“Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was
still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of
Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44).
How many things? How many things that had been written over the previous one
and a half thousand years had to be fulfilled by Jesus in order to prove to
everyone that He is the Christ? And what are the chances that anyone else
would either coincidentally or by plan fulfill them all?
Consider one of the most compelling evidences that Jesus is the Messiah; the
Son of God. He fulfilled all the prophecies… the easy ones as well as the
difficult…. And even the impossible ones! (But with God, all thing are
possible! - Mark 9:23; 10:27)
Prophecies and Jesus
"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should
repent; Has He said, and He will not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He
not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). The apostles and prophets, and Jesus
Himself, appealed to the Scriptures as proof of Jesus' Messiahship. The Old
Testament, written over a period of about 1,000 years (1400-400 B.C.), and
completed at least four centuries prior to Jesus' birth, establish and
confirm the fact that Jesus was who He said He was. There were over 300
prophecies made, including over 60 major prophecies that show obvious Divine
Some Objections Considered
"And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them the
things concerning Himself in the Scriptures." (Luke 24:27). Some have tried
to explain away the prophecies, but there is really no adequate explanation
other than Jesus is God's Son, the Messiah, promised from the beginning.
Some skeptics suggest that the prophecies were actually written after Jesus
lived, but the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls disproved that.
Additionally, the Greek translation of the Old Testament occurred in 250
B.C. We know the prophecies referring to Jesus were being circulated at that
time. Yes, all of these prophecies were written centuries before Jesus was
Others suggest that Jesus deliberately fulfilled the prophecies. No doubt He
did; the riding into Jerusalem on the back of a colt was something He
deliberately did to fulfill prophecy. But not all can be explained that way.
He certainly had no human control over the place of His birth, nor the time
of it. He had no control over the price that Judas would receive for
betraying Him. He had no control over the method of His execution, the
piercing of His side, the casting of lots for His garments or where He would
be buried! These were all fulfillments of prophecy as well!
Well, maybe it was all coincidental. You can find some of these prophecies
fulfilled by lots of people. Jesus was not the first, or the last, to die
for others. But again, Jesus did not fulfill just one or two, but hundreds.
In fact, all of them. No other in human history comes close! No objection
conceived by the unbelieving mind of man has ever come close to providing a
Some Specific Prophecies
"Think not that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to
abolish but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17). There are far too many prophecies
to note all of them here. We will notice eight of them, selected because
they were all beyond the human control of Jesus to manipulate.
According to the prophet Micah, the Messianic ruler would come from the tiny
village of Bethlehem. Here God eliminates all the other cities and villages
of the world as possibilities (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1). If Jesus had been
born anywhere else, He would not be the promised one. But, of course, that
is exactly where He was born.
The time of the Messiah's coming would be in the days of the fourth empire
in the future from Daniel's perspective, which turned out to be Rome (Daniel
2:44). Very exact time references are given (Daniel 9:25) and fulfilled in
He was to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-24). If Jesus'
father had been known, then we would be sure that He is not the Messiah.
He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah
11:12,13, John 13:21, Matthew 26:15).
In His execution, His hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16, Luke
People would continue to mock Him as He died (Psalm 22:7,8, Matthew 27:39).
He would be pierced (Zechariah 12:10) and of course this was fulfilled by a
Roman soldier with a spear (John 19:34).
Though counted as wicked, He would be buried by a rich man in an area
designated as tombs for those who could afford them (Isaiah 53:9, Matthew
As we consider these prophecies about Jesus, we would do well to remember
the words of Jehovah through the prophet Isaiah: "Remember the former things
long past, for I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is no one
like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things
which have not yet been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I
will accomplish all My good pleasure." (Isaiah 46:9,10).
What Are the Changes?
"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if
you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John
5:46,47). What is the chance that any man living down to the present time
could have fulfilled all eight of these prophecies, based upon mathematical
principles of probability, without even mentioning the hundreds of others
also fulfilled? For example, out of the billions of people to have ever
walked this planet, how many of them have been born in Bethlehem? Only a
very, very small percentage. 1 out of, say, 100 million? How many of that
small number were betrayed for 30 pieces of silver? Probably only one… and
we still have hundreds of prophecies to go. Suffice it to say, in answer to
the question, “Of the billions who have ever lived, how many fulfill the
requirements of prophecy concerning the Messiah?” The answer: Only One even
comes close. We know who He is!
We have noted the fulfilling of only eight of the more than three hundred
prophecies which Jesus actually fulfilled! If all the prophecies were
considered, the odds of Jesus not being God's Son are even less, much, much
less! Because of the confidence that reasonable people can have in Jesus as
being the Savior when these Scriptures are considered, it is the right thing
to do to put our eternal destiny into His hands!
From The Bradley Banner 6/24/2007
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway