May 31, 2011

Part I – Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up?

Hitler, one of the many
false Messiahs that the
world has followed.
By Francis Nye

Is Jesus the Messiah? To answer this, my Jewish friends tell me you must really ask a two part question.   Does Jesus fulfill the 21 signs and requirements of the scripture and does he embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah?  This week in this two part series, Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up? I am going to tackle the first part of the question; does Jesus fulfill the 21 signs and requirements of the scripture?

I am a fact based person that looks at everything in a logical way. The Bible has a laundry list of requirements to determine who the Messiah is but first it is important to understand where the idea for the Messiah came from.  The Messiah concept came from an established religion, Judaism.  Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, [1] and the oldest to survive into the present day.  Not only is it the religion of these desert peoples of the Middle East it is also their philosophy and way of life.[2]   God revealed his laws and commandments to one of these people namely, Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah.[3]  Included in God’s laws passed to these people are signs and requirements of the coming Messiah. 

Most of the scriptural requirements concerning the Messiah, what he will do, and what will be done during his reign are located in the Book of Isaiah, although requirements are mentioned by other prophets as well.  There are by my count 21 requirements that are written in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Psalms. 

So does Jesus fulfill these requirements?  Let’s look at some of what the Bible say he will accomplish:

The Torah (The Old Testament) says that the true Messiah will:

·         Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

·         Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
·         Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

·         Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

Does Jesus pass the first part of the test?  The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies. 
Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.  Since the God told the Jews what the requirements are I would counter that the Jews would be in the know. 

One could argue that Jesus has more in common with Krishna than the Messiah.  (See for the 22 identical life experiences between Jesus and Krishna) Maybe the Christians got it wrong.  Jesus is the reincarnation of Krishna and not the Messiah, but that is a topic of another post.

Next week I am going to tackle the second part of the question; does Jesus embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah?

[1] "Religion & Ethics - Judaism". BBC. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
[2] Jacobs, Louis (2007). "Judaism". in Fred Skolnik. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 11 (2d ed.). Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. p. 511
[3] "What is the oral Torah?". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 

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