Errors of Assumption by the Jews, Regarding Jesus Death by Crucifixion

COPYRIGHT WARNING

The prophet Isaiah wrote nearly 2,700 years ago that when the Messiah makes His appearance in Jerusalem, He will be beaten, crucified, and rise from the dead. The leaders of Israel will see Him as He is dying on the cross and determine that He is suffering for His own sins. The prophet further describes the truth of the Messiah’s sacrifice as substitutionary and securing the salvation of every person who will embrace and accept it personally.[1]

To the present day, many Jews have been taught that Jesus died due to His own errors and that His death occurred as a result of sins which He committed against God and His word. Isaiah describes the exact opposite: Messiah will not sin Himself, but will bear the sins of the world during His sacrifice upon the cross.

Why is it that a person will hear the opinions of others and immediately accept the conclusions as accurate–without having investigated the assertions themselves? It seems that in matters of eternal significance–which is the case with Messiah, the claims of Jesus should be examined with the record of Hebrew prophecy, as well as the historical record of the New Testament narrative. The men who were present at the time Jesus conducted His three and one-half year ministry here on earth, testified that He had committed no sin, and that His death on the cross was determined in advance–for the entire world. Jesus came in fulfillment of 55 prophecies from Isaiah and the 22nd Psalm, which all described His crucifixion and death in vivid detail.

The prophecies of Psalm 22, written by David, were penned by Him over 1,000 years before Jesus was born.

The Prophecies of Isaiah 53, were written by him more than 700 years before Jesus was born.

Although there has been a great deal of dispute in regards to these prophecies–with the claim that these prophetic words were written “after the fact,” this assertion has been refuted by the world’s greatest scholars. Evidence of the existence of these prophecies in the records of Jewish antiquity have been confirmed with certainty–at least 246 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. 

Prophecies of the Old Testament confirmed by the Historical Record

Alexander the Great was one of the world’s greatest and most prolific conquerors. Upon the completion of his conquest of the Babylonian empire, began a far-reaching campaign to make the Greek language the primary spoken and written language of the known world. As a result, the Hebrew language of the Jews fell into disuse. Between 285 and 246 B.C., Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned seventy Hebrew scholars to translate the Hebrew scriptures into Greek. Their completed translation known today as “LXX” contained the complete text of Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and the Book of Daniel. For this reason, we know that all these prophecies which described the Messiah, were a part of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, almost 300 years before Jesus arrived. Today, upon comparison of the Septuagint with our modern translations of the Old Testament scriptures, we find that the prophecies of Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Daniel, Isaiah, and all the prophets who predicted the specific details of the Messiah, are virtually identical.[2]

For this reason, the criticism that the prophecies of the Messiah are not valid because they were written after the fact—is fully impeached by the record of history.

Of the 131 prophecies found in the Book of Isaiah that vividly describe the Messiah, all of these predictions were penned at least 285 years and up to 700 years before Jesus was born and began to fulfill every single word of Isaiah’s prophetic description of the promised Messiah. This large body of prophecy found in the Book of Isaiah is directly applicable to the entire life of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the coming Messiah—from His birth, through His death, and resurrection from the dead. 

The descriptions of the Messiah—written by David in Psalm 22, where he communicates a Messiah who will be pierced in His hands and feet by crucifixion, was written more than 1,000 years before Jesus was born. Dozens of other Old Testament prophecies found in this book were written from 1,000 to 3,000 years before Jesus arrived and fulfilled each one perfectly.

The eye witness testimony concerning Jesus death

On the afternoon that Jesus was crucified, there were two criminals on either side of Him, who were also dying. They had made such a mess of their lives, that they were about to pay for their crimes.

Not so for Jesus. The testimony of all those who had known Him intimately for many years is that He had never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15 (Paul) For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

1 Peter 1:19 (Peter) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

There is not a single reference in the Bible where Jesus is said to have committed a sin. When Pilate came face to face with Jesus, his observation and judgment was: I find no fault in Him.

Luke 23:4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

In order for anyone to accuse Jesus of sin, their accusations would have to be contrived. It is said that when the Jews were seeking to convict Jesus of crimes serious enough to put Him to death, they went looking for false testimony of His guilt.

Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

In order to place blame on Jesus which would necessitate His death, people had to lie about Him.

Many of those who observed the accusations against Jesus, believed Him to be guilty, by the false testimony of those who sought His death. They were led to believe that Jesus had committed crimes worthy of death because the religious leaders of Israel had said that He was guilty. Today, people make the same fatal error in their evaluation of Jesus. They accept the testimony of others about who Jesus is, rather than doing the important work of investigation themselves.

Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah would be put to death, those who observed His punishment would believe that He was being punished by God for His own evil deeds.

Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

Let us consider the impossibility of this prophecy.

First, that the Messiah would be accused of sin and put to death, was an unthinkable consideration for most Jews of that day. According to the Hebrew scriptures, the Messiah would be without sin: Prophecy 1, Prophecy 21, Prophecy 164

Second, He would be the Eternal God who made the heavens and the earth. Since God is eternal, it is impossible that He could die; therefore, the Messiah could not die: Prophecy 20, Prophecy 50, Prophecy 132, Prophecy 174

This was two points of stumbling for the Jews concerning Jesus at the time that He arrived in Jerusalem, and they are still insurmountable problems for the Jews today.

First, that He claimed to be God.
Second, if He is God, then how could He die?

Many Jews today reject Jesus as the Messiah because He was put to death for crimes which He was convicted of by the Sanhedrin of Israel. Equally important in the mind of the Jews today is the fact that if Jesus was truly the promised Messiah, how is it that He could die; for the scriptures describe Messiah as living forever? Still, others reject Jesus because they do not believe that the Messiah will be God at all, but simply a normal human being who has been sent by God.

The facts are: the Hebrew scriptures teach both: The Messiah will be God, and the Messiah will be put to death.

It is true that God cannot die because He is eternal. What is not often considered is that God will be dwelling in the body of a man as He comes to earth as the Messiah. When the Messiah dies, it will be the body of a man that will perish, not the eternal Spirit of God. When the Messiah is raised from the dead on the third day, He will live in the resurrected body of a man forever. It was the power of the Eternal Spirit of God that had been dwelling within the body of Jesus, which raised His human body back to life and gave Him the right to defeat death forever.

Many of the Hebrew scriptures speak of these things in vivd detail, which is the subject of this book. To list and evaluate all of the Hebrew scriptures and then compare them to the actual words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, with application—this is the purpose for my work in “The Prophecies of the Messiah.” As those who observed Jesus’ suffering at His crucifixion falsely assumed that He was dying for His own sins, as Isaiah predicted in this 242nd prophecy, so also today do people continue to assume that Jesus could not be the Messiah, based on a similar false assumption.

When the evidence is examined, it is clear that God told us ahead of time that He would be dwelling in the body of a man as the Messiah, being called Immanuel (God with us).

Prophecy 165

The Messiah will be God, living in the body of a man.

Old Testament Prediction:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin (Almah) shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us).

God also said that the Messiah would die, as is so vividly described in Isaiah Chapter 53 which is the subject of Prophecies 233-270; as well as Psalm 22, Prophecies 71-87.

The 55 Prophecies of the Cross:

Isaiah 53

Who will believe?
Isaiah 53:1
Prophecy 233

He will come from a poor family.
Isaiah 53:2
Prophecy 234

No Physical Beauty
Isaiah 53:2
Prophecy 235

He will be despised.
Isaiah 53:3
Prophecy 236

He will be rejected.
Isaiah 53:3
Prophecy 237

He is a man of sorrows.
Isaiah 53:3
Prophecy 238

They will hide from Him.
Isaiah 53:3
Prophecy 239

He will bear our griefs.
Isaiah 53:4
Prophecy 240

He will carry our sorrow.
Isaiah 53:4
Prophecy 241

Thought to suffer for His own sins.
Isaiah 53:4
Prophecy 242

He will pay for our sins.
Isaiah 53:5
Prophecy 243

He will make peace for us.
Isaiah 53:5
Prophecy 244

By His scourging, we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5
Prophecy 245

He will bear all our sins.
Isaiah 53:6
Prophecy 246

All our sins will be laid on Him.
Isaiah 53:6
Prophecy 247

He will be oppressed and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:7
Prophecy 248

He will not defend Himself.
Isaiah 53:7
Prophecy 249

Led as a Lamb to the slaughter.
Isaiah 53:7
Prophecy 250

He will be arrested.
Isaiah 53:8
Prophecy 251

His trials will be unjust.
Isaiah 53:8
Prophecy 252

He will be killed.
Isaiah 53:8
Prophecy 253

His life is the payment for our sins.
Isaiah 53:8
Prophecy 254

Buried in a rich man’s gravesite.
Isaiah 53:9
Prophecy 255

Accused, but innocent.
Isaiah 53:9
Prophecy 256

He will bear witness of the truth.
Isaiah 53:9
Prophecy 257

It pleased God to punish Him for us.
Isaiah 53:10
Prophecy 258

His life, an offering for our sins.
Isaiah 53:10
Prophecy 259

He will see those whom He has saved.
Isaiah 53:10
Prophecy 260

His salvation for us will succeed.
Isaiah 53:10
Prophecy 261

He will see His plan ahead of time.
Isaiah 53:11
Prophecy 262

He will come as the servant of God.
Isaiah 53:11
Prophecy 263

He will justify those who believe.
Isaiah 53:11
Prophecy 264

He will bear all of our sins.
Isaiah 53:11
Prophecy 265

His name exalted above all names.
Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy 266

He will pour out His life for us.
Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy 267

He will be killed with criminals.
Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy 268

He will bear the sins of the world.
Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy 269

He will pray for those who kill Him.
Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy 270

The Prophecies of Psalm 22

Forsaken by God.
Psalm 22:1
Prophecy 71

He will cry out to God.
Psalm 22:2
Prophecy 72

He will be despised and rejected.
Psalm 22:6
Prophecy 73

People will wag their heads in disgust.
Psalm 22:7
Prophecy 74

They will say: He trusted in the Lord.
Psalm 22:8
Prophecy 75

Born to be the Savior of the world.
Psalm 22:9-10
Prophecy 76

He will die from a ruptured heart.
Psalm 22:13-17
Prophecy 77

He will thirst while on the cross.
Psalm 22:13-17
Prophecy 78

Onlookers will hate and mock Him.
Psalm 22:16
Prophecy 79

His hands and feet will be pierced.
Psalm 22:16
Prophecy 80

He will hang naked before the world.
Psalm 22:17-18
Prophecy 81

His clothing will be gambled for.
Psalm 22:18
Prophecy 82

While dying, He is fully committed to God.
Psalm 22:19-21
Prophecy 83

The devil will try to kill Him on the cross.
Psalm 22:20-21
Prophecy 84

By His death and resurrection, the world will learn of His love.
Psalm 22:22
Prophecy 85

He will be given dominion of the earth.
Psalm 22:27-29
Prophecy 86

Eyewitnesses will send word of Him to the world.
Psalm 22:30-31
Prophecy 87

55 Prophecies that have been confirmed as written from 700-1000 years before Jesus was born. Each one of these predictions builds upon the former and leaves the reader with a compelling and irrefutable quantity of empirical evidence–tested by time and antiquity. Not only do we have the massive narrative of the New Testament which comes to us with extraordinary evidence to support its authenticity–we also have the 3,000 year old record of prophecy from David, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, Moses, and David (amongst many others), which compels the honest seeker to admit–the record in favor of Jesus as a real person of History who lived, died, and rose from the dead, in fulfillment of over 400 Hebrew prophecies, is overwhelming.

This evidence demands the final verdict that Jesus is the Messiah–the Savior of the world.


NOTES:

[1] Old Testament prediction: Isaiah 53:4c … Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted
New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 27:39-43 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
[2] Collins, John J. (2001). “Current Issues in the Study of Daniel”. In Collins, John J.; Flint, Peter W.. The Book of Daniel, Composition & Reception. ISBN 9789004116757.



Categories: Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics, Empirical Evidence for God, Historical Validity of the New Testament, Jesus is the Messiah, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Prophecy proven by History, The Claims of Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, Uncategorized

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