The math behind Jesus as Messiah

Christmas is coming. It’s practically here!

Amidst the clatter of Christmas it’s easy to forget why the arrival of Jesus caused such a stir over 2000 years ago.

A part of the reason why it was such big news was because he was the long-awaited Jewish “Messiah.” It’s a Hebrew word that means “anointed one.” The Messiah was to be God’s anointed King—his chosen ruler and representative on earth. The same word in Greek is “Christ.”

As the angel famously told the shepherds in Luke 2:11 (NLT): “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

Today I want to remind you just how unique and world-changing that is.

Mathematics whiz Peter W. Stoner calculated the probability of one man fulfilling just eight of the predictions about the Messiah from the Old Testament. Not all of them (there are many, many more), but just eight.

The probability would be 1 in 1017 . That’s a 1 with 17 zeroes behind it. 100,000,000,000,000,000. To put that in perspective, professor and author Michael Rydelnik gives an analogy: It would be like covering Texas with one dollar coins, marking just one of them, stirring and mixing up all the coins, and then having someone with a blindfold wander through Texas to randomly pick up a coin—and him choosing that one exact coin and no other!

That’s the chance of one man fulfilling just 8 of the Old Testament predictions about the Messiah.

And Jesus did it.

It was unique and world-changing then, and it is unique and world-changing now.

God has come to us in and as Messiah. He rules. He cares. He rescues. He forgives. He guides. He loves. He lives. And not just for people generally, but for you specifically.

That, my friends, is something to celebrate.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–If you’re looking for a church home on Christmas Eve you’re invited to Westminster in Barrie! We have a 5:30-6:05pm super family-friendly service, and a traditional candlelit service from 7-8pm. Let every heart prepare him room…
–*The Apologetics Study Bible: Christian Standard Bible, Ted Cabal, gen. ed. (Nashville: Holman, 2017), 1211.

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