Is Yeshua the Messiah?
One of the easiest places to see Yeshua as the Messiah is in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. There is disagreement about this view from non-believing Jewish people. To the Jewish people, this is a portrait of Israel, not The Messiah.
To get a clear view of these passages, it is helpful to start at Isaiah 52:13, and move through Isaiah 53.52:13Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any other man, and his form more than the sons of man: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them they shall see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.From reading these verses, we can see Isaiah prophesying the coming of the servant of God, who will bear our sin and our sickness and disease. A man who would lead a holy and righteous life, and would bring us righteousness through his death.
53:1 Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 but he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
To see if this fits into a mold that Israel can fill, lets examine several verses and see if they apply to the nation of Israel.13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any other man, and his form more than the sons of man: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them they shall see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.This is a description of the life and death of Yeshua, in brief. Verse 15 points to His using parables to teach, so that “they would hear and not understand.”3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Verse 3 speaks of “a man”. This is singular, not plural, which would be necessary for speaking about a nation. Also, looking throughout the Torah, Israel is almost always referred to in the feminine, or the plural. For she is the bride of Ha’Shem. This theme is consistent throughout chapter 53. A final word on this vein, if Ha’Shem was saying that Israel bore their own disease and sickness, it would not be stated as being placed on another, as in v.5.
In all fairness to non-believing Jews, I can understand how they believe that this applies to Israel. You can see similarities to Israel’s past and the trials they have been through. However, it is clearly speaking of someone other than Israel. If we look at vv.5-7, Israel cannot heal themselves, and a look at Israel in the news shows them retaliating with military power frequently and attacking terrorist bases.
This may have appeared to be “chasing a rabbit”, and having nothing to do with the title, but, it is necessary to show from Scripture, how we know that Yeshua is the Messiah. And, Isaiah 53 is one of the clearest passages showing the characteristics of the Messiah. Yeshua fulfilled 54 major prophecies and over 200 ramifications. The numbers will vary, depending on authors and their desire to see prophecy in diverse places. At the end of this study, several prophecies are listed which Yeshua has fulfilled.
To show you the chances of one man “accidentally” fulfilling even eight of the major prophecies, let us look at a scientific study conducted by Peter W. Stoner.1 In his work “Science Speaks”, Stoner used scientific methods to show that the chances of a mistaken Messiah was 1 to the 17th power. That is 1in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Stoner used this analogy to show the chances of this occurring.If you were to take 1017 of silver dollars, and lay them on the face of Texas, they would cover the entire face of Texas to two feet deep. Then take one silver dollar and mark it with an “X”. Take that silver dollar, throw it in with the rest, and stir the entire mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man, and tell him he can walk anywhere and as far as he wants, but he only has one chance to pick the silver dollar with the “X”. Seems impossible doesn’t it? These are the same chances of one man fulfilling only eight of the 54 plus prophecies that Yeshua fulfilled.We can talk about Yeshua fulfilling Bible prophecy, and quote Scripture and show the New Testament. These will prove the truth of Yeshua. What do we say when we witness to someone and they say, ”The New Testament is not valid or accurate, historically.” This is a reasonable and vital question. If you cannot prove the source reliable, you cannot prove your point of view as reliable.
As recently as the 1950’s, there were very little historically reliable texts of the New Testament. Most scoffers believed that the NT was written several centuries after Yeshua walked amongst us. To them, this placed him in the same category as the Loch Ness monster and other folk stories.
The discovery of the John Ryland manuscript, dated 130 CE (AD), the Chester Beatty Papyri, 155 CE, and the Bodmer Papyri II, 130 CE, greatly enhanced the reliability of the NT. If we compare the NT with what is known to be truth in the secular world, then we find that the NT is extremely reliable and consistent with word usage and customs of that period and region of the 1st century.
A final test of the reliability of the NT is the bibliographical test. This takes copies that were written close to when the original was written and examine their reliability and accuracy, by comparison. To keep this point short, the Iliad is the second most reliable work in history. It has 643 manuscripts to determine its reliability. How many of you doubt this work is accurate? Aristotle’s poetics have only 5 reliable manuscripts. The closest manuscripts of Aristotle’s works are dated approximately 1,300 years after the original was written. No one doubts the validity of either of these great works. The time difference between Caesar’s history of the Gaelic wars and the 9 or 10 copies available, is 1,000 years.
The gap between the original letters of the NT and the copies now available, varies between 80 and 200 years. That is a large difference between secular historical documents and manuscripts and the NT. So why do we face doubters and scoffers who challenge the accuracy of our Scripture?
As I said before, the Iliad has 643 reliable manuscripts, and is second in number of available manuscripts. Do you want to guess what the document in first place is? That is correct. The New Testament, with over 20,000 manuscripts that have been discovered since the 1950’s!
Below is a list of prophecy2 that Yeshua has fulfilled, and the scripture where it was prophesied and the where it was fulfilled.
@ & 6
PROPHECY TANAKH SOURCE FULFILLMENT Be the “seed of the woman” That would “bruise” or “crush” the serpent’s “head” Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4, 1 John 3:8 Be the “seed of Abraham” Genesis 12:3 Matthew 1:1 Acts 3:25
Be a descendant of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:2-3
Luke 3:33, Hebrews 7:14
Be a descendant of David and heir to his throne 2 Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 9:6(7); 11:1-5
Matthew 1:1,6 Acts 11:23, Romans 1:4 Have eternal existence Micah 5:1(2) John 1:1, 14; 8:58
Be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17 Have God’s own name, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, applied to him Isaiah 9:5-6(6-7), Jeremiah 23:5-6 Romans 10:9, Philippians 2:9-11 Come at a specific time, namely, 69 X 7 years (483 years) after the rebuilding of the wall of
Daniel 9:24-26 Matthew 2:1, Luke 3:1, 23 Be born in Bethlehem, in Judah Micah 5:1(2) Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7 Be anointed with the Spirit of God Isaiah 11:2, 61:1, Psalm 45:8 (7) Matthew 3:16, John 3:34; Acts 10:38 Be a prophet like Moses Deuteronomy 18:15,18 Acts 3:20-22 Be tender and compassionate Isaiah 40:11, 42:3 Matthew 12:15,20
Be meek and unostentatious Isaiah 42:2 Matthew 12:15-16, 19 Be sinless and without guile Isaiah 53:9 1 Peter 2:22 Bear the reproaches due others Isaiah 53:12, Psalm 69:10 Romans 15:3 Be hated without cause Isaiah 49:7, Psalm 69:5(4) John 15:24-25 Be undesired and rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:2, 63:3, Psalm 69:9(8) Mark 6:3; Luke 9:58, John 1:11; 7:3-5 Be rejected by the Jewish leadership Psalm 118:22 Matthew 21:42
Be betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:10 (9), Matthew 26:21-25; 47-50
55:13-15 (12-14) John 13:18-21;
Be sold for 30 silver pieces Zecheriah 11:12 Matthew 26:15 Be executed by crucifixion,
By having his hands and feet pierced
Psalm 22:17 (16), Zecheriah 12:10 Matthew 27:35; Luke 24:39;
John 19:18, 34-37;
20:20-28; Rev 1:7
Be executed without having
a bone broken
Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:21(20) John 19:33-36 Be the one whose death would
Atone for the sins of mankind
Isaiah 53:5-7, 12 Mark 10:45; John 1:29; 3:16; Acts 8:30-35 Be raised from the dead Isaiah 53:9-10;Psalm 2:7; 16:10 Matthew 28:1-20;Acts 2:23-36; 13:33-37
1 Corinthians 11:4-6
Ascend to the right hand of God Psalm 16:11 Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11;
68:19(18);110:1 7:55; Hebrews 7:25-8:2
Ha’Shem has given all of us a free will. You now have the weapons to make your decision in favor of Yeshua, or against Him. We encourage you to choose for Him. You won’t regret it.
*Peter W. Stoner and bibliographical information taken from “More Than A Carpenter”, by Josh McDowell. Living Books; 1977.
2Bible prophecies list from Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern. JNTP, Inc.; 1998.