Church Education Resource Ministries
Jesus is the Messiah that for centuries was prophesied would come and fulfill many specific prophecies. Some of the prophecies could have been easily fulfilled by someone that knew them well, while others could not have been fulfilled by being self-aware. Prophecies about this coming king were written many years before his birth, way before anyone ever thought that he even had any chance of fulfilling them and being the Messiah. The number of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled was unknown to me until I accessed the Believe religious Information source website which says, "There are around a hundred Prophecies in the Old Testament" (http://mb-soft.com/believe/txh/proph.htm). This website lists many of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry says the following about Jesus fulfilling all prophecies:
We find that the
chance that any man might have lived down
to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017."
That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.In order to help us comprehend
this staggering probability,Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "we take 1017
silver dollars and lay them on theface of
feet deep (http://www.carm.org/bible/prophecy.htm).
So as you can see the odds of one man fulfilling all the prophecies was impossible except by divine interaction. There is very little I can say in this brief paper, so I will focus on a few prophecies that were fulfilled in the birth, life, and death of Jesus the Christ. In reality, a topic like this takes many books to explain, so do not be dismayed if what I write leaves you hanging. I cannot persuade anyone in such a short paper, however my hope is that after reading this paper you will be fascinated with this topic and will be compelled to do some research on your own and be persuaded that Jesus is the Messiah, King, and Lord.
The Old Testament
prophets predicted much regarding the birth of the Messiah. The
prophet Micah predicted that the Christ was to be born in
Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that many Christians point to as
that Jesus is the Messiah. In this Bible passage, Micah said that a great ruler
would be born in
Bethlehem, as recorded in Matthew 2:1, about 2000 years ago. Aside from being
the spiritual leader of Christians around the world, Christians believe that Jesus will
return in the future to rule over an everlasting kingdom
Also Isa 7:14 says that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin. That is that he shall be born without the manís seed. We know that this is impossible, so obviously this birth would have to be supernatural. Albert Baylis comments on Isa 7:14 "This final child, who is called by divine names ('Mighty God, 'Everlasting father'), brings the light of salvation to Israel first in Galilee and then on David's throne forever" (Baylis 1996,289). The Christ was also prophesied to be born of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the patriarchs. (Gen 22:18, Gen 21:12 and fulfilled in Mt 1:1, Luke 3:23-34) Also, the prophets predicted that the Christ was to be the son of King David in Jer 23:5 and fulfilled in Lk 3:23-31. Jesus definitely had a miraculous birth, unlike any other. So many prophecies were fulfilled just at his birth. I listed the mathematical odds of just some of these prophecies being fulfilled, but Jesus fulfilled over a hundred prophecies. The mathematical odds of all this happening in one person are beyond a normal number. I once read that the odds would be like 1 in one hundred trillion. Winning the lottery is easier!
predicted that the Messiah was to be like Moses during his life,
demonstrating that he is the Son of God. Long ago the prophets
predicted that the Messiah will be preceded by a messenger who will
come right before him, and will make the path open for the one that
will come after him (Isa 40:3) and fulfilled in Mt 3:1-2. We know
that John the Baptist is the direct fulfillment of this prophecy and
even John knew that Jesus was the Christ when he saw him (Jn 1:29).
John said that he was not worthy to untie the sandals of the Messiah,
and when Jesus came to the river
The prophets predicted that the Messiah was to be born a prophet like Moses. Dt 18:15,18,19 are predictions of this. In Dt 18:15 Moses says "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him (NIV). The direct fulfillment of this prophecy comes in John 7:40, "On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet" (NIV). You see the people were aware of the prophecies, and they were aware of what Moses had said many years ago. The people in that day and place did not have TV, music, computers, video games and such to worry about, so all of their time was committed to studying the scriptures. Many of those Jewish people knew the scriptures far better than many Christians today, although we have far more copies of the words of the Lord than at any other time in history. The Jewish people in this passage that acknowledge that Jesus was the prophet, knew the character traits of the Messiah and knew what he would say and do. They were perfectly qualified to being able to recognize the Messiah. Jesus was predicted to be the Son of God long before his birth. Psa 2:7 says: "I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father" (NIV). This was fulfilled in Mt 3:17 which says "And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (NIV). The prophets also predicted during the lifetime of Christ that he will be a priestly Messiah (Psa 110:4, and fulfilled in Heb 5:5-6). Also he will be a judge (Isa 33:22) and fulfilled in John 5:30. At his death, Jesus fulfilled many prophecies. Christians understand that Jesus had to die in order to redeem mankind. Bilezikian writes regarding the death of Christ:
work of redemption required the death of the Son of God, the only
who did not deserve to die. His death was inevitable having been predicted
numerous times by the prophets of old; the Gospels make it clear that the death
of Jesus was the expected climax of his whole ministry (Bilizekian 1993, 68).
hard to believe, but even near his death and at his death Jesus was
fulfilling prophecies! Right before his death he was betrayed by one
of his own friends, someone who shared in his ministry full time, and
someone who spent intimate time with him. In Psa 41:9 David writes
"Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, had
lifted up his heel against me"(NIV). This prophecy was fulfilled in
every gospel account. Even the film, The Passion
This is hard to believe, but even near his death and at his death Jesus was fulfilling prophecies! Right before his death he was betrayed by one of his own friends, someone who shared in his ministry full time, and someone who spent intimate time with him. In Psa 41:9 David writes "Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, had lifted up his heel against me"(NIV). This prophecy was fulfilled in every gospel account. Even the film, The Passion, which was a very well done film, did not leave this out. Few will deny the accuracy of the betrayal account displayed in the film. It was very well done to say the least. Jesus was later crucified and nailed to a cross. Even that was a fulfillment of prophecy (Psa 22:16) and fulfilled in John 19:18 and every other gospel account. But amazingly not one bone of his was broken during this crucifixion, (Psa 34:20) fulfilling John 19:33,36. After he had died, Jesus was buried with a rich person. Now if you know anything about the culture of the time, you'd understand that poor Jews were not buried with rich Jews. Well, Jesus was buried with a rich person and this was predicted in Isa 53:9 and fulfilled in Mt 27:57-60. Well, you can't leave him dead, because he arose! Isa 26:19 and Psa 16:10 predict this, and they are fulfilled in every gospel account. This is probably very difficult for anyone to believe, but do realize that Jesus appeared to many after he arose and before he ascended into heaven. He appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9-11), he appeared to the other women at the tomb (Mt 28:8-10), he appeared to Peter (Lk 24:34), he appeared to his disciples (John 20:19-25), and he appeared to a crowd of more than 500 (1 Cor 15:6). So, there is no doubt in my mind that he arose from the dead and appeared before so many before he returned to heaven.
The Bible says that he stayed with his disciples and other followers for 40 days. I do not know all what he did during this time, and how he was able to avoid being seen by the Romans and his other enemies, especially since he remained around for 40 more days until he returned to heaven. How he was able to avoid being spotted by the Romans is a mystery.
Baylis Albert H.
1996. From Creation to the Cross.
BELIEVE Religious Information Source: available from http://mb-soft.com/believe/txh/proph.htm; Internet; accessed 11 November 2004.
Bilezikian Gilbert. 1993. Christianity 101.
Christian Apologetics ministry: available from http://www.carm.org/bible/prophecy.htm; Internet; accessed 11 November 2004.
100 Prophecies.org: available from http://www.therefinersfire.org/jesus_prophecies.htm; Internet; accessed 11 November 2004.
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