Prophesy Fulfilled by Larry W Peebles December 29, 2017 17.50
Bible scholars say there are over 350 prophesies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. These prophesies came through multiple prophets writing over thousands of years. These 350 prophesies are in different books of the Old Testament. Considering these facts, the mathematical odds that any one man could fulfill all of them are infinitely small. Writing in the book Science Speaks, Stoner and Newman estimate that the odds of one man fulfilling just eight of the 350 or so prophesies would be similar to the odds of finding one certain marked silver dollar out of a stack of unmarked silver dollars two feet deep covering the entire State of Texas. There is no way of verifying this calculation, but it does give a graphic visual of the difficulty.
There are studies available on the internet that summarize these 350 prophesies. All of the prophecies are important because they emphasize that God does speak through His prophets, as He said in His Word (Luke 1:70). Additionally, and against all reasonable odds, Jesus fulfilled them all. He did not leave one thing undone that God had told His children would happen concerning the Messiah. This is how we can know beyond all doubt that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah Savior who came to rescue those who would believe in Him.
As I write this article, we are in the season of celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus as a human infant. Make no mistake however; He is the Son of God, the Messiah planned and promised to mankind since the first man Adam fell into sin. For purposes of this article, I submit thirteen of these prophesies, a baker’s dozen for consideration, although some of the categories contain multiple prophesies under the same general topic:
- Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). This was fulfilled in the accounts of the birth in Matthew 1:18 and Luke 2:4-6.
- Messiah would come from the line of Abraham (Genesis 12:3 and 22:18), Isaac (Genesis 17:19), Jacob (Numbers 24:17), the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and would be heir to King David’s throne (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Luke 3:23-38 records the lineage of Jesus back through all these men, through Noah and even back to Adam. Since Jesus created all things including Adam, He stands at the beginning and the end of His own human lineage, and is able to say “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13).
- Messiah would be called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). This is fulfilled in Matthew 1:23, which says “they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated ‘God with us.”’
- A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah (Isaiah 40:3-5). This messenger was John the Baptist, as Luke documents in Luke 3:3-6.
- Messiah would be rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3). John speaks of Jesus’ rejection in John 1:11 and 7:5.
- Messiah would be declared the Son of God (Psalm 2:7). When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove on Jesus, and “a voice came from Heaven, saying ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”’ (Matthew 3:16-17). This was the voice of the Father.
- Messiah would bring the authority of the government of the kingdom of heaven to the earth in a new way (Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus affirmed this in Mark 1:15 when He said “the kingdom of God is at hand.” All authority (of kings and governments) and principalities (demons) are subject to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15, and Revelation 19:16).
- Messiah would come to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free, and to comfort those who mourn (Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus established this prophesy as His mission statement when He read this very scripture from Isaiah in the synagogue and said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-19).
- Messiah would be high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20, and Psalm 110:4) and King forever (Zechariah 9:9). We read more about the Old Testament king and priest Melchizedek in Hebrews Chapters 4 and 5, but the best explanation is perhaps the entirety of Chapter 7. This is where we see the comparison of Melchizedek and Jesus, with Jesus firmly established as The High Priest. The people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem as King in Mark 11:7-11, yet crucified Him as “King of the Jews” in Matthew 27:37.
- Messiah would be betrayed (Psalm 41:9), falsely accused (Psalm 35:11), and the blood money (thirty pieces of silver) paid His betrayer would be used to buy a field (Zechariah 11:12-13). These three prophesies were fulfilled in Luke 22:47-48, Matthew 26:14-16, Matthew 27:9-10, and Mark 14:57-58.
- The prophesies concerning Messiah’s crucifixion were numerous and detailed yet were fulfilled with the same detail: crucified with criminals (Isaiah 53:12/Matthew 27:38); given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21/Matthew 27:34); hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16/John 20:25-27); mocked and ridiculed (Psalm 22:7-8/Luke 23:35); soldiers gamble for His garments (Psalm 22:18/Matthew 27:35-36); bones would not be broken (Psalm 34:20/John 19:33-36); forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1/Matthew 27:46); pray for His enemies (Psalm 109:4/Luke 23:34), and soldiers pierce His side (Zechariah 12:10/John 19:34).
- Messiah would resurrect from the dead (Psalm 49:15), ascend to heaven (Psalm 24:7-10), and would be seated at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1).We see these prophesies fulfilled in these respective verses: resurrected from the dead-Matthew 28:2-7; ascended to heaven-Mark 16:19; and seated at God’s right hand-Mark 16:19, and Matthew 22:44. Additionally, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that the resurrected Jesus appeared to not only the twelve disciples, but that “He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present [date of Paul’s writing], but some have fallen asleep” [died]. [Inserts mine.]
- Messiah would be the (great and final) sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:5-12). Romans 5:6-11 speaks beautifully of this when it says -”while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” These verses then go on to explain how we as enemies of God were reconciled again to God through the death of his Son.
At the beginning of the New Year, I find it helpful to reflect and return to the basics—those truths that endure and are worthy places to anchor my hopes for the future. My hope and my strength rest in the living Savior and Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God. He extended love and grace to me before I ever came to Him. He saved me from myself. Left to go on my own path, I surely would have died. By His grace, He saved me from sin by offering His blood as atonement, washed away my shame, and made me a son of the Father, an heir to the kingdom. Once I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, His grace continues to call me to a life that honors Him. Old thoughts, habits and sinful ways are being broken off me. I am far from perfect, but I am moving in a direction to be more like Jesus.
When God speaks a word of direction or wisdom, we would do well to listen. When He speaks twice, we are without excuse. When He spoke 350 times through the prophets that Jesus is the Son of God, Savior of the world, He has issued a loving yet firm ultimatum. The world will one day be judged by what it has believed. I urge us all to believe and to begin to act accordingly. We should make this our resolution for 2018– to believe without reservation or hesitation.