The following passage is based on the book: D. James Kennedy, Ph.D. and Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., “The Real Messiah: Prophecies Fulfilled” (Boca Raton: D. James Kennedy Foundation, 2008). All verses are in ESV (English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted).
Truths about the Messiah from the Old Testament (c. 1400-c.400 BC). Note: even skeptical scholars acknowledge the Septuagint translation from Hebrew into Greek—dated c. 270-c.160 BC): He will come from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah.[i] He will come from the house of Jesse, from the house of David. Through this son of David, God will build an everlasting kingdom.[ii] A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, who will be God with us.[iii] This son of David, who will be begotten (begotten, not made),[iv] will be born in Bethlehem.[v] He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.[vi] He will have a forerunner who will prepare the way of the LORD.[vii] The Messiah will be the Prophet predicted by Moses. We are to listen to Him.[viii] His light will shine on the people in Galilee.[ix] God will give the One, whom He calls “the Son of Man,” authority over the nations. People from every tongue and tribe will worship Him, whose kingdom will last forever.[x] He will give sight to the blind and will heal the lame.[xi] He will teach in parables.[xii] But He will be rejected by men; He will be a man of sorrows.[xiii] He will come to Jerusalem with great fanfare, riding on a young donkey never ridden before.[xiv] He will come into the LORD’s temple in judgment.[xv] He will be betrayed by a close friend[xvi] for 30 pieces of silver—money which will instead be used to buy a potters’ field (a graveyard for poor people who can’t afford graves).[xvii] By His stripes we are healed.[xviii] He will be forsaken by God, while His hands and feet are pierced, as a band of evildoers surrounds Him. They divide His garments among them and cast lots for His clothing.[xix] He will be the seed of the woman who crushes the Devil’s head, even as the Devil strikes His foot.[xx] He dies for our sins[xxi] and commits His Spirit into God’s hands.[xxii] Like the Passover Lamb, none of His bones will be broken.[xxiii] Then they will look at Him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child.[xxiv] By His death, many will be justified.[xxv] He dies among the violent, but is buried among the rich.[xxvi] He will rise from the dead.[xxvii] He is a priest in the line of Melchizedek, who gives us bread and wine.[xxviii] He is the stone that the builders rejected, but which has become the cornerstone.[xxix] God is making His enemies a footstool for His feet.[xxx] God will give to His Son the nations as His inheritance. We should revere the Son of God, lest He be angry and we die. All those who trust in Him will be blessed.[xxxi]
Have you ever had 10 people in a room try to order a couple pizzas, and no one seems to agree on the order? (Thanks to Jim Thomas for that illustration).
Yet, God, knowing the future, inspired the authors of the Old Testament to foretell the coming of His Son, who came in the fullness of time.
A mathematician, Peter Stoner, had his graduate students calculate what the odds would be of any one person fulfilling just eight of these prophecies. He found the chance was one in 1017—one in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
Stoner gives an analogy to this. Suppose that we: “take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time.”
If that isn’t amazing enough, Stoner had his graduate students calculate the odds that any one person would fulfill 48 of these prophecies. The odds in that case were one in 10157. And again, we’re talking about 350 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.
Canon Dyson Hague once put it this way: “Who could draw a picture of a man not yet born? Surely God, and God alone. Nobody knew over 500 years ago that Shakespeare was going to be born; or over 250 years ago that Napoleon was to be born. Yet here in the Bible we have the most striking and unmistakable likeness of a Man portrayed, not by one, but by twenty or twenty-five artists, none of whom had ever seen the Man they were painting.”
To see a detailed listing of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus in His first coming, please see: http://accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html
[i] “…in you [Abraham] all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, c. 1400 BC). “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to who it belongs” (Genesis 49:10, NIV, c. 1400 BC).
[ii] “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding”” (Isaiah 11:1-2, 750 BC). “I will raise up your offspring after you [David], who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 1000 BC).
[iii] “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]” (Isaiah 7:14, c. 750 BC).
[iv] “The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7, c. 1000 BC).
[v] “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2, c. 720 BC).
[vi] “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, c. 750 BC).
[vii] “Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me” (Malachi 3:1, c. 425 BC). “A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God’” (Isaiah 40:3-4, c. 750 BC).
[viii] “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your brothers–it is to him you shall listen” (Deuteronomy 18:15, c. 1400 BC).
[ix] “The people [of Galilee of the nations] who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Isaiah 9:2, c. 750 BC).
[x] “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14, c. 550 BC, NIV).
[xi] “Behold, your God…will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy” (Isaiah 35:4-6, c. 750 BC).
[xii] “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us” (Psalm 78:3-4, c. 1000 BC).
[xiii] “Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:1-3, c. 750 BC).
[xiv] “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Should aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9, c. BC, 500 BC).
[xv] “And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire” (Malachi 3:1-2. c. 425 BC).
[xvi] “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9, c. 1000 BC).
[xvii] “And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. so I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter” (Zechariah 11:12-12, c. 500 BC).
[xviii] “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5, c. 750 BC).
[xix] “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?…. All who see me mock me…they wag their heads; ‘He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!’ my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones–they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 15-18, c. 1000 BC).
[xx] “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15, NIV, c. 1400 c. 4000 BC).
[xxi] “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth….Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;” (Isaiah 53:6-7, 10, c. 750 BC).
[xxii] “Into your hand I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5, c. 1000 BC).
[xxiii] “…you shall not break any of its [the Passover Lamb’s] bones.” (Exodus 12:46, c. 1400 BC).
[xxiv] “…when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child” (Zecharaiah 12:10, c. 500 BC).
[xxv] “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:10, 11-12, c. 750 BC).
[xxvi] “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:9, c. 750 BC).
[xxvii] “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption” (Psalm 16:10, c. 1000 BC).
[xxviii] “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4, c. 1000 BC). “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) Genesis 14:18, c. 1400 BC).
[xxix] “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22-23, c. 1000 BC).
[xxx] “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool’” (Psalm 110:1, c. 1000 BC).
[xxxi] “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:8-12, c. 1000 BC).