Around the year 2000 a Bedouin man found a three-foot stone tablet in the Dead Sea area that many scholars believe foretells the death and resurrection of the Messiah. Known as Gabriel’s Vision of Revelation, the words inked instead of carved on the tablet appear to refer to the Messiah rising three days after his death. Some say this is the “missing link” between Christianity and Judaism. Others argue the interpretation questions the veracity of the resurrection of Christ. Still others call into question the interpretation of the tablet because previous reports by scholars indicate that the words are indecipherable. This is a story worth relating as we approach Passover and holy days of Christ’s death and resurrection.
A professor of Bible Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Knohl, said in 2008 that the tablet’s inscription means that Christians adopted a widely held messianic story in Judaism and applied it to Christ. Knohl said, “Resurrection after three days becomes a motif developed before Jesus, which runs contrary to nearly all scholarship. What happens in the New Testament was adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story.” Perhaps Professor Knohl and others like him would like to live in the fantasy world that Christ did not exist other than as a mythical character who claimed to be the Son of God.
There are many so-called experts like Professor Knohl who question the accuracy of the Bible, especially considering the death and resurrection of Christ. If they understood the context of Bible in its entirety, they would know that there are some 60 major Old Testament prophecies pointing to the Messiah—fulfilled by Christ–not just some–but every one of them. Several prophecies regarding the Christ are found in Isaiah 53. In particular, Isaiah 53:12 says, “…he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Zechariah 12:10 speaks specifically to the crucifixion: “…and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son.”
Isaiah 25:8 and 9 say, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord has spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Why then do the likes of Professor Knohl not understand these things? The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:3 and 4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not.” Do you have understanding? Do you believe?