365 Prophecies: Prophecy 345
The three “Shepherds” who were responsible for Jesus death, “abhorred” Him. (Abhorred: To regard with disgust and hatred.)
Old Testament Prediction:
Zechariah 11:8b I dismissed the three shepherds in one month. My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Luke 23:11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
Matthew 26:3-4 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.
Matthew 27:1-2 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Luke 23:1-2 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
The true reasons behind the hatred of the leaders of Israel towards Jesus, may never be known. A likely motive was their fear of Jesus claim to be the King of the Jews. If He was accepted as the King of Israel, what would happen to their coveted positions of leadership? The coming of the Messiah would upset the peace of Jerusalem and cause such an uprising that the Roman government would dispatch troops to Jerusalem to crush the revolt—removing the current rulers of Israel from their coveted positions of power and wealth, or so they imagined.
Three of these leaders, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod, were all “dismissed” from their rulership, in fulfillment of Prophecy 344, shortly after Jesus death and resurrection.
Here in this 345th prophecy, Zechariah believed that it was important to tell us what was behind the treatment of Jesus by these men—they “abhorred” Him. The people who participated in the six unlawful trials of Jesus, cared nothing for justice. They were consumed with hatred and filled with fear for what they imagined might happen if He was received as the Messiah. It is truly incredible when we consider that these men were very likely denying the Messiah, strictly because they feared the loss of their positions of authority. There is no limit to the grave errors that can be committed when fear fills our heart and causes us to imagine things that we think will take place.
In reality, if these men had correctly considered what the coming of the Messiah would mean for them personally, as well as the nation, they would have welcomed Him immediately. The Bible is filled with scriptures that describe what will happen when the Messiah returns to earth to establish His kingdom. Those who have waited for Him, and anticipated His arrival, will be set up as co rulers in the Messiah’s newly established government. Had the leaders of Israel been ready for Jesus when He came and received Him nationally, they would have received positions of greater leadership and responsibility than they had enjoyed before He arrived.
Jesus is not coming to diminish our lives, but to enhance them.
John 10:10 (Jesus speaking) …I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
As it turned out, these leaders of Israel lost their cherished titles on earth, as well as the eternal life the Messiah died to make possible. If we are to receive all that God has planned for us, we must let go of all pride, fear, and doubts. Only by trusting in the goodness of God can we appropriate to our life all that He has planned for us.
Hebrews 11:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (NLT)
Zechariah predicts their error
From the moment that these men purposed to condemn Jesus to death, God determined to make certain that they would lose their positions as leaders of Israel, in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy.
This is always the case for those who refuse to surrender their lives to Jesus because of what they fear would be lost. Those who live only for themselves, will find at the end of their lives that they will have missed out on the endless abundance that God had planned for them—if only they would have surrendered fully to His will.
These men precipitated a self fulfilling prophecy by yielding to their fears and crucifying the Lord of Glory.
All those who will deny and reject Jesus will have eternity to live with the regrets of that decision.
Why people reject Jesus
It is certain that many of the leaders of Israel were aware that Jesus fulfilled all of the predictions spoken by their prophets. These men were not lacking evidence for the identity of Jesus as the Messiah, they were deficient in their will to accept Him.
For those who will not come to Jesus and follow Him, it is never really a matter of evidence, the barrier to faith is the will. When a person has a predisposition to a particular idealism, it is nearly impossible to sway them away from their firm position. There are many people today on the earth who will fail to receive Jesus as their Savior, not due to an insufficiency of evidence, but simply because they do not want to receive Him. Like the leaders of Israel, people today are afraid that it will cost them far too much to surrender their lives to the Lord. Over the many years that I have known Jesus as my Savior I have witnessed numerous individuals who have rejected Him for decades, only to fall at His feat in the final months of their life. Thankfully the Lord is very merciful and kind and He will receive a person even at their last breath.
This book presents hundreds of compelling proofs for the existence of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the empirical basis for faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. It would be impossible for any sincere person to come into contact with this evidence without it affecting their consideration of Jesus claims upon their life.
It has been my observation in discussing evidence for faith in Jesus Christ with non believers that most people have a predisposition for denying the existence of God. No rational person who is honestly seeking proof for God will ever conclude that there is insufficient evidence. In fact, the proof is overwhelming and compelling. The inability to believe in God originates from a heart that choses not to believe, not due to a lack of evidence.
After presenting an extensive list of compelling proof to one young man who claimed there was “no evidence for the existence of God,” he told me “you have proven nothing.”
I replied: “I have proven that evidence is not the barrier to your belief in Jesus Christ, it is your will that hinders you.”
In reality, it is never a lack of evidence that prevents anyone from believing in God, or the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, as the basis for salvation—it is the lack of will to want to believe.
The following locations in this book present hundreds of empirical proofs for God, as well as the facts of Jesus death and resurrection. If you are looking for compelling reasons to believe, you will find them here:
The Certainty of the Resurrection.
The Moment of Creation.
Evidence for the existence of God.
The Crucifixion of Jesus.
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Predictions of Jesus.
Prophecies of Scientific knowledge.
Ph.d’s who believe in God and Creation.
To the unbeliever.
There are some who will take up this book while vigorously protesting the existence of God. There must remain some deep recess of the heart which hungers to believe. I have taken a particular curiosity in certain individuals who expend great efforts in convincing those who follow Jesus, that they do not believe. It seems that when a person has reached a place of conviction the need to prove their conclusions must end. Those who follow Christian chat sites, articles on the Bible or Jesus Christ, only to stand in opposition to those beliefs, appear to do so because they have yet to be convinced themselves that their stance against God is firm.
I would imagine that one of the purposes for your purchase of this book, was curiosity. I certainly understand inquisitiveness, it was my own unanswered questions which compelled me to conduct a search for answers some 37 years ago. When I discovered the phenomenon of Bible Prophecy, immediately I wondered how someone could know what was going to happen in the future with perfect accuracy. When I realized that only a being transcendent of time could possibly know these things, I was convinced that there must be in existence, an entity of infinite wisdom and power. The fact that He had left us proof for His existence by many evidence based facts, caused me to begin my own search for more information. It has been nearly four decades and everyday I am stunned again and again by a new revelation for the existence of this amazing being known as “God.”
The most subjective experience for the existence of God is understood by those who know Him by first hand knowledge. Unlike religion, knowing God through Jesus Christ allows us to experience Him up close and personal. Throughout my day I am constantly aware of His presence, His guidance, His counsel, and His protection. I hear Him speak to my mind—things that are outside of my ability to know, apart from a revelation from Him. Many of the prinicples that are written in this book, came to my mind by revelation from the Lord, as I was writing. I speak to Him, He answers me. I know that He exists because He is such a great and substantial part of my life and existence as a human being.
Because of what Jesus has accomplished for us at the cross, all of our sins are no more and we are able to enjoy perfect and unending fellowship with the Living God. He has made us His friends and there is no longer a wall of separation between us and Him. I have personally known Him and the reality of His existence since April 25, 1975.
I have discovered that the God of the Bible is the answer to every question that I have had about life, the universe, and the reason that I find myself here on this tiny planet.
It is practically impossible that an anthology of 66 books, authored by 40 different writers, over a period of more than 1,500 years, could all describe, with precision, one subject—the Messiah, without this knowledge being imparted to the minds of the writers of the Bible—supernaturally.
Someone who lives outside of time and has infinite knowledge of every event that will transpire on earth, has revealed these facts to the writers of the Bible—who then communicated these things to us.
The leaders of Israel had three and one half years to examine the testimony of Jesus of Nazareth and decide if He presented enough credible evidence to be the Messiah. Jesus met every requirement, and did not fail to fulfill the hundreds of predictions that were written to describe the coming Savior of the world. These men chose to reject Jesus for fear of what they would loose. I pray that you will not make the same grave error.
You may feel that should you surrender your life to Jesus, He will immediately take away all of the exciting things that you love. In reality, He is very gentle, and never forces anyone to believe in Him or trust Him. If you decide to give up something it happen by your own will and desire for change, not through compulsion or guilt from the Lord.
You will discover over the course of several years, many things you once considered important, will no longer be important at all. These changes come through awareness and realization, not by oppression or condemnation. The burdens that Jesus places on us are not heavy, hard to bear, or difficult to accomplish. Using your own natural abilities that He has created within you, providing resources that are limitless, and wisdom that comes through seeking His heart and will, you will be lead on the most amazing adventure you could ever imagine.
Jesus makes us into new creatures from the moment we lay our lives before Him and are willing to turn from our former sins and selfishness. It is by the process of becoming a new creation that our thoughts, words, and actions begin to change through our own will and desire—progressively—for the rest of our lives.
I hope in some small way, this book will help you to discover how wonderful it is to have a real and personal relationship with the one true God who has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.