“GUSTY WINDS MAY EXIST” warned from the lone sign that broke the view of the flat horizon along Interstate 40. Almost nothing else rose above the bare land bisected by the six-lane freeway.
Another five miles away, Jolene studied the playful sign again. “GUSTY WINDS MAY EXIST.” What the red plains lacked in trees, it made up for in a stunning vista of bare cliffs and canyons. But there seemed to be no wind.
By then, she was wondering, “Is someone giving permission for the winds to sweep these plains?” or “Is it possible that gusty winds show up now and then?”
Hailing from a community with legendary high winds that makes Midwest metropolis Chicago’s gusts feel like beachfront breezes, Jolene thought she might look for signs of wind – like shopping lists sailing out of open windows and rising into thermals hundreds of feet high. Chicago had nothing on this place or her home.
Ever since an 1858 Chicago Tribune tagged the metropolis “the windy city,” Jolene chuckled. Wind only averaged 10.3 miles per hour in Chicago, while in her community, the doctors’ offices were filled with consumers imprinted front and back with the frames and handles of doors. People and trees slanted away from the wind at a 45 degree angle. Garden flags fresh out of the package hung in shreds in fifteen seconds flat.
Were there any such signs in this high desert town? Nope. Her town was still the windiest city.
An old-timer in northeast Arizona held on to his baseball cap and mentioned, “It starts blowing around February and it sometimes is still gusting in July. September is usually nice, though. So we call the four seasons summer, fall, winter, and wind!”
So may gusty winds exist? Why, sure. But if we can believe in them and see the evidence, can we also examine Jesus.
Tacitus [AD115], senator and historian of the Roman Empire, is considered by experts to be the “Greatest Historian of Ancient Rome.” He acknowledged that Jesus existed and was crucified. Others who recorded Jesus’ existence include Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny, Lucian and Mara Bar-Serapion.
But the real question is –was he the Messiah as he said he was?
The late Peter W. Stoner, author of Science Speaks, says yes. Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953, Stoner set out to prove the Bible as true in its predictions of Jesus as Messiah.
Out of the 300 prophesies about Jesus, Stoner used math and probability to apply to a few of the prophesies.
Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clan of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” That is the Bethlehem close to Jerusalem. How did Jesus come to be born there when his mother and her betrothed were from Nazareth? Because of the Roman census.
What are the chances of anyone in history being born in Bethlehem? Stoner says 1 out of 200,000.
What about Jesus, honored as a king, riding a colt into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? From Zechariah 9:9” “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This was written over 500 years before it happened.
From Isaiah 53:7 written nearly 700 years before Christ: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” This was what happened when Jesus was accused and tried for blasphemy against God and the Israelites. His crucifixion followed. It became obvious to many he was guilty of no wrong.
As Peter Stoner checked the mathematical possibilities of eight of the 300 prophesies of the Messiah, he stated that the chances would be one to ten to the 17the power or 1 X 10/17th.
If you considered forty-eight of the prophesies of the 300, the chance would be one out of ten to the 57th power or 1 X 10/57th .
This points to the marvel of God’s plan: that there is no doubt of the Messiah, who was Jesus, existed.
If we can accept that gusty winds may exist, where do we stand with Jesus, the Messiah, and Son of God?
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing 2011. For more chuckles, check her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]