Subject: Evidences 36-50: Prophecies of the Events leading up to the Death of Jesus Christ
I have many friends on both sides of the fence: Christians and skeptics/atheists. It’s fascinating to see their reactions after the presidential election. Many of my Christian friends comfort each other by quoting Bible verses, reminding each other that Jesus is still on the throne. My skeptical/ atheist friends ask “Where is your God, if He’s really sovereign over everything and you think the wrong man was elected?” But the two sides don’t seem to talk with each other. We’re as polarized as Democrats and Republicans. Why is that? Can Christianity offer any real answers to the skeptic’s questions? I think so. So why not share them? After all, the title of this weekly article is “The Evidence of Faith’s Substance”. I am claiming that the evidence validates Christianity is the source to answer to these hard questions.
Maybe the issue is that we are all a little embarrassed to admit that, unlike in our career specialty, we have little more than a Sunday School education when it comes to the factual evidence for Christianity. After talking with so many young people, I would say this is particularly true with our high school and college teachers, the very ones equipping our young people. And yet, on both side of this imaginary “fence”, it’s the issue of evidence that forms the foundation for each side’s position on Christianity.
The great atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if he found himself standing before God on the judgment day and God asked him, “Why didn’t you believe in Me?” Russell replied, “I would say, ‘Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!'” On the other hand, the great Scottish Pastor John Stott once said, “There is evidence for the deity of Jesus — good, strong, historical, cumulative evidence; evidence to which an honest person can subscribe without committing intellectual suicide.” How can we get such opposing views from such learned people?
Funny thing, though – God doesn’t allow anyone to get away with the excuse they didn’t have the evidence to intellectually understand. Russell, in another one of his famous quotes, said, “So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.” Really? How about Matthew 22:37, where Jesus says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your MIND”. The Greek word for “mind” here is “dianoia”, which means your intellect. Romans 12:2 tells Christians “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND”, which is the Greek word “nouæ”, again meaning intellectual understanding.
The Bible says I was created to think. God made all people in His own image, and one of the noblest features of the divine likeness in us is our capacity to think. God also says that since I am different from the animals I should use my mind and behave differently (Psalm 32:9 “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding…’).
With the election over, Americans are very anxious over the future. People have a lot of questions. Christians have an opportunity to offer answers, but we must be solidly grounded in our faith to be viewed as worth listening to. Below are evidences 36-50 in our weekly journey on the reality of Jesus Christ as the only answer to life (that’s right – we’re now up to 50 and counting). The reason Christians have such a powerful testimony is not simply emotional. It’s intellectual. It just requires thinking.
36. Isaiah 9:1 (730BC) = He starts ministry in Galilee fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 4:12,13,17
37. Isaiah 35:5 (730BC) = He performs miracles fulfill in Jesus = Luke 7:21-23
38. Deuteronomy 18:18 (1200BC) = He speaks for God, not Himself fulfill in Jesus = John 12:49-50
39. Psalm 78:2 (1000 BC) = He teaches in parables fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 13:34
40. Zechariah 9:9 (500BC) = He enters Jerusalem on a donkey fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 21:1-11
41. Psalm 69:9 (1000BC) = His zeal is only for God’s honor fulfill in Jesus = John 2:15-17
42. Psalm 118:22-23 (1000BC) = He offends the Jews fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 21:33-42
43. Isaiah 49:6, 60:3 (730BC) = He is “Light” to Gentiles fulfill in Jesus = Acts 13:47-48
44. Psalm 41:9 (1000BC) = He is betrayed by a close friend fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 26:47-50
45. Zechariah 11:12 (500BC) = He is betrayed for 30 pcs of silver fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 26:15
46. Zechariah 11:13 (500BC) = silver thrown in God’s house fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 27:5
47. Zechariah 11:13 (500BC) = silver used to buy Potter’s Field fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 27:6-10
48. Zechariah 13:7 (500BC) = He is abandoned by His disciples fulfill in Jesus = Mark 14:50
49. Psalm 35:11 (1000BC) = He is accused by false witnesses fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 26:59-60
50. Isaiah 53:7 (730BC) = He is silent before His accusers fulfill in Jesus = Matthew 27:12-14
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence”. He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune.