Your faith is worth more than gold
~ 1 Peter 1:7
Judaism and Christianity believe in the authority and divine inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures. Both faiths believe in one God. Both believe in the coming of a Messiah. And both believe in a judgment before God and life hereafter. Unfortunately, through the centuries, certain interpretations of the Bible, plus the traditions of Judaism and Christianity, have distorted the meaning of Scripture for many. Jews have failed to recognise their Messiah and Christians have failed to see the riches of God’s grace in His purposes for Israel.
In the Dark Ages the church banned the distribution and translation of the Bible in a language ordinary people could understand. Church leaders claimed that the Bible was not for the masses. It could only be understood by priests, they said. People were therefore limited in their understanding to whatever the priests told them. And those men were not perfect. Much of what was called Christianity was neither Christian nor biblical, and some was not even moral. For certain Christians that veil remains.
For more than 1,500 years many Jews have rejected the New Testament and Yeshua, or Jesus, to use the name that has come down as an English translation of the Greek, Iesous, which is itself a translation of His true Hebrew name.
We need to examine the Word of God regarding the Anointed One (which is what Messiah, or the Christ, means).
If the prophecies about the Messiah were not in fact fulfilled through Jesus of Nazareth, then the New Testament writers, all of them Jews, invented an elaborate story with details created to fit the Messianic prophecies. It is hard to understand why they would have bothered. They gained nothing out of it and, instead, attracted persecution.
If Jesus did not fulfill the Hebrew Scriptures, then the Messiah is still to come and His life and deeds must match these prophecies.
The Messiah would be born of a virgin:
... the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.
~ Isaiah 7:14
Jesus was born of a virgin:
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
~ Matthew.1:18 (see also Luke 1:30-35)
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
The Messiah would be the Son of God:
I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.’
~ Psalms 2:7 (see also 1 Chronicles 17:11-14)
1 Chronicles 17:11-14
“When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for Me, and I will establish his throne forever.
I will be his father, and he will be My son. I will never take My love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over My house and My kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.”
God called Jesus His Son:
Jesus ... went up out of the water. At that moment ... he saw the Spirit of God ... lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
~ Matthew 3:16-17 (see also John 5:18)
The Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham:
The Lord had said to Abram, “... all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
~ Genesis 12:1-3 (see also Genesis 22:15-18)
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me.”
Jesus is a descendant of Abraham:
A record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham ...
~ Matthew 1:1 (see also Galatians 3:16)
The Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac:
... God said to Abraham, “... it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
~ Genesis 21:12
Jesus is a descendant of Isaac:
... Jesus ... was the son ... of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham ...
~ Luke 3:23-34
The Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob:
God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but ... your name will be Israel” ... And God said to him, “I am God Almighty ... A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.”
~ Genesis 35:10-11
Jesus is a descendant of Jacob:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers ...
~ Matthew 1:2
The Messiah would be a descendant of Judah:
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until He comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is His.
~ Genesis 49:10 (see also Micah 5:2)
Jesus is a descendant of Judah:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers ...
~ Matthew 1:2 (see also Hebrews 7:14)
The Messiah would be a descendant of Jesse:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit ... In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.
~ Isaiah 11:1,10
Jesus is a descendant of Jesse:
... and Jesse the father of King David ...
~ Matthew 1:6 (see also Luke 3:23-32)
The Messiah would be a descendant of King David:
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a king who will reign wisely ...”
~ Jeremiah 23:5
Jesus is a descendant of David:
A record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham ...
... and Jesse the father of King David ...
~ Matthew 1:1,6 (see also Luke 3:23-31, Revelation 22:16)
Now Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began His ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph ... the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David ...
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
~ Micah 5:2
Jesus was born in Bethlehem:
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod ...
~ Matthew 2:1
The Messiah would be called Lord:
Of David. A psalm. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
~ Psalms 110:1 (see also Jeremiah 23:5-6)
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.”
Jesus was called Lord:
Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Messiah the Lord.
~ Luke 2:11 (see also Matthew 22:42-45)
“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ If then David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how can He be his son?”.
The Messiah’s name would be Immanuel:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will ... give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.
~ Isaiah 7:14
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will ... give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us”
~ Matthew 1:21-23
The Messiah would be a prophet like Moses:
I will raise up for them a prophet like you ... I will put My words in His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him.
~ Deuteronomy 18:18
Jesus was a prophet:
They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help His people.”
~ Luke 7:16
The Messiah would be a priest:
The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
~ Psalms 110:4
Jesus was a priest, not of the tribe of Levi but of an eternal order:
Therefore ... fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
~ Hebrews 3:1
The Messiah would have pre-existence:
The Lord brought Me forth as the first of His works, before His deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.
~ Proverbs 8:22-23
Jesus had pre-existence:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
~ John 1:1-3 (see also Colossians 1:12-17)
The Messiah would have the anointing of God’s Spirit:
Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.
~ Isaiah 42:1 (see also Isaiah 11:1-2, Isaiah 61:1)
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ...
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners ...”
Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God:
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.
~ Mark 1:10 (see also Matthew 3:16)
The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger:
“See, I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
~ Malachi 3:1 (see also Isaiah 40:3)
Jesus was preceded by John the Baptist:
... John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’”
~ Matthew 3:1-3 (see also Luke 1:13-17)
... the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.“
The Messiah would perform miracles:
“... your God will come ... He will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy ...
~ Isaiah 35:4-6 (see also Isaiah 32:1-4)
See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice ... Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
Jesus performed many miracles:
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
~ Matthew 9:35 (see also Luke 7:21-22)
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
The Messiah would teach using parables:
I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old ...
~ Psalms 78:2
Jesus taught with parables:
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable.
~ Matthew 13:34
The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
~ Zechariah 9:9
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey:
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
~ Matthew 21:4-5
The Messiah would be a stumbling stone for Israel:
... He will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel He will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.
~ Isaiah 8:14-15
Jesus was a stumbling stone for the Jews who rejected Him:
For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
~ 1 Peter 2:6-8 (see also Romans 9:27-33)
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved ...”
It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
The Messiah would be a light to the gentiles:
...The Lord says – He who formed Me in the womb to be His servant to bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to Himself ... “It is too small a thing for You to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make You a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
~ Isaiah 49:5-6 (see also Isaiah 60:3)
Jesus would bring the revelation of Israel’s God to the gentiles:
“... I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen – that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to His own people and to the Gentiles.”
~ Acts 26:22-23 (see also Acts 13:47)
The Messiah would be raised from the dead:
... You will not abandon Me to the grave, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
~ Psalms 16:10 (see also Psalms 30:3)
Jesus was raised from the dead:
“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried ... But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that He would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”
~ Acts 2:29-32 (see also Acts 13:27-38)
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning Him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
When they had carried out all that was written about Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus ... The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’ So it is stated elsewhere: ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’
For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”
The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend:
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
~ Psalms 41:9 (see also Psalms 55:12-14)
Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of His disciples:
... Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them He meant. One of them ... was reclining next to Him ... Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
~ John 13:21-26
The Messiah would be sold for 30 pieces of silver:
I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’ – the handsome price at which they priced Me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.
~ Zechariah 11:12-13
Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver:
When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood” ... Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests ... decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field ...
~ Matthew 27:3-7 (see also Matthew 26:14-16)
The Messiah would remain silent before His accusers:
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.
~ Isaiah 53:7
Jesus remained silent before His accusers:
When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer. Then Pilate asked Him, “Don’t You hear the testimony they are bringing against You?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.
~ Matthew 27:12-14
The Messiah would be wounded and pierced:
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
~ Isaiah 53:5
Jesus was beaten and pierced:
... he had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers ... twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head ... “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again.
~ Matthew 27:26-30
The Messiah would be beaten and spat upon:
I offered My back to those who beat Me, My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard; I did not hide My face from mocking and spitting.
~ Isaiah 50:6 (see also Micah 5:1)
Jesus was beaten and spat upon:
Then they spit in His face and struck Him with their fists. Others slapped Him ...
~ Matthew 26:67 (see also Luke 22:63)
The Messiah would be mocked:
All who see Me mock Me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue Him. Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him.”
~ Psalms 22:7-8
Jesus was mocked:
... They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again. After they had mocked Him ... they led Him away to crucify Him.
~ Matthew 27:29-31
The Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced:
Dogs have surrounded Me; a band of evil men has encircled Me, they have pierced My hands and My feet.
~ Psalms 22:16
Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced by nails when He was crucified:
... the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.”
~ John 20:25
The Messiah would be crucified with criminals:
... He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors ...
~ Isaiah 53:12
Jesus was crucified between two thieves:
Two robbers were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left.
~ Matthew 27:38
The Messiah would intercede for His persecutors:
... He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
~ Isaiah 53:12
Jesus interceded for those who crucified Him:
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
~ Luke 23:34
The Messiah would be rejected by His own people:
I am a stranger to My brothers, an alien to My own mother’s sons ...
~ Psalms 69:8 (see also Isaiah 53:3)
Jesus was rejected by His own people:
For even His own brothers did not believe in Him.
~ John 7:5 (see also Matthew 23:37)
The Messiah would be hated without reason:
Those who hate Me without reason outnumber the hairs of My head; many are My enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy Me ...
~ Psalms 69:4
Jesus was hated without reason:
... now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both Me and My Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.’
~ John 15:24-25
The Messiah’s garments would be divided and lots would be cast for them:
They divide My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing.
~ Psalms 22:18
Jesus’ clothes were divided and lots were cast for them:
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it...”
~ John 19:23-24
The Messiah would suffer thirst and be given vinegar to drink:
They put gall in My food and gave Me vinegar for My thirst.
~ Psalms 69:21 (see also Psalms 22:15-16)
Jesus was thirsty and was given vinegar to drink:
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
~ John 19:28-29
The Messiah’s bones would not be broken:
... He protects all His bones, not one of them will be broken.
~ Psalms 34:20
Jesus’ bones were not broken:
The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
~ John 19:32-33
The Messiah would be pierced:
I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
~ Zechariah 12:10
Jesus was pierced:
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
~ John 19:34
The Messiah would be buried in a rich man’s tomb:
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death...
~ Isaiah 53:9
Jesus was buried in a rich man’s tomb:
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.