Often, one will hear a statement stating something along the lines of, "Christians are so exclusive; in reality, all religions are just paths up the same mountain."  Call this a Finding Nemo theology:  all drains lead to the ocean.  In reality, none of the major religions believe this:  Islam states Allah is the only way to paradise, Judaism states eternal life is found only in YHWH, Christianity states salvation comes from the Triune God of the Bible (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), Taoism states one has to become part of the Tao, and the list goes on and on.  

     In reality, religions are not like a mountain; instead, they are a lot like a maze.  Like most good mazes, there are many paths, but in the end there is only one way out (or to the end).  However, most major religions state they are the one path.  How is it that Jesus is the only path, and the other religions are paths that may, at times, appear to line up and be similar paths, but after all is said and done, only lead to dead-ends?  How can someone know Jesus is the only way?  

     Before Jesus was ever born, the Old Testament was written.  Actually, the Old Testament (OT for short) was written from over a thousands years before Jesus was born up to about 400 years prior.  While some speculate over the accuracy of the dates of authorship, what is 100% known is that the OT was fully written, assembled, widely circulated, and then translated into Greek around 250 years before Jesus' birth (and the Greek translation of the OT was titled the Septuagint).  

     Over 200 years before Jesus was ever born, there were over 300 prophecies predicting the Messiah.  Here's a short list: 

                   1) Gen. 3:15 – come from the seed of woman

                   2) Gen. 9:26-27 – come from the line of Shem

                   3) Gen. 12:3 – be a descendant of Abraham

                   4) Gen. 26:2-5 – come from the line of Isaac

                   5) Num. 24:17-19 – Descendant of Jacob

                   6) Gen. 49:10 - and from the tribe of Judah  

                   7) 2 Sam. 7:12 – from the house of David

                   8) Micah 5:2 – born in Bethlehem 

                   9) Ps. 2:7-8 – Messiah will be crucified

                  10) Is 53 – He will be despised, rejected, killed, and bare the sins of the world 

                   11) Ps. 41:9 – Messiah will be betrayed by a friend

                   12) Zech. 11:10-13 – betrayed for 30 (not 29) pieces of silver (not gold)

                   13) Zech. 11:13 – pieces of silver thrown (not placed) onto the temple floor

                   14) Zech. 11:13 – silver used to buy a field 

                   15) Is. 53:9 – buried in a rich man’s tomb. 

                   16) Is. 25:8 – will rise from the dead 

                   17) Ps. 68:18 – will ascend

                   18) Ps. 110:1 – will be seated at the right hand of the Father  

     Taking just 8 of these prophecies:  the odds of any 1 person fulfilling just 8 of these prophecies is 1 in 100 Quadrillion (that's a 10 to the 17th power, or a 10 followed by 17 zeros).  Josh McDowell's team came up with a word picture to help understand what this statistic means:  If you took the state of Texas, covered it from border to border with silver dollars staked 2 feet deep; took just 1 silver dollar and marked it, threw it back into the pile, took a bulldozer to mix the dollars all up and reorganized the pile; then took a man, blind-folded him, and had him wade through the state of Texas.  Afterwards, he randomly stopped, randomly picked up one silver dollar; the odds of him picking that one marked dollar is the same odds of 1 person fulfilling 8 of the OT prophecies.  Jesus fulfilled not just 8...not 50...not 100...but over 300 prophecies.  If 8 is near statistically impossible, then fulfilling over 300 would require Divine intervention/planning/intention.  

     Messianic Prophecies are merely one out of several dozen ways we know Jesus is the true Messiah, and the one and only Holy and Righteous One.  

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