crazy for believing in a God we cannot see.
As we navigate the memories from this past year, maybe we shouldn’t reflect on the ups and downs of 2020. Maybe we should just say “good riddance” and be done with it forever. We have lost too many loved ones and friends to a virus we never asked for. Our elderly have grown a year older, mostly alone. Families have held funerals with no one allowed to attend and businesses have suffered great losses if not final closures. Spring and summer came and went, Thanksgiving still happened, and, yes, even the Grinch of 2020 couldn’t stop Christmas this year. So what proof do we have that this next year will not be like the last? Someone asked me if I thought this would go away, and I believe my answer would have to be “no, not anytime soon.” Our health experts have approved vaccines, and, yes, they will help in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t remove the fact that we are a “proof driven” society. Prove to me there’s a cure. Prove to me why I should wear a mask. Prove there’s a God. Prove to me that you love me and on and on.
I cannot give you proof of a COVID cure or validate why or why you should not wear a mask, but what I can do is prove that Jesus is the promised Messiah. If I were to give you a stock to buy that will explode and make you wealthy this next year then at the end of 2021, you would consider me an expert. If I told you who the winner would be of this year’s Super Bowl, you would deem me an expert in sports betting. But what if I told you who would win the Super Bowl, who they would play, what the score would be at the end of each quarter, what the final score would be, who would get injured, how many completions each quarterback would make as well as touchdowns per player, tackles, yards per catch and run and even the MVP? You would put your entire faith in me from now on. That is how accurate the messianic prophesies have been concerning one man, times infinity.
Let’s dive in and give this some thought. There are over 300 prophesies concerning Jesus as Messiah. The meaning of the word Messiah is “anointed,” and the over-300 foretellings of him are recorded hundreds and thousands of years before his birth. They tell where he would be born, what he would look like, where he would travel, and even how he would die on a cross hundreds of years before crucifixion was even thought of. Just to get a glimpse, let’s look at a few Old Testament scriptures and calculate the odds.
Moody Press published a book by Peter Stoner, in 1957, called “Science Speaks.” In his book, Stoner focuses on just eight prophesies and their odds concerning them all being about one man. In Micah 5:2, the prophet tells that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, and, in Malachi 3:1, a different person tells that this same Jesus that would be born in Bethlehem would also have John the Baptist as a forerunner to pro-claim him as the Messiah. Stoner calculates the Bethlehem prophesy concerning one man to be 2.8x10 to the fifth power and that he would have a person ahead of him pro-claiming his deity would be 1 in 10 to the third power.
Zechariah 9:9 prophesies that this same Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey. Zechariah 13:6 then tells this same man would not only be born in Bethlehem, have a forerunner, ride a colt into town but would also have wounds on his hands, and there’s more. Zechariah 11:12 then tells that this same man would be betrayed but for 30 pieces of silver. Zechariah 11:13 then tells that the betrayer would return the silver, and they would buy a field with the money. Then Isiah 53:7 tells this man would be innocent, accused, tried, but would keep silent and not defend himself, and, finally, Psalms 22:16 tells of the crucifixion of Jesus hundreds of years before the cruel tortuous death was ever conceived.
To fulfill one of these prophesies alone would be beyond the ability to comprehend in the mind of mankind, but the odds of one man fulfilling all eight prophesies is 1 in 10 to the 28th power. That’s a chance of 1 in 10 followed by 28 zeros. You say you want proof that Jesus is the son of God, the creator of all things, the promised Messiah? Well here is only 8 of over 300 reasons. Stoner records in his book, “Any man who re-jects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world.”
Lee Stroebel who wrote “the case for Christ” was an atheist for many years until he could not find evidence or proof in any form that Jesus didn’t exist. He wrote that the proof he found in these odds gave him confidence to believe in Christ. The facts are clearly evident, my friends, the odds don’t lie, and the case for your salvation has been written for thousands of years. The verdict is in. Christ is the Messiah, the anointed one, the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords. How about we start new with him this year? I would love to introduce him to you this Sunday at 9 a.m. and also at 11 a.m., and you can meet him for yourself. Now what would be the odds of that? We are Christpoint Church, we’re on the square in Sparta, and we’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.