A witness is a valuable thing. Whether or not that witness is a person’s testimony, a written document that confirms what has been said, a photograph or some other sort of evidence… in either case… this witness is to confirm the statements of another.
When we serve as a “witness” to Christ, we are somehow confirming His truth to others. No matter if that is our spoken or written testimony of our conversion, or simply the manner in which we live, we act as a witness to Christ.
Thankfully, we’re not the only witness (since most of us aren’t that good at it). In fact, the scriptures themselves, throughout the Old Testament, actually serve as a witness to Christ. He even stated this Himself to the Pharisees when they were challenging Him on who He actually was. And this one simple statement has so much to unpack, that my entire blog today is based on this one statement… “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). Two major points stand out from this one verse, each worthy of their own full sermon… but I will summarize both here.
Believing the scriptures bring eternal life
From the beginning of the nation of Israel, they have felt that it was the scriptures themselves that would provide eternal life. Simply keep the Law, do as Moses said. The authorities of the time (the Pharisees) had held so tight to this view that they were completely blind to the fact that the very scriptures they had memorized, were all pointing to this Messiah.
Jesus taught that the Law was perhaps not as easy to keep as they believed. In fact, it is impossible to keep and that is the point. While teaching, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matt 5:21-22) The bar is much higher than the Pharisees believed. Sure each of them were clean of the crime of murder, but each of them had anger towards others. Anger towards the Roman soldiers and now anger towards Jesus. According to this higher standard, they too were guilty of murder.
Here is where their problem is. Since they were relying upon their own strength to keep the law and save themselves, they were in no need of a Messiah (a Savior). It is not until one realizes the NEED for a Savior that their heart can be open to one.
Scriptures witness to Christ
The Old Testament is filled with prophesy that points to the coming of a Messiah. Even the Samaritans (half Jews) and many Gentiles (everyone else), knew that the Jewish scriptures spoke of a Messiah that would one day come. These prophesies point to specific signs to ‘testify’ who this Christ would be. In fact… before this time, many men had coming claiming to be the Messiah but they did not fulfill the scriptures.
The scriptures have over 300 such prophesies that point to the Messiah. Some are very minor and some are extremely significant. Some are plain as day that all would accept and some are so minute that many argue if they count. If you look at only the eight listed below (which Christ filled every one) the odds of one man fulfilling just these eight alone are 2.8 (and then 28 0’s afterwards). [As a side note, the odds of your house being struck my a meteor are approximately 1.0 (and then 14 0’s)
- Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 – Matt 2:4-6)
- John the Baptist leading the way (Malachi 3:1 – Mark 1:2-8)
- Enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9 – Matt 21:4-11)
- Betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9 – Luke 21:22)
- Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12 – Matt 26:15)
- Same silver thrown away and used to buy Potter’s field (Zech 11:13 – Matt 27:3-10)
- Innocent Christ silent on trial (Isaiah 53:7 – Mark 14:60-61)
- Christ crucified (Psalm 22:16 – John 19:17-18)
So, here are the Jews who have memorized the scriptures, every one of the scriptures mentioned above and all the others not even mentioned here… and Jesus was fulfilling each and every one of them.
Go back and read John 5:39 (and the surrounding verses in context) and think again about any doubt you may have about who in fact Jesus is.