800 years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be “marred beyond human semblance” – that means He would be beaten beyond recognition. He also wrote, not only would the Messiah endure the Wrath of God, but it was the will of the Lord to crush Him.
God gave us these, and several other prophecies, so that we would know His Truth, and we would have no doubt that Jesus is the Christ. In fact, one parable Jesus told of an unbeliever going to hell and desiring to go back and warn his brothers “not to come to this place of torment”. The man was told he could not do that, and he was further told that his brothers have the Law and the Prophets.
The Law and the Prophets bring us to Truth. The Law brings knowledge of sin, and the Prophets point to Christ. Jesus once told the religious leaders, “you look to the Scriptures because you believe in them you will have life, but it is they that speak of Me.”
The statistical odds of all the prophecies being perfectly fulfilled are impossible by any human logic or possibility – yet they were all fulfilled. God did this so you would know the Truth, and the Truth would set you free.
Free from what? Sin and death. We are all spiritually dead, condemned under the Wrath of God – that is why we need a Savior. Jesus Christ was mocked, tortured, spit on, had a crown of thorns shoved in His head, and was then hung on a cross to die in the worst way possible – but that wasn’t the worst of it. As He hung on the Cross, the Wrath of God was poured out on Him.
When He was moments from death, He said, “It is finished”. This was to confirm the legal demand to buy you back from sin and death, to redeem you from the eternal punishment you deserve, this legal requirement was done, finished. He did that for you!
But it didn’t stop there, He rose from the dead. He appeared to over 500 people for 40 days before He ascended back to Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. This is crucial because Scripture tells us, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we are still in our sin.
That is what we celebrate today!
Knowing this story does not save you. Even believing the story doesn’t save you. What saves you from the eternal Wrath of God, which is the consequence of sin – and we have all sinned – what saves us is trusting in Christ and His finished work on the Cross. Trusting in Him alone, not trusting in your religion, your good works, your church attendance, or anything else that is an attempt to earn God’s favor.
When God opens a person’s eyes to the Truth, they are a new creature in Christ, they start on a journey of being conformed into the likeness of Christ; they hate the sin they once embraced, and the live for their King they once despised.
Below are the Scriptures confirming the information above:
Isaiah 52:14b his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
Isaiah 53:10b Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
Luke 16:27-29 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
Romans 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Luke 24:34 saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
Acts 1:3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
1Corinthains 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.