If there is one thing I am truly grateful for in this life, it is the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross so I can live.
Who is Jesus? There were several prophecies in the Bible, specifically in the Old Testament, that foretold the coming of the Messiah, the Savior. The Old Testament is of course the physical foreshadowing of New Testament realities.
Consider the following prophecies written by different writers in different periods of time:
- He will be born of a Virgin – Isaiah 7:14. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1:16 / Luke 1:26-27
2. He will be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 2:1-2
3. He will be born from the tribe of Judah – Genesis 49:8-10. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1:1-3
4. He will live in Egypt – Hosea 11:1. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 2:13-15.
5. He will settle down in Galilee – Isaiah 9:1-2. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 2:19-23.
6. He will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey in a triumphant procession – Zechariah 9:9. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:6-11.
7. He will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – Zechariah 11:12-13. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 26:14-16
8. He will be pierced for our sins – Isaiah 53:5. This prophecy was fulfilled in John 19:34.
What are the odds that eight (8) different prophecies given by different writers who lived from different time period will be fulfilled in the same person? According to authors Peter W. Stoner and Robert W. Newman in their book “Science Speaks” the probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.
The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ[i].
The prophets could not have just made it up or just made a lucky guess. It could only be through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In 1Peter 1:20-21,
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.
There you had it.
9. They will cast lots for His clothes – Psalm 22:18. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 27:35.
10. Not one of His bones will be broken – Psalm 34:20. You may also refer to the Exodus 12:46 rule about the Passover lamb given to the Israel community by Moses and Aaron. This prophecy was fulfilled in John 19:33.
However, the most important prophecy was made by Jesus Himself in John 2:18-22 when He predicted that He will rise from the dead in 3 days. And we hold it to be true and therefore we believe.
As we celebrate the holy week, we can choose to believe that Jesus Christ was simply a good man, a prophet, who taught some kind of religious doctrine.
Or, we can choose to believe that His death, burial, and resurrection, brought us all redemption, and reconciliation to God. Salvation is now available through Christ Jesus our Lord. He died so I might live. And that’s more than enough for me.