The message of Nabi Isa is, and always has been, a challenge to mankind.
It is a personal challenge to respond to.
Since it is impossible to separate the Message from its Messenger, we are facing an existential question:
Are we prepared to receive and accept and accommodate this message and the Messenger for what they are,
Of course, it is in conflict with what many Jews, Muslims and even many nominal Christians believe.
However, Truth is not a matter of opinion, customs, culture or upbringing.
If, for example, one source claims that Jesus was crucified and died as a sacrifice for our sins,
and another that he was neither crucified nor killed, both statements cannot be true.
If the one is right, the other is essentially wrong.
The right answer to that question is ultimately the crucial issue of our lives.
It decidedly affects our eternal destiny, and by that the quality of life here and now!
We are well advised not to take for granted what our particular cultural or religious circumstances dictate,
neither to rely on our feelings, or worse, on the expedient opinions of others.
Are there any tangible facts that can prove this case in point?
If God holds us responsible for detecting and choosing the truth about him and us,
we can expect him to provide some mode, which allows us to distinguish between divine revelation and any counterfeit.
To make the right choice, we do need some basic insight and knowledge,
and this must be weighed and applied fairly, honestly and wisely.
Any preconceived conviction or idea is an unfit tool to differentiate between Truth and error.
Thank God, He did provide evidence to ascertain His Truth.
It is accessible to all that care enough to find it.
"You will ... find me when you seek me with all your heart!" (Jeremiah 29:13).
That is a promise of God. But not for the half-hearted.
In his message to Moses (Deuteronomy 18:21-22),
and later through many of the prophets (Isaiah 41:21, Amos 3:7, Jeremiah 28:9 etc.)
God provided one proof of his authorship, which no man can imitate:
predicted unforeseeable events and their fulfillment.
Unpredictable historical events were correctly foretold in one Book only, and that is the Bible.
Once these were fulfilled, they provided the proof of its divine authorship.
Moses, David, Isaiah and others predicted the coming and life of Jesus the Messiah
750, 1000 or even more years before his birth in great detail.
God has given a signal. It is up to us to take notice of it.
When these prophecies, which are absolutely unique in every way, were fulfilled in Jesus,
it became clear to anyone who cared enough to check, that they must have come from God.
They state, essentially, that Jesus is "God among us", and that he was born by a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
It says that he would be a "wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father and Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
As such, he became their "Saviour"
('Jeshua' in Hebrew; it was the name by which Jesus was called by his contemporaries).
"He saved" and "in his love and mercy redeemed" his people (Isaiah 63:7-9).
"Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit" (vs.10).
This rebellion culminated in the rejection of Jesus and his killing which is foretold in
Isaiah 53:3-12 and Psalm 22:14-18, where we can read:
"He is despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
and by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned, every one, to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
and who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—and with the rich at His death,
because He had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief...
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
for He shall bear their iniquities...
He was numbered with the transgressors,
and He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors."
"Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing"
These are just a few of the many prophecies, which were fulfilled in Jesus.
They are more than just some rational facts or an argument to prove the trustworthiness of the Bible.
They carry a message. In it God reveals and demonstrates His love for us.
We will react to it in some way. It may be in a hostile manner, indifferently, or responsive.
The message of Jesus beckons us to turn to him in love.
Remember, Jesus said:
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in ...!".
Will you let him?