In John 14:6, Jesus says
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Growing up in a Christian home, I’ve always acknowledged that intellectually. I believed in God, and even prayed and sang songs to Him. I was very much involved in my church as a teenager, but I was missing something.
I had believed in Jesus, but I had not received Him.
He was not my Lord, I was. I was physically alive, but spiritually dead; throwing myself into drunkenness, materialism, pornography, and more; living for the approval and acceptance of others; finding my identity and purpose in worthless things. I was chasing, but never arriving; thirsty, but never satisfied. I was empty, dead.
But God, being full of mercy and abundant love, met me in my brokenness.
In 2016, I began studying at the University of Nebraska Omaha. There, I came into contact with a group of Christians who shattered my expectations of what it means to follow Jesus. What stood out to me immediately was how much they enjoyed each other. I have never seen a group of guys have so much fun together without alcohol. They genuinely cared for each other, pursuing deep friendship, and speaking the truth to each other. The other thing I noticed was that they loved Jesus. And that love fueled their desire to conform their lives around Him. Once a week, they met in the dorm cafe to study the Bible together, for fun! Who knew such a thing existed!
In the Spring of 2017, I started joining in on these Bible studies. We were walking through the New Testament book of Hebrews at the time. Little did I know how much my life was going to change in the next year. It was during this study that I realized that I was missing something; that I was a Christian by name only.
As we studied through Hebrews, I saw the Bible as much more than a religious text. Hebrews as a book ties together so many pieces of the old testament, written 400 to 1500 years earlier, and gives a compelling case that Jesus is who He said He is. He is the promised Seed, the greater Prophet, the Righteous One, the Davidic King, the great High Priest, the Suffering Servant, the Son of Man, and so much more. All of the Old Testament points to Him!
Through this study, I became convinced that Jesus really is the way, the truth, and the life. So I gave Him my allegiance.
What will you do?
You don’t have to have an answer right now. But I ask you this: Consider the evidence. God wants you to know Him, and He has made a way through His son Jesus. He has promised that if we seek Him with all of our heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, James 4:8). And if we humble ourselves before Him and trust in the finished work of Jesus, He will make us His sons and daughters. John 1:12 says
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
My search for truth did not end with the book of Hebrews. Hebrews was just the beginning. Since that Spring, I have spent time every day studying the Bible. I continue to see things I’ve missed, new connections across scripture. My confidence in Jesus and the sufficiency of His Word has grown tremendously.
I have found that the majority of objections to Christianity come from sloppy interpretations of Bible passages taken out of context.
It grieves me that the majority of people assume that there is no more evidence for Jesus and His claims than any other religious figure in history. That is false.
Through these writings, I hope to show you, Christian or non-Christian, the incredible confidence we can have in Jesus.
One of the most convincing reasons for following Jesus is setting right in front of us: prophecy in the Bible. Now, before we move any further, we need to address a few common objections.
You can’t argue for Jesus from His own book.
Why not? You can’t discredit the Bible just because it is pro-Jesus. Otherwise, if we applied this rule consistently, then others can’t use pro-athiest, pro-islam, pro-whatever sources to argue their claims.
Imagine that somebody composed all historical documents written about Greece, and called it the Book of Greece. Imagine then that someone else claimed that ancient Greece didn’t exist. When we show them the documents collected in the Book of Greece, they dismiss us and say “show me literary evidence for ancient Greece, but don’t you dare use the Book of Greece. I don’t trust it. It’s all pro-Greece, a self-supported argument.” How absurd would that be? But that is often how the Bible is disregarded.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by 40 authors spread over 1500+ years. It has only been composed into one physical book recently. For this reason, we cannot simply dismiss it wholesale, we have to roll up our sleeves and dig into the 66 books, each of which claim to be the inspired words of God.
I will not accept the Bible as God’s word by blind faith.
That’s good. I wouldn’t accept anything blindly as God’s word, and you shouldn’t either. Instead, the Bible is an invitation to consider the evidence. Don’t leave your reasoning at the door, bring it in.
Jesus spent His whole ministry reasoning with people. In Luke 24, two of His followers were walking to Emmaus, full of sorrow because Jesus had been executed three days earlier and they did not yet believe the rumors of His resurrection. Jesus approaches them, though they do not recognize Him, and rebukes them for Their lack of faith. But, instead of calling them to blind faith, He instead walks them through the Old Testament prophecies, giving them evidence for why the messiah had to die and rise. Verse 24 says “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
The Bible we have today has been changed.
This is more commonly known as the “game of telephone” argument. Certainly, the argument goes, crucial texts in the old and new testaments have been changed to better support Christianity. It’s interesting to note that this argument is made by pretty much every non-Christian group: Atheists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Muslims, Rabbinical Judaism, among many others.
On the surface, the argument provides a convenient way of dismissing a mountain of evidence without having to do the hard work of reasoning through it. Under further scrutiny, however, this argument falls to pieces. Just because an argument is popular doesn’t make it true.
Some sources tally the number of prophecies in the bible at 1,817 spanning 8,352 verses, but the number varies based on how much of a given passage is considered one prophecy or multiple (J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy). It is a lifelong task to categorize and trace these prophecies through scripture. For the purpose of this article, I am going to narrow my search to prophecies about Jesus, otherwise known as messianic prophecies.
Continue reading Messianic Prophecy.
In this book, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek go much further in building a comprehensive case for Jesus. I highly recommend getting their book. https://www.christianbook.com/dont-have-enough-faith-an-atheist/norman-geisler/9781433580758/pd/580758