“He said, ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!”” [Mar 1:15 NET]
I follow Jesus because I believe HE is the promised Messiah of Israel.
The Hebrew Bible spoke of a promised Anointed One who would be the chosen Prophet, Priest, and King that the Creator would send to deliver us from death and the devil. The Messiah would save HIS people from their sins and restore “Eden on steroids” to the world.
For a example, this hope for a Messianic Hero can be seen in the following passages.
“And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.” [Genesis 3:15]
“1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed Messiah, saying, 3 Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us! 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. 7 I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:’ He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ 8 Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the [very] ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware. 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish [in] the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” [Psa 2:1-12 NASB]
One of the basic thirteen beliefs of orthodox Jewish faith is:
12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was that promised Messiah and that the mystery form of the Messianic age has begun with HIS arrival at Bethlehem (Matthew 13). So while the full manifestation of HIS kingdom has not yet been revealed HE is even now through the preaching of the gospel overcoming HIS enemies.
As the converted rabbi Saul concluded.
] 25 For Messiah Jesus must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. [1Co 15:25 NASB
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was that promised Messiah and that the mystery form of the Messianic age has begun with HIS arrival at Bethlehem (Matthew 13).
Some of the key prophecies that show Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah are listed here by “The Jews For Jesus”. This is only an example. Some feel that there are about 353 prophecies in Moses and the Prophets predicting different things about the Messiah.
Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10
Messiah would present himself by riding on an ass: Zechariah 9:9
Messiah would be tortured to death: Psalm 22:1-31
Messiah would arrive before the destruction of the Second Temple: Daniel 9:24-27
Messiah’s life would match a particular description, including suffering, silence at his arrest and trial, death and burial in a rich man’s tomb, and resurrection: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
I worked with Dr. James Kennedy on writing a book called Messiah Prophecy Fulfilled which outlines some of the key prophecies which can convince one that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Bible. The study I did researching and co-authoring that book increased my appreciation for these prophecies.
One of the key prophecies that impresses me is found in Daniel 9 in which it is made clear that after the Messiah comes and is cut off before the destruction of the second temple would take place. The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem occurred in 70 AD.
26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end [will come] with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. [Daniel 9:26 NASB]
So while the details of this prophecy can be complicated it would be seen that this prophecy clearly would state that the promised Messiah had to come before 70 AD. The most note worthy and likely candidate for being the Messiah prior to 70 AD would clearly be Jesus of Nazareth.
Now it is possible to show in detail that the 490 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem following the Babylon captivity and the coming of Jesus into the world clearly indicate HIM as the promised Messiah foretold by Daniel within a time frame that seems to focus on HIS time in the early first century.
(see a full explanation at https://www.christiancourier.
com/articles/14-daniels- prophecy-of-the-seventy-weeks )
So it seems from this alone that there are good reasons to consider and accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messianic Prophet, Priest, and King
So, I follow Jesus because the prophecies found in the Hebrew Bible and historical evidence helps confirm He is the Messiah.
Now, this idea that Jesus being the Messiah became a moment of clarification for my own faith. I asked myself after struggling about the true nature of saving faith in Messiah Jesus, what does it mean to have belief in HIM as my personal Messiah.
As I began to better define Messiah as the chosen Prophet, Priest, and King I found myself relating to Jesus in a much more full and balanced way. My church at the time asked me to teach on Basic Christianity. This led me to center my teaching on Jesus being my personal Prophet, Priest, and King
I found that I had to accept Jesus as my personal Prophet, for me, HE is the most significant revelation of God in history. HE was God the Son being the Son of God. In the LORD Jesus I could understand who God is. Jesus had to become my ultimate TRUTH.
I also had to accept Jesus as my personal High Priest, the one who would shed HIS own blood to give me forgiveness, adoption, and reconciliation. The throne of God is now one of undeserved mercy and grace. This can only work where there has been a sufficient sacrifice for my sins.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.[Heb 4:14-16 NASB]
Finally, I came to surrender to Jesus as my KING. HE gives me protection and provision every day. He is the Good Shepherd who guides and provides. I strive to have Jesus rule over every aspect of my life.
How about YOU?
Do you personally know HIM as your personal prophet, Priest and king?
Will you come to follow Jesus to be your personal Messiah?
I follow Jesus as my perfect revelation of God, High Priest and ultimate King. HE is my Messiah.
Films on this topic
List of prophecies about the Messiah