Some say the Bible is outdated and unreliable, yet we as Christians claim it’s the foundation we build our lives upon. So how can we know for sure that it's trustworthy? We’re putting it to the test. In this message, we present the facts that support the Bible being the true words of God.
All right. What is up, guys, friends listening in wherever you are tuning in from? Of course, I have some friends here who are going to be joining us as we continue this series Fact Check: Facing the Truth About Our Faith, and putting some of the claims and beliefs Christians have really held to on the stand and fact checking them.
So last week we covered how can God be good and bad things still happen. Each week, we're covering just some of the claims of how can Jesus be the only way, how can a loving God send people to hell, and tonight we are launching into another one of those topics. But let me give a quick story that'll give us some direction for where we're going.
I have a philosophy when we've owned a couple of homes that we've lived in and then we've moved on to another one and sold that one and moved to another house. Each time we've bought a house, I've embraced really a philosophy. So this is just for free for anybody out there. Here's the way I think about when we buy a house. We look for the home that everybody else is going to be afraid of wanting because of something wrong with it.
In other words, if there's a home that has criteria or things about it that it's like, "Oh, there's mold in there or there are foundation problems," whatever characteristics are going to make everybody else be like, "Honey, we are moving on. That is not the house," that is the one I want, and my loving wife goes along with, or tolerates. That's why marrying well is important, fellas.
But the point being, when it comes to houses, that's just been the kind of offense we've run. It's high risk, but it also comes with high reward, and it allows you to get usually a deal because most people are scared away from getting that type of house. So there was a chance a couple of years ago where there was a house that came on the market, and it actually was off market, but some friends had told us about it being available. We found out more about the property, and it was what's called a distressed property. So there were some issues with it.
So we went and saw it, and we had known there were foundation issues, which is a big deal as it comes to a house. We knew there were foundation issues, but they had fixed them. But because the foundation issues were so significant, although they had recently fixed the foundation, they hadn't fixed all of the problems with the house that had come from its foundation being off.
So literally, every single door in this house was jacked up. It was all on an angle. Some doors you couldn't even open because the foundation had shifted, and it moved things around in the house, and it didn't allow you to open all the doors. Windows were jacked up. There were cracks in the ceiling. All types of problems. The upstairs bathroom didn't work because the plumbing had gotten jacked up with all the foundation stuff.
So we go see this house, and this is like a dream come true for me because I'm like, "Dude, this is going to scare everybody away. This is a house we should seriously consider." But there were foundation problems. I made a good deal, but I'm not going to move my entire family into a house that, no matter if we fix all the doors, if the foundation is not fixed it's going to continue to be a big problem for our family.
So I began to go like, "Hey, how can I put it to the test to make sure that the foundation that is here has been fixed, it is trustworthy, this isn't going to continue going forward, we're not going to in six months after replacing the doors be like, 'The doors still don't open again'? How can I make sure that doesn't happen?"
So we began to invest stuff I wouldn't normally do to a house that I didn't own, where we were like, "It's worth it though." Before we move our life into here, we need to test this and pay engineers and pay architects, and have someone come out to make sure this foundation is fixed, it is solid, it is trustworthy, and you can live your life and rebuild this house on top of it.
What does that have to do with tonight with what we're talking about? Well, tonight, we are continuing and we are looking at one of the most key objections I think a lot of people have, which is…How can I know the Bible is the words of God? Or how can I trust the Bible? Hasn't it been changed over time? Is it really reliable? In other words, is it a foundation I can build my life on? Because Jesus even said his teachings were like a foundation you should build your life on.
When we think about our faith, the Bible is a foundation that is at the epicenter and beneath all the Christian teachings. If we can't trust the Bible, then our foundation is totally done. Yet for many of us, we built our lives on these teachings and along the journey maybe you were a Christian and you began to build your life on the teachings on the Bible and the teaching of Jesus, and then at some point in life, somebody came along, and they were like, "Hey, you know the Bible has been changed, or there are contradictions in it, or there are problems with it, or it's really outdated. You can't build your life on that thing."
All of a sudden, it's like our foundation got knocked and our faith just shakes. Does it have to be that way? I believe the answer is no. So tonight, I just want to talk about some of the key objections as it relates to the foundation of God's Word and examine together, putting it to the test over whether or not it is trustworthy. Can we build our life on top of it? Is it worth living according to?
Because think about it for a second. If it's true… I think of lot of us entertain the idea of, "Maybe it's not true." But I want you for a second to entertain the idea, "What if it's true? What if every single part of it is accurate and true? It's true. It happened." It changes everything, and if it is true, then we shouldn't be afraid of examining and putting it to the test and asking the hard questions.
Because if you're anything like me, you went to school or college, or had people in your family who came along at some point and said, "Hey, I'm not sure you can really trust that." Tonight, I just want to put to the test the foundation of God's Word. Is it something we can build our lives on?
So I'm going to answer three questions. First…What is in the Bible? Just a high level, in case you've never heard it, or maybe you got this message passed to you from a friend, and you don't have kind of a great understanding of even what the Bible is. I'm sure you're a quick learner because you're listening in tonight. So I'm just going to high-level explain what even the Bible is, what it contains. Then going to…Can I trust the Bible? Can I trust it? Has it been changed? Does it contradict itself? If so, how and where? And then…What should I do with it?
So let me start with…What is in the Bible? Is it just a religious book and just like any of the different religious books out there? No. You would expect me to say that, but here's why I would say that. First off, let me explain. The word Bible comes from a Latin word. It just means la Biblia. It's the books. A better way of understanding or thinking about the Bible is it's not just one Book; it's this library of books. It's a bunch of different books that are in there.
If you were to compare it to the way there are books currently we read, there's a chapter when you read modern books today. Almost each of the different books in the Bible are like a different chapter. So Genesis is a chapter, and then Exodus is a chapter. Inside of the Bible, there are 66 of those books, or chapters. And they break up into two parts. You have Part 1. We call it the Old Testament. Part 2: New Testament.
Inside of the Old Testament, what's that about? The Old Testament is about the people of God, nation of Israel, and God's relationship with them and his plan and his working through that nation. Then the New Testament is really the story of Jesus and everything after. Everything in the Old Testament is all before Jesus; everything in the New Testament, that's Jesus and everything after.
One of the reasons why you're thinking, "Hey, when I read the Bible, it's kind of hard to follow. I don't exactly understand what's going on. It doesn't read like a Harry Potter novel where I can seamlessly follow, and yet people say it's this one storyline God has written from beginning to end. Why is it hard to sometimes follow it?" Here's the answer why. It doesn't take place in chronological order.
If you've ever opened it, and you can actually buy a Bible that goes in chronological order, but the typical Bible people read… The average American has one, 9 out of 10… The typical Bible that is there is grouped up into different genres. So in other words, if you were to open up, it's not grouped in order of sequence; it's grouped based on the type of literature. Do you guys remember types of literature? You have poetry, and you have fiction and nonfiction. In the Bible, they group it up into these different categories.
So the first five books are called the Law. That was Genesis and Exodus and Leviticus and Deuteronomy and Numbers. It's the Law. Then you the have the historical books. All this is in part one, the Old Testament. So you have Law, then you have the historical books. Then you have poetic stuff. This is Job and the Psalms, which is like the Spotify playlist for the nation of Israel. It's kind of poetic, and there are repetition and imagery, and it's really beautiful stuff.
Then you have the prophecybooks, which are those guys in the Old Testament who are always saying, "Thus saith the Lord," and they seem just a little bit upset. That's the prophetic books. You have major ones and minor ones, but the prophecy books.
Then you have the Gospels. That's when you get into the New Testament. So all of that was in the Old Testament. Then you get to the New Testament, and it's still grouped by category. You have these four gospels, which are just four accounts of the life of Jesus. Then you have the letters, or the epistles some people call them. But it's basically the letters of the guys who knew Jesus and walked with him. Then you have the propheticbook, or end times, which is the book of Revelation. But it's grouped up into that.
So if you've ever found yourself wondering, "Man, why is this kind of hard to follow?" it's because it's grouped in by genre, and yet it has one storyline written throughout it. It's pretty remarkable, honestly. There are 40 different authors who have written over 2,000 years this storyline. This storyline is simply this. It's how God from the very beginning of time, his plan of redemption, his plan to save the human race through Jesus. That's from beginning to end.
You may be going, "Well then, why is it sometimes hard to follow in there?" It's like this. Have you guys ever seen the show This Is Us? Anybody? Yeah? Okay, so you know on This Is Us, there are these moments of flashback where Kate will have this flashback to an earlier time in her life, or even there are fast forwards where Rebecca has something, and they're back to modern day, and then they flashback to an earlier time. Unless you know the storyline, it can be kind of hard to follow.
In other words, when somebody joins you for the first time, and they've never seen any of it, and when they're tuning in, they're like, "Wait a second. Why is she old in this shot and why is she young in that one?" Because there's this bigger picture storyline that's going on, and unless you see the full picture, it's hard to exactly go there. That's essentially what the Bible is. It's possible to see the full picture, but if you just pick it up, and you open up to one chapter, you're not going to understand the storyline. It's like a version of This Is Us.
But the story God has been writing from the beginning of time is his rescue plan, and you can go to very early in Genesis, and you see Jesus told about. In Genesis 3, where God said, "There's going to come a day I'm going to get rid of everything evil and broken in this world, and I'm going to send someone who will crush all of the sin, all of the pain, all of the brokenness, and he's going to die for humanity's sin." All throughout the Bible, that storyline is there, but that's big picture, what God is writing, and that's the storyline of the Bible. So that's what's in it.
Okay, so now the bigger question is…Can I trust the Bible? Can I trust what it says? How do I know it hasn't been changed? How do I know it wasn't just made up by some guys hundreds of years later, or this myth that was put forward? How can I trust? Because let's be honest, that's a really big and important question. Me being told I should trust it is very different from me being shown and compelled why it is trustworthy.
So I want to attempt to answer two questions. First, is it possible these are just myths that were made up years and years later? No. Here's why I say that. There are a couple reasons, but the first one being this. Just listen to me in case you're tuning me out, and you're like, "Ah man, no, my professor said this," or some guy on YouTube who is like "thebiblestinks09" gave you some comment that threw your faith off. Tune back in because you may have abandoned it too soon.
The reason why I say it couldn't have been a myth developed hundreds of years later like The DaVinci Code says is because we have copies and we have versions of the New Testament and of Gospel writings, of the book of John specifically, that date all the way back to between AD 90 and 110, which is right around the time of the life of John.
In other words, we have the story in the Gospels very, very early on and very immediately after Jesus and the disciples and all of that timeline was taking place. The idea that hundreds of years later people came, and they showed up, and they just made this story up because they just all wanted power, and that's what they did, that is not possible.
Now here's a more interesting question. Is it possible that the disciples…I'm talking Peter, John, James, Andrew…they got together, and they decided, "We're going to make up a myth. It's going to turn the world upside down. We're going to make up. We have to have a hero. Let's call him Jesús." "No, I like Jesus better. Let's go with that one"?
It would be like they just began to put this plot together, and they're like, "Let's get our stories straight. It's going to turn the world upside down, and we're going to end up all dying for it, but everyone needs to be cool with it because someday people will name their children after us, and they're going to be like, 'Oh, Peter,' for thousands of years. "Yeah, let's all get together."
They got together, and they began to plan out how they would make up this myth that all of them would die horrifically for. The myth involved a Jewish peasant from a place you can't identify on the map, but it was so compelling that all of them went to their deaths, and hundreds of others did as well, and it turned the world upside down, and today, every atheist, Buddhist, Christian, person on the planet dates their calendar by the date of this man they made up. It's a pretty genius plan for some fishermen who could barely read and write.
So is it possible? Anything is possible. Is it logical or likely? No. What do I mean by, "Anything is possible"? When it comes to history…you have to know this…you cannot prove anything historically. You may be going, "Yeah, you can." No, you can't. You can look at the evidence and based on the evidence judge what a reasonable explanation is for that.
For example, I would guess most of you believe in George Washington, right? Anybody not believe in George Washington? Why do you believe in George Washington? Because history books. Because somebody told you about it, and you read about it, and you believed in there. Have you ever met George Washington? Do you know anybody who has ever met George Washington?
You believe in George Washington by faith. Do you know what's possible? It's a hoax. There was never a George Washington. There were never any Founding Fathers who were here. We're not even really real. We're all in the Matrix, and everything I'm doing right now is not real. Is that possible? Sure. Anything is possible. Is it likely? Is it probable? Is it reasonable enough to live your life according to? No.
As unreasonable as it is to reject the idea of George Washington, it is unreasonable to look at these fishermen disciples and think, "I bet they came up with a myth that would turn the world upside down." It wasn't because they would get any financial gain. Nope. They lost everything, including their own lives. They did all of it, and went to their deaths saying, "This is not about some movement I'm starting."
All of them died for the same reason. "I saw a man die on a cross, and he was buried in the ground, and then he came back alive. You can kill me. You can do whatever you want, but he said if I trust in him, I'm going to have eternal life." Every one of them lost their lives for that. Could it have been a myth they just got together and made up? Sure. It's possible. It's not reasonable.
Okay, so maybe they didn't make that all up. Maybe the Bible has just changed over time. Maybe some of the versions and the stories, and maybe they kind of got added and changed along the way. There are two problems. One I already mentioned. We have manuscripts that go way back into the first century, and at the times and right after the disciples, and everyone was there and at the time they were there.
The second problem is the number of the manuscripts. We have so many thousands of manuscripts. They don't tell very different stories like, "Hey, there's this version of the Bible, and then there's this version." They all tell the exact same story. Here's what I mean when it comes to manuscripts. You may have heard some of this stuff in school before. When it comes to the idea of Caesar, Caesars' lives… There's a book called The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. How many versions and copies of The Lives of the Twelve Caesars do you think we have? You may have heard of this book. We have 10.
Plato. Has anybody heard of Plato? The guy, like Socrates. How many versions of Plato do we have from the ancient world? How many copies? Seven. Tacitus, the Roman historian. He's responsible for the reason we know so much about Rome and that history. How many do we have of him? Twenty. If you studied history, you, like me, learned, "Hey, Tacitus. This is true. You can take it to the bank." We have 20 copies of that.
Homer's The Iliad. How many do we have of Homer's The Iliad? We have 643. That's not bad. That's a lot better than the other ones. How many copies do we have of the New Testament? You guessed it, Lauren. We have 24,633. We have an enormous number, and all of those, to 99.5 percent, are entirely the same, with the exception of a couple of things.
Some of them have some spelling errors. Like one has John with two n's; one has John with one, where's it's like, "Ah, what?" That's the type of changes that make people go, "I'm not sure we can trust the Bible." Because one guy who was making a copy put an extra n on there? The other ones…this is again 99 percent of any of the differences between those thousands of manuscripts…have to do with the order of words. One says, "Christ Jesus," and this one says, "Jesus Christ." Which one was it? In other words, the differences don't make any difference in terms of actual beliefs.
Let me give you some of the examples because there is 0.5 where the actual word is different. There's 0.5 percent where it actually makes it a difference in the reading of the sentence. I remember in grad school, we had to actually study these, and you would think, "Dude, that's exciting. We're about to look at the texts that's like, 'Ah man, this says Jesus had a girlfriend named Sarah, and this one says he was in a biker gang. All these different… Maybe these are going to be some really exciting differences in the versions.'"
Here's one of the more exciting ones. It comes from 1 Thessalonians 2:7. We have one copy of it that says, "But we were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children." We have another copy they found that says, "But we were infants among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children." Is it gentle or is it infants? In Greek, the word has one letter difference, nepioi or epioi. You decide. I think it's infants. The vast majority of manuscripts in all the copies say it's infants. But could it be that it was gentle? Sure. But that doesn't make any difference.
So anybody and any parent or any friend or any uncle who comes up and is like, "You know the Bible has been changed. There are so many differences," you can say, "Uncle, first, do you know the differences do not make any difference at all? Secondly, have you ever studied anything on that subject?" because by him even phrasing it like that, it reflects the fact that he's ignorant.
It is intellectually lazy to say the Bible has been changed to any degree that is untrustworthy. There's not a single belief, doctrine, teaching of Jesus or in the Bible that changes. And even the differences like that, we have thousands we can see like, "Oh yeah, it's probably infants. But it could be gentle. But it doesn't change anything." The Bible is trustworthy. Could it have been made-up myths by men years later? No. Could it have been made up on the scene by Peter getting the gang together. Maybe. Is it reasonable? No. Has it been changed over time? No.
The real reason, candidly, why people don't want to accept or believe the Bible, and they throw up this smokescreen of like, "You know it has been changed over time. You can't trust it. There are so many translations that it's outdated," is not because the Bible contradicts itself; it's because the Bible contradicts them.
It's because they think, "If I really accepted this as true, I may have to change things, or my girlfriend may stop sleeping with me, or I don't like what it says about homosexuality, so I'm going to hide behind the smokescreen of, 'You know we can't trust that thing anyway. It's a 2,000-year-old Book. You can't believe that.'" It's not because the Bible came up in error; it's because the Bible contradicted them.
So…What's in the Bible? Then we looked at…Can I trust the Bible? Yes. What should I do with the Bible? You should read it and apply it. Read it and apply it. First, that involves understanding how to study it. It means you pick up God's Word, or you pick up the Bible, and you begin to read it, and you begin to go, "What is the eternal truth in the verses in the passage I'm reading?"
Don't read it like a Magic 8-Ball. Candidly, this is how I see a lot of Christians read the Bible. They take it, and they're like, "I'm going to shake this thing. Should I move to Houston to take this job?" Then they open it up, and they're like, "Ah man, this says Hoshepheth moved to Baal. I think maybe that means Houston?" That's not a good way to read the Bible.
Or people will think, "Am I supposed to marry Sarah?" Then they flip open, and they're like, "Look in there. Look at this verse. It says, 'Sarah.' She's in the Bible." Yeah, she's in the Bible. That doesn't mean you should marry Sarah. This is how people will think about it, and that's a bad way to read it.
You should pick a starting point. Pick a gospel and begin to read it and begin to ask the question, "What is the eternal truth? What was the truth then? What was he saying then? What's the truth always? What is the truth now? How does this apply to my life?" Begin to look through and see what the principles are that apply.
The second thing that is involved as you're reading it is you begin to read it through the lens of the New Testament and the work of Jesus on the cross. In other words, when it relates to the Old Testament, how should we read it? We read it in light of the New Testament and the work Jesus did on the cross.
In other words, when I come across verses in the Old Testament that are like, "And then, if you do this sin, you need to get three turtledoves and a goat, and you need to kill them all." No you don't unless you want Peter coming to your house. Those, through the lens of the New Testament, were all finished by Jesus on the cross. The sacrifice was made by him. So I read everything I go through through the lens of the New Testament.
Also, as I go through it, you need to know there are a lot of things in the Bible that it's not condoning or encouraging; it's just describing. In other words, there's a difference when it says, "This is what you should do," and, "This is what they did." Does that make sense? There are times in the Bible where it's not telling you should do this; it's just telling you what happened. Like Solomon had 1,000 wives. It's not saying, "This is the goal, guys. You need 1,000 wives." It's just describing what happened.
God wasn't for that, and we learn in the New Testament, when we read through the lens of the New Testament, we're like, "Oh, when Paul talks about what marriage should look like in Ephesians 5, husbands should love their one wife and lay down their lives in sacrifice, huh, Solomon didn't get this thing right." That's the way we see that. We don't see it as, "Oh, this is kind of how I should live my life," because there's a difference between the Bible laying out here's what you should do and here's what they did in that moment.
So other tips. Here's what would be good to know. What translation should I read? Because you may hear this. There are so many translations. Which one should I read? We just did a Views from The Porch, which is our podcast. You can find it on iTunes or Spotify and go check out the latest episode or one or two ago on Bible translations.
What translation should you read? Whichever one you're going to read. In other words, there are NLT and NIV and ESV. You pick one. If you like New King James or you like King James and Shakespearean English, you do you. But whichever one you're going to pick up and read… If you want more information on even why there are different translations, go check out that episode of Views from The Porch.
But pick up that, start in a gospel, especially if you're new to Bible reading. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Those are first-century accounts of the life of Jesus. They were written by men who just said, "I just saw this guy die, get buried, he came back alive, and I have to record his account because it's true, and the world needs to know." Begin to read.
There are resources we may put out either on our blog or online or other places you could start. There's something called Join the Journey, where you can join lots of us here. It's a Bible-reading plan that gets emailed to you every single day, and it has a devotional and Scripture. Go to jointhejourney.com. You can go there to find out more about the Bible as a whole.
Type in "Bible project" on YouTube. We have some friends who run something called Bible Project. It's excellent. It's phenomenal. And you can find out more about Old Testament books. You can just type in a book of the Old Testament, and it'll give you a high-level explanation of, "Oh, this is exactly what is going on there."
But the point being, begin to read it. Do it with other believers in your life. It's why we encourage small groups around here, or we call them Community Groups, for you to have other people in your life, so you can read a passage and go, "Man, I have no idea what he's talking about right there. Why did God tell them to do that, or what is Paul saying there?" And you would have other people in your life who can come alongside of you and be like, "Oh man, here, let's answer and ask those questions together. Let's find answers together."
Get a good study Bible. A study Bible is just something that has different ways or explanations and background and context in the verses or right underneath it, so you can know more of what is going on. But point being, begin to read and apply it. What you will discover if you will do that consistently, your life will change, and it will change for the better.
You can put it to the test, and you're going to experience that it is a foundation you can build your life on. If you will begin to read it and apply it, I promise you, your life is going to change, and change in every way you want it to change.
There was a study done in 2009. It has actually been continued since then. It was a study that basically was done over 40,000 different Christians in America, ages 8 to 80. They took everybody, and they were like, "We're going to have you all give us some information." The questions they asked them on the survey ranged from, "How often do you look at pornography?" to, "How often do you read your Bible?" to, "When was the last time you were drunk?" and just kind of some somewhat personal questions. These people filled it out, and they sent it in.
They discovered something really fascinating. Again, all of these people were Christians. They discovered as it related to reading your Bible, there's a tipping point in life. In other words, if you read it one day a week, there wasn't much change they saw in their lives, and the likelihood of just kind of recurring sin taking place in their lives, of getting drunk and still looking at porn or sleeping with somebody outside of marriage, all of it remained kind of the same.
If you went to two days a week, it remained kind of the same as well. You were statistically just as likely as everyone outside of the church. If you went to three days a week, the same thing. Then they discovered there was a tipping point. That tipping point was four days or more. They said everyone who reads it four days or more was 57 percent less likely to get drunk, 61 percent less likely to use pornography, 70 percent less likely to engage in sex outside of marriage.
They were 228 percent more likely to share their faith with people. They were 230 percent more likely to disciple other people. They were 400 percent more likely to memorize Scripture. What does all that say? It says that those who read their Bible consistently four days or more, they experienced life change. They were transformed. If you don't believe me, for the rest of corona begin to read your Bible every single day. Pick up one of the Gospels, begin to go through it, and begin to study and see if your life doesn't begin to change.
Because here's how it changes. We're about to land the plane. When you begin to read the Bible, and read it consistently, and not sporadically and kind of once every now and then, you begin to be introduced to the hero of the Bible, Jesus. You begin to see him on every page. A lot of people think, "Oh, the reason why your life would change is because the Bible is this rule book, and if you read the rule book every day, you probably know the rules, so you'll do what the rule book says."
No. You read the rule book every day, and you discover the Bible is not a rule book at all. It's a book about how you and I can have a relationship with God, and how from the very beginning of time he has been on a rescue mission to save every single person out there from the pain of sin and death in our world. Inside, when you begin to read, you're introduced to the person of Jesus.
Do you know what the Bible says happens whenever that takes place? The Bible says you begin to transform. Second Corinthians, chapter 3, says you begin to change. The more you see Jesus, your life begins to change from one degree to the next to the next. Any person who reads the Scripture and consistently reads it, their life doesn't change because they know all the rules; their life changes because they see Jesus in it from beginning to end.
Can you trust the Bible? Yes. If you do, and if you apply it, you're going to experience a life like you could hardly even imagine. You could build your life on the foundation of his Word, and when you do, your life is going to transform, and you're going to see Jesus on every page.
Let me close with this just to emphasize that point. In Luke 24, we're told of a story that takes place right after Jesus rose from the grave. In other words, right after he was crucified, toward the end of the gospel of Luke, we're introduced to an interaction Jesus has. He rises from the grave. He comes back to life. He hasn't totally shown everybody himself yet. He hasn't totally introduced to all of the disciples he's alive, this is real.
We're told there were two of his disciples who were walking on the road. It's called the road to Emmaus. They were just walking from one town to the next. Jesus sees them, and he begins to walk up to these two guys, and it's like a seven-mile walk we're told. He joins the conversation. But we're told for whatever reason they couldn't see Jesus. They didn't recognize him. They didn't know exactly who he was. For whatever reason, he kind of disguised himself.
Jesus shows up, and he's like, "Hey, what's up, guys?" They were like, "Oh, we're just grieving the fact the Messiah we thought was the King just died." He begins to enter in this conversation, and he's like, "What are you talking about?" Let me just read the verse. They said, "'Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?' 'What things?' he asked."
In other words, they're like, "Are you the only person who hasn't read the Jerusalem Times? There's a coronavirus going on, bro. There was a guy we thought was King, and he died. We thought he was going to save the world and save the nation of Israel," which is what they said.
He was "…sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body." They're telling Jesus this entire thing, and he's just sitting there and listening in the entire thing. I love it.
"They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said…" Then Jesus jumps in and says something that is so remarkable. Think about this conversation. "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" Wasn't what happened to Jesus, him dying, him rising, all of that told in the Old Testament, in the writings, in the Prophets?
"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." Think about that conversation for a second. Jesus begins to go, "All of the Old Testament, all of the Bible, everything you've ever read was all pointing to me!" In other words, people have a tendency to look at the Bible and they're like, "Oh, it's a rule book. I need to follow the rules, and I need to do whatever it says." Do you know what that puts at the epicenter? You! You're not at the center of the story of the Bible, and neither am I.
Jesus says, "The entire thing has all been pointing to me." Part 1, Old Testament, all of it about Jesus. Part 2, all of it about Jesus. It has all been pointing to him. Think about what that must've been like when he sat there and he walked through how all of it was pointing to him. Remember how Adam in the garden he was tempted, and he failed. Jesus, also in the garden, was tempted, but he passed his test, and he went to the cross.
How we're told about Noah. How God comes to Noah, and he says, "Look, I'm going to allow you to build and take a piece of wood, and any person who trusts in that piece of wood lifted up will be saved from destruction." So Jesus, through a piece of wood, and him being lifted up on a cross, and all who trust in that piece are safe from destruction.
He just walks through. I can just see him on the road. He's walking with these guys. He goes, "Think about Abraham." Abraham, in a moment, where God came and he said, "I want you to take your son, your one and only son…" It's in the verse! "…and I want you to take him and sacrifice him." He takes him to a mountain called Golgotha, or Mount Moriah. It's where Golgotha is. Miraculously at the last moment, there's a ram that appears, and God provides a sacrifice. "Don't kill your son."
How is it all not pointing to Jesus? God, who would as a Father sacrifice and make the provision by giving his Son on our behalf. Think about David. David killed the giant Goliath, and Jesus killed the giant of sin and Satan and death. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale, and Jesus spent three days in a tomb. All of it has been pointing to Jesus.
He is the Lion of Judah. He is the sacrificial Lamb who would die on behalf of you and me and all of humanity. He's the Rock. He's the Light. He's the King. He's the Prophet. He's the Shepherd. And it all points to him. Jesus looks these guys in the eyes, and he walks them through all of it. If you begin to read the Bible, you'll be introduced to the one who it's all about, who life is all about, and one who frankly is the reason we trusted, who gave his life for you and for me.
Every week, there are people listening who not only have not understood what the Bible is, they've never understood what the gospel, the good news…that's what the word gospel means…what that is. Let me just give it to you. It's that God came to this earth in the form of Jesus, and he loved you so much he died for you and for me. He gave his life.
We didn't deserve it. We don't earn it. We could never earn it. He gave his life, and he died. Then he rose from the dead three days later, and he defeated death. On that day where he rose, death died. When he rose, it was like the payment for sins, it was like the check cleared. It was like the credit card when you're paying for something, and you're like, "Yes!"
The payment was enough. It was more than enough. Now anyone who puts their faith and trust in what Jesus did on the cross, accepting, "God, you paid for everything. It's true, and I can believe it. You gave your life, and if I'm going to have eternal life with you it's because you gave your life for me," anyone who puts their faith and trust in what Jesus did for them, has eternal life, and experiences the fulfillment of every prophecy and all of the points and everything the Scripture is about.
Tonight, if you've never had that moment, this is your night. The God who is there has had you stumble listening onto this right now or whenever you listen to this because he hasn't forgotten you. He gave his life to prove and show that. Let me pray.
Father, thank you that every word of God in the Bible points to the ultimate Word of God, which is Jesus. Thank you that you were the sacrifice for sins. You're the greater David, the greater Adam, the greater Jonah. You're greater than all of them. Every page and every word point to you, our King.
I pray for anyone listening right now who candidly sits behind the smokescreen of, "I don't want to believe it because if then, I'd have to change," you would pierce and penetrate, and they'd stop wondering, "What would I have to change," but, "Could it be true?" That you would show to them that it is. Thank you that you gave your life and that anyone who trusts in that can have eternal life. We worship you now in song. Amen.