Jesus as the Messiah in the Old Testament


Question

Christians often use Old Testament passages to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Jewish writings. How would you respond to this and should a Muslim disagree with these passages?

Answer

‘Aissa al Maseeh, Jesus the Messiah. As Muslims we adhere to the belief that Jesus was the Messiah and thus we agree with our Christian brethren that he was the Messiah. Concerning the passages used by Christians which foretell the crucifixion of the Messiah for the sins of the world, it is important that we first understand what the term Messiah means. The term for Messiah in Hebrew is, “Mashiach“, Christians naturally claim that every Messianic passage is about Jesus and thus he is, “Ha Mashiach” or, “the Messiah”. To begin with, there is not a single passage in the Old Testament that refers to a person known as, “Ha Mashiach“, the Messiah. There are many Messiahs in the Old Testament, with the term Messiah merely meaning, “anointed one”. The Christian would therefore have to demonstrate for us a single occurrence of the term, “the Messiah”, referring to one specific Messiah alone. Rather there are many Messianic passages in the Old Testament because in Judaism, there were many Messianic figures.

To be anointed was a common practise in their faith:

After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. – Exodus 28:41.

Therefore being the Messiah does not deify Jesus, nor does it mean that every Messianic passage could be about him. This would mean that not every suffering Messiah would also be Jesus. A popular passage used to prove that Jesus was foretold of being crucified for the sins of the world is the chapter of Isaiah 53. To respond to this chapter as an evidence, we can ask the Christian concerning verse three which reads as follows:

Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” – Isaiah 53:3.

Why did people hide their faces from him? Isaiah 52, says of the suffering servant:

“Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness – ” – Isaiah 52:14.

When did Jesus have a disfigured face and when did he hide this disfigured face? There is not a single passage in the New Testament which mentions that Jesus had a disfigured face. Since this is the case, we must then ask, how can this possibly refer to Jesus?

and Allaah knows best.

7 comments

  • I don’t think Isaiah 53:3 says that the Suffering Servant had a disfigured face, does it? Your translation does not say that, nor does the KJV.

  • Please see:

    Isaiah 52, says of the suffering servant:

    “Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness – ” – Isaiah 52:14.

  • the suffering servant is a sinner and has to atone for his own guilt. if the ss acknowledges his guilt, god will prolong his days.

    what does “prolong his days” mean?

    quote:

    Deuteronomy 30:5. And the Lord, your God, will bring you to the land which your forefathers possessed, and you [too] will take possession of it, and He will do good to you, and He will make you more numerous than your forefathers. 30:9. And the Lord, your God, will make you abundant for good in all the work of your hands, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will once again rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your forefathers,

    This is what it means when it says: he would see his offspring, prolong his days. They will live in prosperity and have many descendants.

    The length of days can apply to the nation as a whole indicating they will not disappear, or to the fact that their life spans will be extended as it says in Isaiah 65:

    17. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the first ones shall not be remembered, neither shall they come into mind.
    18. But rejoice and exult forever [in] what I create, for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and its people an exultation.
    19. And I will rejoice with Jerusalem, and I will exult with My people, and a sound of weeping or a sound of crying shall no longer be heard therein.
    20. There shall no longer be from there a youth or an old man who will not fill his days, for the youth who is one hundred years old shall die, and the sinner who is one hundred years old shall be cursed.
    21. And they shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

    If one dies at 100 one is still called a youth! That is long life. And God will have enjoyment from them, as this verse ends: and that the desire of HaShem would succeed by his hand. As we see in Zechariah 14:16.

    And it will come to pass that everyone left of the nations who came up against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles.

    end quote

    so it has NOTHING to do with a WEEKEND death and then an everlasting resurrection. jesus’ weekend death and resurrection are two major pillars in christianity which are MISSING from the text of isiah 53.

  • Yes, correct. But it is odd, I could have sworn your original article was quoting Is 53:3, not 52:14. Maybe I just skipped a paragraph.

    The gospels don’t really say what Jesus looked like while and after he was being crucified, but he would surely have been disfigured and marred.

  • It was my mistake, I forgot to put in the second quote, I apologize for that. Sorry. I later amended the article when you made me aware of what I forgot.

    Jesus was never disfigured, even after the crucifixion if you take the shroud of Turin as evidence of his immaculate condition, post-mortem.

  • Ijaz you close your article with these questions; [ When did Jesus have a disfigured face and when did he hide this disfigured face? There is not a single passage in the New Testament which mentions that Jesus had a disfigured face. Since this is the case, we must then ask, how can this possibly refer to Jesus? ]

    When did Jesus have a disfigured face? Jesus Himself predicted that He would “be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” Matthew 20:18-19 What the Messiah foretold came true, He was beaten and tried in a Jewish Court before Caiaphas the High Priest. We read of this in the gospel of Matthew in chapter 26:67-68; 67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?” Here we read that they spat in Jesus face, beat Him with their fists and slapped Him.

    In Matthew chapter 27:26-31 we read of Jesus on trial before Pilot the Roman Governor; 26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

    Here we see that Jesus again spat upon by the Roman cohort, they put a crown of thorns upon His head, beat Him on the head with a reed. So both the Jewish trial and the Roman trial injured His body and face so that He was marred in appearance.
    Your second question is, “when did he hide this disfigured face?”

    Take a closer look at the verse you quoted, “Like one from whom people hide their face” Isaiah 53:3 (“like one from whom men hide their face” Isaiah 53:3 NASB)

    Jesus did not hide his face, the people who saw Jesus hid their face because He was married in appearance and it was so appalling to see.

    Since Jesus had been spat upon in the face, beaten with their fists and slapped at the Jewish trail and then at the Roman trial had a crown of thorns thrust upon His head, beat Him on the head with a reed His face was married and repulsive to look at and therefore people turned away from Him (i.e. “people hid their face” [Isaiah 53:3] from Jesus).

    Your next statement, [There is not a single passage in the New Testament which mentions that Jesus had a disfigured face.] is a false statement.

    See Matthew 26:67-68 and Matthew 27:26-31 plus there are many other verses that describe these events in the gospel of Mark, Luke and John. The beating and disfiguring of Jesus Messiah the Messiah are described in detail. Since Jesus had been spat upon in the face, beaten with their fists and slapped at the Jewish trail and then at the Roman trial had a crown of thorns thrust upon His head, beat Him on the head with a reed His face was married and disfigured.

    Since this is the case, we must then ask, how can Isaiah 53 not refer to Jesus?

    We read in the prophet Isaiah;

    But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
    The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
    And by His scourging we are healed.
    6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
    Each of us has turned to his own way;
    But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
    To fall on Him.
    Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB

  • john has jesus’ mama talking to him so this means his mama didn’t turn away from her son who was hanging off the cross.

    luke’s jesus doesn’t receive thrashing and beating like the jesus in matthew and mark allegedly did, this is why you dropped luke.

    john , i think, has people beating their breasts after your god lost control of his internal organs (heart, lungs and brain).

    i don’t think the gentiles in isiah thought of re-FIGURED nose, eyes , lips , mouth for only 6 hours.

    “A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30Then”

    no wonder you dropped luke

    “Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” – Isaiah 53:3.

    this doesn’t seem to be talking about 6 hours on a cross.

    according to you, your god was marred, one wonders if the marred jesus got mixed up with another look alike bearded jew and placed in another tomb?

    http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15984

    Despised and rejected by men, a man of pains and accustomed to illness, and as one who hides his face from us, despised and we held him of no account.

    http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15984

    interesting how jewish translation seem to disagree with christian ones.

    ylt agrees

    3He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not.

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