Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

So let’s start at the very beginning and clarify what we are talking about in terms of Prophecy. The Cambridge dictionary tells us that Prophecy “is a statement that says what is going to happen in the future, especially one which is based on what you believe about a particular matter rather than existing facts”. So for me to say that tomorrow the sun will rise is not prophecy but for me to say that the world will end tomorrow would be prophecy (unfulfilled prophecy but you get the gist). In a Christian sense it is a prophet (someone used by God as a channel for others) passing on from God something about the future (or sometimes the present or past) that they couldn’t humanly know.

Old Testament Prophecies fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament which were fulfilled by Jesus. These prophecies were written at the very latest 425 years before Jesus was born. Below I will list just a fraction of the prophecies recorded about Jesus in the Old Testament and their fulfilment as recorded in the New Testament.

Prophecy

Isaiah 7: 14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give     birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel

Fulfilment

Luke 1: 26-35

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Prophecy

Micah 5: 2

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans 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.”

Fulfilment

Mathew 2: 1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Prophecy

Zechariah 9: 9

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Fulfilment

Luke 19: 29-38

As he (Jesus) approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Prophecy

Isaiah 50: 6

I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

Fulfilment

Matthew 24:67-68

Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

OK, so there are 4 – only 300 or so to go!! I’m sure if you “Google” Biblical Prophecy or Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy you will find web-sites that will list all of the Prophecies or at least the major ones. Hopefully this gives you a taster to show that the Old Testament is filled with signs pointing to the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. These weren’t just written a few years before the events took place but mainly between 4 and 7 centuries before the actual events. You may argue that these were self fulfilling prophesies. That Jesus was a deluded man and set out to fulfil the prophesies that he had read about in Scripture. It is true, some could be explained away by saying that Jesus knew the Scriptures, after all Jesus did know the Scriptures extremely well, but all of them?

Could he have gotten himself…

Born in Bethlehem (Prophesied Micah 5: 2 Fulfilled Matthew 2: 1-6)

Born of a virgin (Prophesied Isaiah 7: 14 Fulfilled Mathew 1: 18-25)

Born of line of King David (Prophesied Jeremiah 23: 5 Fulfilled Luke 3: 31)

Born of Tribe of Judah (Prophesied Genesis 49: 10 Fulfilled Revelations 5: 5)

Preceded by a messenger (Prophesied Isaiah 40: 3 Fulfilled Matthew 3: 1-3)

Betrayed by a friend (Prophesied Psalm 40:9 Fulfilled John 13: 18-27)

Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Prophesied Zechariah 11:12 Fulfilled Matthew 26: 14-15)

Forsaken by his disciples (Prophesied Zechariah 13: 7 Fulfilled Mark 14:50)

Crucified with thieves (Prophesied Isaiah 53:12 Fulfilled Matthew 27:38)

Bones not broken (Prophesied Psalm 34: 20 Fulfilled John 19:32-36)

Buried in rich man’s tomb (Prophesied Isaiah 53: 9 Fulfilled Matthew 27:57-60)

Again these are but a handful among a whole host of prophesies that Jesus could not have brought about by himself. Many of them he couldn’t have orchestrated even with a whole band of willing volunteers. This really is the sort of stuff that just couldn’t be made up. This is evidence that demands to be taken seriously. Not only were these hundreds of prophecies written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ they were also written over a period of several hundreds of years by many different people.

Now, to finish and for those of you who like numbers and probabilities Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963) determines the probability of one man fulfilling just eight of the prophecies found in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah to be 1 chance in 10 to the 17th power or 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Peter Stoner then works out the probability of one person fulfilling 48 of the prophecies by chance. Here the odds jump to 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power. That number would look like this:

1 chance out of

100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

I hope this begins to show that the Bible is not a book full of mythical, made-up stories that can be discounted. It is indeed a valid historical document that contains wisdom, power and authority.