When I was just a young teenager, I stood before a large audience and confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.” That confession has been made by millions of martyrs of legions still living. This Jesus of Nazareth remains the CHRIST, “the anointed one (Messias in Hebrew, Christos in Greek).
The probability of any man who has ever lived fulfilling the prophecies (of the Old Testament) has been calculated as 1 to 10 to the 17th power. Suppose you take that many silver dollars and lay them on the face of the state of Texas. They would cover all the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars, and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had in writing more than 300 prophecies of the Christ and have them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time.”
Before he died Mohammad said, “Fearful, beseeching, seeking for shelter, weak and in need of mercy, I confess my sins before thee”. Confucius confessed, “I have not been able to practice virtue aright. I have not been able to utter or pursue aright what I have learned. I have been unable to change that which was wrong. These are my sorrows.” The apostle Paul wrote, “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin . . . I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out . . . what a wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death” (Romans 7:14-25)
Unlike Mohammad and Confucius, Paul could say, “Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1).
Abraham gives us the key as to how the coming Messias could offer this redemption. “If in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about – but not before God. What does the scriptures say? “Abraham believed God , and it was credited unto him as righteousness. Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:2-5).
Are believers righteous in themselves? Absolutely not – not one! We are as sinners who have been justified and as those unrighteous who have been credited with righteousness. How could God, who is righteous, make one that is a sinner righteous, and God remain righteous? It is no problem when you see it through the eyes of the cross or from the empty tomb, or even from the prophets.
Isaiah wrote nearly 800 years before Christ saying, “He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our iniquities, and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for out transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, and yet he opened not his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. YET IT WAS THE LORD’S WILL TO CRUSH HIM AND CAUSE HIM TO SUFFER, AND THOUGH THE LORD MAKES HIS LIFE A GUILT OFFERING, HE WILL SEE HIS OFFSPRING AND PROLONG HIS DAYS, AND THE WILL OF THE LORD WILL PROSPER IN HIS HAND. AFTER THE SUFFERING OF HIS SOUL, HE WILL SEE THE LIGHT AND BE SATISFIED By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify, many and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong. Because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. Because he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53).
Sixty seven years ago I confessed Him as Lord. He is the one, the only one who can save and keep and satisfy. He told me that “he would never leave me nor forsake him”. I am not righteous, He is righteous, I am not just, He is just. I am not faithful, He is faithful!!!