Digging Up the Past

The Promised Messiah

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: David Down


Series Code: DUTP

Program Code: DUTP000008

00:01 Despite the prophecy of a promised messiah,
00:03 the Jewish people rejected and crucified Christ.
00:07 He didn't fulfill their expectations of a Savior who
00:11 would save them from the Roman rule, and turn them into
00:14 a great nation.
00:15 We're here at Nazareth, the home of Joseph and Mary, to find out
00:19 what they should have been looking for.
01:01 This is Nazareth, the home town of Joseph and Mary,
01:05 and where Jesus grew up as a boy and spent most of
01:08 his life here.
01:09 I don't think the Bazaar has really changed very much
01:12 since Jesus' day.
01:13 We're going to walk through it.
02:26 Well, there's some nice fruit and vegetables here.
02:29 I'm sure they're being sold just about the same way as they
02:31 were two thousand years ago when Joseph went to do the
02:34 shopping for the family.
03:09 This is a carpenter shop here, but it's very different from the
03:12 days when Joseph did his carpentry.
03:14 They've got power tools going in here.
03:16 Nevertheless, it is a carpenter shop in Nazareth.
03:36 This is the Church of the Enunciation in Nazareth.
03:39 It's a very fine church, fairly modern, and it is said to have
03:44 marked the place where the incident of the enunciation
03:47 of the angel Gabriel to Mary took place.
03:49 Around the walls there are a number of representations
03:54 presented by different countries with their concept of what the
03:58 enunciation was all about.
04:00 They are rather interesting paintings, or murals,
04:04 or whatever they are; in some cases mosaics.
04:11 Well, how do you like Nazareth?
04:13 I find it a fascinating place.
04:16 There's so much atmosphere here.
04:18 It really carries us back for 2,000 years, I think.
04:22 And, of course, what impresses me, what fascinates me,
04:25 is to think that here, in this city, Jesus Christ,
04:29 the Son of God, came and lived for most of His life.
04:34 In fact we're at the Church of the Fountain, and this is the
04:40 only fountain in Nazareth, so it is very likely that this is the
04:44 place where the Virgin Mary came to draw her water.
04:46 Now you might say to me, Yes, but look, how do we know that
04:51 Jesus Christ was the Son of God?
04:53 Well, the Jewish people had been expecting a Messiah for
04:59 thousands of years.
05:00 In fact, when Adam and Eve first sinned and were thrown out of
05:03 the Garden of Eden, they were promised that a savior
05:07 would come.
05:08 When Eve had her first baby she said,
05:10 I have gotten a man from the Lord.
05:12 She thought that was the promised Messiah, but thousands
05:16 of years were to go by.
05:17 And how were we to know that Jesus Christ was that
05:21 promised Messiah?
05:22 Because in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Christ
05:25 came, there are many prophecies that specify just who we should
05:30 be looking for.
05:31 And when we see Jesus Christ fulfilling all these prophecies
05:35 we can be sure that He was the promised Messiah.
05:39 I want you to notice, for instance, in Isaiah 7:14
05:46 where it says, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a
05:49 sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
05:54 and shall call his name Immanuel.
05:56 So they were told that the Messiah would be
06:00 born of a virgin.
06:01 Immanuel is the Hebrew word meaning God with us.
06:05 In fact in Isaiah 9:6 it says, For unto us a child is born,
06:12 unto us a son is given: and the government will be upon his
06:15 shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
06:19 The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
06:23 So this was the sort of Messiah they were looking for.
06:27 Now how would they know that this was the Messiah?
06:30 Well, let us notice, for instance,
06:32 just concerning His birth.
06:34 Remarkable really!
06:36 In Micah 5:2 it says, But you, Bethlehem Ephrata,
06:42 though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
06:45 yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in
06:49 Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old,
06:52 from everlasting.
06:53 Okay, so now it tells us here that this promised Messiah was
06:57 to be born in Bethlehem.
06:59 Now that's a very strange thing because remember,
07:01 we're in Nazareth, and this was where Joseph and Mary lived.
07:05 This was where the angel came to Mary and said, Hail Mary,
07:09 and told her that she was going to be the mother of
07:12 the promised Messiah.
07:13 And they would have stayed here, and the baby would have been
07:17 born here, and the prophecy would not have been fulfilled,
07:20 except for one very interesting thing.
07:22 Away over there in imperial Rome the Roman Emperor made a decree.
07:29 You know it don't you?
07:30 In Luke 2:1, where it says, And it came to pass in those
07:37 days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus,
07:40 that all the world should be registered.
07:41 You know, in Ankara, in Turkey, there is a temple to Augustus,
07:48 and on the wall of that temple is recorded a decree for the
07:53 whole Roman world to be enrolled, or taxed.
07:56 In fact there are three decrees there.
07:57 Now it doesn't apply to the particular one we're talking
07:59 about, but from that we know that these decrees were made
08:03 by the Emperor Augustus.
08:04 So just at the critical moment, when it was expected that the
08:10 baby would be born, here comes this decree, and Mary and Joseph
08:14 have to go back to their home town of Bethlehem, and that
08:18 is where the baby Jesus was born according to the prediction.
08:22 We can be sure from these prophecies, and many others,
08:26 that Jesus Christ would be the promised Messiah.
08:30 We are visiting Bethlehem now; a city which is about
08:33 10 kilometers from Jerusalem.
08:35 This was the city where Jesus was born.
08:38 He is the Church of the Nativity which is traditionally marking
08:42 the spot where the birth took place.
08:44 It's rather interesting this doorway that is here.
08:47 It's very low.
08:48 You have to bend down to get into it.
08:49 You'll notice it's been bricked in.
08:51 There was an arched doorway here, but it was suggested that
08:55 Arab horsemen, during the Muslim era,
08:57 may have ridden into the church.
08:59 To prevent that, well of course, they stoned it up so people had
09:04 to bow down to get in, and the Arab horsemen couldn't either.
09:18 Inside the church is administered by three different
09:21 denominations: the Greek, the Armenian,
09:23 and the Roman Catholic.
09:24 Over there is a grotto where many people believe that
09:28 Jesus Christ was actually born.
09:29 Now, of course, there's no way of identifying that, but it's a
09:32 place of pilgrimage for many people.
09:34 However, we do know the type of manger in which Jesus
09:37 was laid when He was born.
09:39 There are many stone mangers that have been
09:41 excavated and found.
09:42 They're made out of limestone with a cavity on top,
09:46 and there the food for the animals is placed.
09:49 And, of course, there the baby Jesus could have been placed.
09:52 However, behind all this scene a terrible tragedy was lurking.
10:16 I am at present in the Herodian, which is a palace and fortress
10:21 built by King Herod the Great.
10:23 He built this palace and fortress up on top of a natural
10:27 hill with all these walls, palace buildings, and so forth.
10:30 He often took up residence here.
10:32 Well, it's not very far from Bethlehem where a terrible
10:35 tragedy took place.
10:36 You see, Herod was a very suspicious character.
10:40 When the wise men came from the East and enquired, Where is he
10:43 that is born king of the Jews? Herod was very suspicious.
10:45 Herod was very suspicious.
10:48 When he found out where this baby was born he sent his
10:53 soldiers out there.
10:54 It says in Matthew 2:16, Then Herod, when he saw
10:57 that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry,
11:00 sent forth, and put to death all the male children who were in
11:03 Bethlehem, and in all its districts, who were two years
11:05 old and under...
11:06 Well, of course, this was a terrible tragedy.
11:08 The little baby Jesus, and his mother, and Joseph,
11:12 escaped before this happened, but it left a lot of suffering
11:16 and tragedy in Bethlehem.
11:17 The mothers, of course, were very distraught and wept
11:22 vigorously, as you can imagine, with the baby's torn
11:24 from their arms.
11:25 And do you know that all of this had been foretold in the book of
11:28 Jeremiah, because it says in Jeremiah 31:15, Thus says the
11:34 LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation,
11:36 and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children...
11:40 Now not very far, just outside of Bethlehem,
11:43 is the tomb of Rachel.
11:44 The Jewish people still go along there to weep,
11:46 and to pray today.
11:56 Well it was a terrible tragedy, of course, but I want to tell
11:59 you this: the Jewish people should have known when their
12:03 Messiah was due, because in the prophets it had been
12:07 predicted the very year in which Christ, the Messiah, would come.
12:12 I'll explain that to you.
12:14 In Daniel 9:25 an angel came to the prophet Daniel and said
12:22 in verse 24, Seventy weeks are determined for your people
12:27 and for your holy city, to finish the transgression,
12:30 to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity,
12:33 to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the
12:36 vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
12:39 Now that's all referring to the commencement and work
12:43 of Jesus Christ.
12:44 He was anointed with the Holy Spirit; you know, when the
12:48 heavens opened and the Holy Ghost descended like a
12:51 dove upon Him.
12:52 He was anointed there at His baptism.
12:54 So it is referring to that.
12:56 Alright now, all of this was to happen during the time of this
13:01 seventy weeks.
13:02 What does that mean?
13:03 Well, let us put here on the board a big arch, and we'll put
13:09 seventy weeks up here.
13:12 Now we'll have to reduce that to days, and in seventy weeks,
13:16 of course, there will be four hundred and ninety days.
13:20 If you turn to Ezekiel 4:6 you'll find that in Bible
13:25 prophecy a day represents a year.
13:28 So here then is a period of 490 years.
13:33 When did it commence?
13:35 We're told here in verse 25, Know therefore and understand,
13:40 that from the going forth of the command to restore and build
13:44 Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince,
13:46 shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks:...
13:50 So the commencement point is given: the decree to restore
13:54 and build Jerusalem.
13:55 See when this prophecy was given to Daniel Jerusalem was just a
13:59 heap of ruins.
14:00 Daniel was in Babylon.
14:02 So a decree was to be made to restore and build Jerusalem.
14:05 Well, now there were three decrees made.
14:07 It was not until the third one, in the time of Arterxerses
14:12 king of Persia, that the decision was made to not only
14:16 restore and re-build Jerusalem, but give it a measure
14:21 of independence.
14:22 So that was in the 457th year B.C., which would be
14:28 456 complete years before Christ.
14:34 Alright now, subtracting 456 from this to bring it to an A.D.
14:40 date, we would have the year 4 and 3.
14:47 Is that right?
14:48 Yes.
14:49 There we are; 34 A.D.
14:52 So all of this was to happen in this period.
14:55 But I want you to particularly notice what was to happen
14:58 in the last seven years, or the last symbolic week
15:03 of this prophecy.
15:05 In verse 27 it says, Then he shall confirm the covenant with
15:09 many for one week: but in the middle of the week he shall
15:12 bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
15:15 Do you remember when Jesus was crucified on the cross the veil
15:19 of the temple was split in two; symbolizing the end of the
15:23 Jewish sacrifices.
15:25 As far as God was concerned they had no more antitypical
15:29 significance.
15:30 So there was this period of 7 years, symbolized by the week
15:40 or 7 days.
15:41 7 years from that would bring you to 27 A.D.
15:48 That was the very year, according to historical records,
15:52 in which Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan.
15:56 Now in the midst of this week he was to be crucified,
15:59 and bring all the sacrificial systems to an end.
16:03 Well, half of this period would bring you to 31 A.D.
16:08 And here again, the very year in which Jesus Christ
16:13 was crucified.
16:14 And so when the veil of the temple was rent in two,
16:18 in the midst of this prophetic week, the ceremonial system
16:22 lost its significance as far as the divine attitude
16:26 was concerned.
16:27 So, you see, the Jewish people should have known just exactly
16:31 when their Messiah was coming.
16:33 They really had no excuse for not recognizing that baby
16:37 in Bethlehem.
16:38 So when Herod's men came and slaughtered the children in
16:43 Bethlehem, it was a tragic thing, but they should have
16:46 been able to recognize their coming Messiah.
16:49 It had all been foretold in prophecy, and it reveals the
16:53 fact that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Messiah
16:58 of Israel.
17:00 After His baptism, Jesus Christ spent three and a half years
17:05 in public ministry.
17:06 What a dramatic three and a half years they were!
17:09 Much of the time was spent in the region of the
17:12 Lake of Galilee where the peasant people welcomed Him.
17:16 Many of them accepted His message of salvation,
17:19 but the priests at Jerusalem were plotting His death.
17:23 On Palm Sunday Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem in triumph.
17:29 He commandeered a donkey up there at Bethphage; over at the
17:32 other side of the Mount of Olives.
17:34 Then He rode across the top of the hill.
17:37 He wept over Jerusalem.
17:39 Oh Jerusalem; you that reject the prophets.
17:43 How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers
17:46 her chickens.
17:47 But He rode into Jerusalem; a sight something like this
17:51 I suppose, and the people welcomed him in triumph.
17:55 You know, all of this had been foretold in the writings
17:59 of the prophets nearly five hundred years earlier.
18:02 It's in Zachariah 9:9.
18:05 It says: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
18:07 shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King is coming
18:11 to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding
18:15 on a donkey.
18:16 So there it is.
18:17 Just exactly as the prophecy said.
18:19 Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy.
18:23 On Thursday night Jesus Christ and His disciples,
18:25 after celebrating the last supper, crossed over the Brook
18:29 Kidron and came to the Garden of Gethsemane.
18:31 This is the traditional garden here with its olive trees.
18:35 It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus Christ
18:38 prayed that memorable prayer, Oh my father, if it be possible
18:43 let this cup pass from me.
18:44 Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.
18:47 The Bible says that great drops of blood stood out
18:51 on His forehead.
18:52 It seems to me that He endured more mental anguish,
18:55 which was worse than the physical anguish, on the cross.
18:58 In fact I think that's what it's referring to in the prophecy of
19:01 Isaiah in chapter 52 where it says... my servant shall deal
19:06 prudently,... his visage was marred more than any man,
19:10 and his form more than the sons of men:...
19:12 And so I think this is another prophecy pointing forward to the
19:16 suffering Messiah.
19:20 Then the mob brought Jesus to the palace of Ananias and
19:24 Caiaphas where He was subjected to three mock trials.
19:29 It was at one of these trials that Judas was filled
19:33 with remorse.
19:34 You see he had sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver,
19:38 and he began to realize he'd done the wrong thing.
19:41 So he came and flung the thirty pieces of silver in front of the
19:45 priests and went out and hanged himself.
19:49 Well, these pious priests were a little doubtful
19:53 about what to do with the money.
19:55 We can't put it into the treasury.
19:56 And then somebody got the bright idea, well, we need a field or a
20:01 cemetery in which to bury non-Jews in.
20:04 Why don't we use it to buy that?
20:06 And so they did.
20:07 They bought a piece of ground from a potter which they could
20:11 use as a cemetery.
20:12 Now this was all fulfillment of a remarkable prophecy made
20:17 hundreds of years earlier.
20:18 In the book of Zachariah 11:12 it says, Then I said to them,
20:24 If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages;
20:28 and if not, refrain.
20:29 So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
20:33 And the Lord said to me, Throw it to the potter:...
20:37 So there it is, hundreds of years before, just exactly what
20:41 Judas would do.
20:42 Then the priests took Jesus off in the early morning to Antonio,
20:49 that is the fortress of Antonio, or Antony, where Pontius Pilate
20:54 was in residence.
20:55 This place that we are in at the present time was once thought
21:00 to be that fortress.
21:01 It has the paving stones, and they're very old,
21:04 no doubt about it.
21:05 It has the striations where the horses could walk along
21:10 without slipping.
21:11 And then there were these games inscribed on the flagstones
21:16 where it was thought the soldiers played their games,
21:19 threw their dice and so forth.
21:21 Well, just recently the archeologists lifted up some of
21:25 these flagstones and they found underneath some coins of the
21:28 third century A.D.
21:29 So we know that this flagstone must be later than that.
21:34 Nevertheless, it's the type of thing.
21:36 And it was here that Pontius Pilate came out and said,
21:40 I find no fault in him.
21:41 But, of course, that only set up a clamor, and the Jews raged
21:45 even more for his blood.
21:46 Crucify him; crucify him!
21:48 And at last Pilate washed his hands, and Jesus had to leave
21:53 carrying His cross.
21:58 Jesus carried His cross along the road that led to the place
22:03 called Calvary.
22:04 This is the Via del a Rosa here.
22:07 It is not the actual pavement along which Christ walked
22:10 because the level of the street in Christ's day is at least ten
22:14 to twenty meters below the surface that we have here today.
22:17 But this Via del a Rosa, or The Way of Tears, leads to the
22:21 Church of the Holy Sepulchre where most people believe
22:24 where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried.
22:27 This is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
22:30 Inside is a slight rise which is considered to be Calvary.
22:35 Not very far away is a tomb which is considered to be the
22:39 tomb where Christ was buried.
22:41 There is, of course, quite a bit of doubt as to the authenticity
22:44 of this sight.
22:45 It wasn't identified until the fourth century A.D.
22:52 So some people prefer, in fact many people prefer,
22:55 a place known as the Garden Tomb.
22:58 General Gordon was a pious Christian.
23:02 When he came to Jerusalem he was very interested in looking
23:07 at the places that were the traditional sites where
23:09 Jesus Christ had visited.
23:11 In particular he was interested in the Church of the Holy
23:16 Sepulchre, but he was not impressed.
23:18 He felt that there was something wrong here.
23:21 One thing he noticed was that this church was inside
23:25 the city walls, whereas the Bible teaches that Christ died
23:29 outside the city walls.
23:31 He noticed that outside the city walls there was a cliff face
23:38 that had the very appearance of a skull.
23:41 Now the Bible says that Christ was crucified on Calvary,
23:45 which is the Latin word for skull, or Golgotha,
23:50 which is the Hebrew word for skull.
23:51 Here was this cliff face that looked just like a skull,
23:55 so he thought that that must have been where Christ
23:58 was crucified.
23:59 But if so, the Bible says that hereby was a tomb in which
24:04 Christ was laid.
24:05 So he went looking for a tomb, and sure enough, just nearby
24:09 is what is now known as The Garden Tomb.
24:12 Here was a place for somebody to be crucified.
24:15 So he thought that this was, for sure, the place.
24:19 He arranged, with a group of people back in England,
24:22 to look after this place; purchase it, and look after it,
24:26 and designate it as a place where Protestants could remember
24:30 the death and the burial of Jesus Christ.
24:34 Well, there's one thing certain.
24:36 Whether this is the exact tomb or not, we can't be sure,
24:39 but there is one thing certain, and that is that Jesus Christ
24:43 died according to the prophecies that were made of Him.
24:45 For instance in Psalm 22:16 it says: Dogs have surrounded
24:53 me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced
24:56 my hands and my feet.
24:59 That's very significant, you know.
25:01 You see, the way that the Jews put criminals to death was
25:05 by stoning them to death.
25:07 And here with the psalmist a thousand years before the Romans
25:10 on the scene, you might say, saying they pierced my hands
25:15 and my feet.
25:16 That's crucifixion!
25:17 How did David know a thousand years before Christ was
25:21 crucified that He was going to be crucified?
25:23 I'll tell you something else about His crucifixion.
25:26 In Psalm 34 it says in verse 20, He guards all his bones:
25:33 not one of them is broken.
25:35 Do you realize how significant that is?
25:38 You see, when Jesus Christ was on the cross He had His hands
25:44 and His feet pierced, and finally He cried out,
25:48 Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
25:51 So He died there.
25:54 Now, Nicodemus went to Pilate and asked for the body of Christ
26:00 to give it a good burial.
26:02 And Pilate wanted to make sure he was dead.
26:05 He'd only been on the cross for six hours.
26:07 That was unusual.
26:08 So he sent some soldiers to break the legs of all the three
26:13 people hanging on the cross.
26:15 So those soldiers came along with the big lump of wood
26:19 and they raised it up and they smashed the legs of the first
26:23 criminal that was beside Christ.
26:25 Then they went over to the other one and brought the wood down
26:28 and smashed his legs.
26:29 And then they came to the body of Christ and they were just
26:33 about to smash his legs when somebody said, Wait, wait!
26:36 He's already dead.
26:38 Well, how can you be sure of that?
26:40 So they took a spear and thrust it into his side and the water
26:43 and the blood gushed out.
26:45 See how close He came to having His bones broken?
26:49 But this prophecy said not one of His bones would be broken.
26:55 Amazing, isn't it, how Jesus Christ fulfilled these
26:58 Messianic prophecies?
27:00 So we can be sure that He was the promised Savior.
27:05 Isaiah 53 predicted His death and His sufferings.
27:10 Verse 6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
27:14 every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him
27:17 the iniquity of us all.
27:19 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his
27:23 mouth: he was led as a lamb to slaughter, and as a sheep before
27:27 his shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
27:31 He was cut off from the land of the living: for the
27:34 transgression of my people he was stricken.
27:37 In other words, He died for our sins.
27:40 And they made his grave with the wicked, but with the rich
27:44 at his death.
27:45 That seems an anomaly, doesn't it?
27:48 With he made his grave with the wicked, but with the rich
27:52 at his death.
27:53 But isn't that just what happened?
27:55 Crucified with two wicked thieves, but buried in a rich
28:01 man's tomb.
28:03 This is not the tomb of Christ, but it's very similar to what
28:07 it must have been.
28:08 This is actually the tomb of the family of
28:11 King Herod the Great.
28:12 But you'll notice it has similar features.
28:15 For instance the entrance here, the stone here, which the Bible
28:19 record says the angel rolled back and sat on the stone.
28:22 Nobody could do that, you see, on a big stone like this.
28:25 So Jesus Christ came out of the tomb and is a living,
28:30 resurrected Savior.
28:31 You know, this also was in fulfillment of Bible prophecy
28:36 because way back there in Psalm 16, a thousand years
28:40 before Christ came to this world the Psalmist said:
28:43 You will not leave my soul in Sheol, that's another word for
28:47 the grave; nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
28:53 And so before His body decomposed Jesus Christ rose
28:56 from the dead; another evidence of the fulfillment of prophecy.
29:00 All these prophecies, from the beginning of His life
29:03 right through to the end, all were fulfilled by
29:06 Jesus Christ, and He, I believe, is Israel's promised Messiah.
29:11 And that being the case, then I think His offer to us
29:15 is very valid.
29:16 He says in John 3:16, God so loved the world, that he gave
29:23 his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him
29:26 should not perish, but have everlasting life.
29:29 Whoever, that means everyone.
29:31 It means you.
29:33 Just whoever believes in Jesus Christ can have everlasting life
29:37 through faith in Him.
29:40 I found it a deeply moving experience walking in the
29:44 footsteps and pathways of Christ.
29:46 When you think about it, what a sacrifice He made; leaving the
29:50 security of heaven for this dry and dusty land,
29:53 to live and die for us.
29:55 I think we've got every good reason to follow Christ,
29:59 and to believe in Him.
30:00 In our next program we go a step further.
30:04 Who is God?
30:06 What's He like?
30:07 Our quest takes us to mystic India where we view a masked
30:11 Tibetan dance that few Westerners have ever seen,
30:14 and to Zeresh, the best preserved Roman ruins
30:17 in the Middle East.


Revised 2014-12-17