One of the most terrible things in life must be to have a child wonder away and not know where they have gone. You would call the police, your friends, and everyone who would help find the young child. When the search team assembled, you would give them a description of the child: his face, height, weight, clothes, favorite places, etc. Based on that description of unique characteristics they could identify the child. This is the same way the Bible identifies Christ for us.
There were many people who claimed to be the Christ and still are, but how can we know which one really is the one sent by God? Just like we went searching for that lost child we can see the distinguishing characteristics which prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God.
He has fulfilled the prophecies of the Christ. There are hundred of prophecies and allusions to Jesus in the Old Testament. Just a quick read from Genesis to Malachi shows that God is working to bring His Messiah into the world. Bible students are familiar with these well loved prophecies.
His birth–Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:22-23
His betrayal–Psalm 41:9 and John 13:18
His death by crucifixion–Isaiah 53 & Psalm 22
His resurrection–Psalm 16:8-11 & Acts 2:25-32
Those are just four groups of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus proving that he is the Christ. Surely we must say, “surely this man was the Son of God.”
He identified himself as the Christ. Who did Jesus claim to be? That is an important question. He claimed to be The Lord. If he claimed to be The Lord, then either he is a lunatic, a liar, or he really is The Lord. Lets examine the evidence.
Luke 22:67-71. “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”
John 11:25-27. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Mark 2:9-12. Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he said to the paralytic “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
He has been confirmed as the Christ. The Bible offers us the prophecies of Christ, shows us the claims Jesus made for himself and also confirms these words with actions. The miracles, wonders, and signs performed by Jesus confirm his Messianic identity.
In the first Gospel sermon, Peter affirmed that no one could deny the reality of Jesus’ miracles–Acts 2:22-24.
The Gospel according to John was written to be a record of Jesus’ works which confirmed his Divinity and that he was the Messiah–John 20:30-31.
This confirmation is clear in the Gospel according to Matthew which stresses that many of the events in Jesus life occurred so that the word of The Lord given by a prophet might be fulfilled.
He has been raised from the dead. The resurrection is the most important act and validation if Christ and Christianity. Some would say it never happened, but others have said that the resurrection of Christ is the most well attested event in history. What does the Bible say?
Jesus’ prophesied his own death and resurrection–John 2:19-22 & Matthew 30:17-19.
Jesus’ resurrection was first announced by the least likely of people–Mark 16:1-8
Jesus’ resurrection was preached by men who sacrificed their lives because of their faith in the event–II Timothy 1:8.
Jesus’ resurrection was verified by witnesses–I Corinthians 15:1-8
If we were on that search party looking for the lost child and found the one who met all the identifying characteristics, what would we do with him? What would we do with Jesus? Should we not welcome him as our Lord? What will you do with Jesus?