PASTOR'S PEN: Do the math

What are the chances that you will be hit by lightning this year? What are the chances you could become President of the United States? What are the chances a meteorite would land on your house? There is the opportunity for all of these things to occur and there is a way to measure their likelihood — it’s called probability.

For example, the probability that you will be hit by lightning this year is one in 700,000 or 7x105. So the likelihood isn’t that great (though I know someone who was struck twice by lightning). The probability that you or maybe your child will be president someday is one in 10,000,000 or 1x107. Those aren’t very good odds. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning. The probability of a meteorite landing on your house is one in 180,000,000,000,000 or 1.8x1014. Wow! Those are some huge odds. I don’t think you really need to worry about that happening.

I tell you all of that because some say Jesus cannot be the Messiah or the Christ. Some say that those prophecies are made up or wonder if someone else could be the One sent by God who is God in flesh. Let’s look at the facts.

The prophecies about the Messiah, also called the Christ, were given hundreds of years before Jesus. No one saw Jesus then went back and wrote prophecies about Him to show He was the Messiah. Those are historically proven to have been written long before He came onto the scene in human form.

Theologians tell us that there are 300 to 350 prophecies about the Messiah. That’s a lot. Individually the probability of someone fulfilling one isn’t that great. For example, there’s a prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Ok, so that eliminates everyone born outside Bethlehem. Even then the odds are merely one in 280,000 or 2.8x105. That’s less than the chance of being struck by lightning in a year, so it is certainly possible.

Most of the other probabilities are the same way. In fact, one prophecy is that the Messiah will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey like a ruler. The odds of that are only one in 100 or 1x102. That’s a pretty easy predication. Compare it to saying someone will ride into Evart on a horse and buggy. Of course, we know that happens.

But when we put the prophecies together it’s much harder to look past the numbers. If I took just eight prophecies about the Messiah and said they would be true of one person, the chances of that happening are 1x1017! In other words, there’s a better chance that a meteorite will land on your house than one person would fulfill eight of the prophecies about the Messiah, yet Jesus did! The probability of 16 of those Old Testament prophecies given hundreds of years before Jesus being true about one man are 1x1045! Yet they are true of one man, Jesus! And you ask why I believe Jesus is the Christ!? There’s certainly no doubt in my mind.

No other person has fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. No other person ever will. If you wonder whether the Bible is merely a book written by men or given by God, look at the prophecies. If you wonder whether Jesus was the Christ, look at the prophecies. Do the math and recognize that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.