There were two primary evidences which the apostles appealed to over and over again to establish the Deity and Messiahship of the Lord Jesus Christ. One was the fact of the resurrection and the other was the Old Testament prophecies which were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
Below is a listing of the prophecies written in the Old Testament and given to the Jewish nation so that they might be able to recognize their Messiah.
I. THE ACTUAL PROPHECIES
A. Concerning His Birth
1. Born of the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 1:20)
2. Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 24, 25)
3. Son of God (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:17)
4. Seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16) Here it is determined that the Messiah would be a Jewish descendant.
5. Son of Isaac (Genesis 21:12; Luke 3:23,34) Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Now God eliminates one half of the lineage of Isaac.
6. Son of Jacob (Numbers 24:17; Luke 3:23,34) Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Now God eliminates one half of the lineage of Isaac.
7. Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23,33) Jacob had twelve sons and each became a tribe of the Hebrew nation. Now God eliminates eleven-twelfths of the lineage of Jacob.
8. Family line of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:23,32) Now God narrows it down even further by picking one family line out of the tribe of Judah.
9. House of David (Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 3:23,31) Jesse had at least eight sons (I Samuel 16:10,11). Now God eliminates all of Jesse's sons except one, David.
10. Born at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1) Now God eliminates all the cities in the world except one, Bethlehem.
11. Presented with gifts (Psalm 72:10; Isaiah 60:6; Matthew 2:1,11)
12. Herod kills children (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16)
B. Concerning His Nature
13. His Pre-Existence (Micah 5:2; Colossians 1:17; John 1:1)
14. He shall be called Lord (Psalm 110:1; Luke 20:41-44)
15. He shall be called Immanuel ("God with us") (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)
16. Shall be a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18; Matthew 21:11)
17. Shall be a priest (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:5,6)
18. Shall be a judge (Isaiah 33:22; John 5:30)
19. Shall be a king (Isaiah 33:22; Matthew 27:37)
20. Special anointment of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16,17)
21. He zeal for God (Psalm 69:9; John 2:15-17)
C. Concerning His Ministry
22. Preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1,2)
23. Ministry to begin in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1,2; Matthew 4:12,13,17)
24. Ministry of miracles (Isaiah 35:5, 6a; Matthew 9:35)
25. Teacher of parables (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34)
26. He was to enter the temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12)
27. He was to enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Luke 19:35,36,37a)
28. A "Stone Of Stumbling" to the Jewish nation (Psalm 118:22; I Peter 2:7)
29. "Light" to the Gentiles (Isaiah 60:3; 49:6; Acts 13:47,48a)
D. Concerning Events After His Burial
30. His resurrection (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:31)
31. His ascension (Psalm 68:18a; Acts 1:9)
32. Seated at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)
E. Prophecies Fulfilled In One Day
The following 29 prophecies from the Old Testament, which speak of the betrayal, trial, death and burial of Jesus, were spoken at various times by many different voices during the five centuries from 1000-500 BC, and yet all of them were literally fulfilled in one twenty-four hour period of time in Jesus' life.
33. Betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Matthew 10:4)
34. Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15)
35. Money to be thrown down in God's house (Zechariah 11:13b; Matthew 27:5a)
36. Price given for potter's filed (Zechariah 11:13b; Matthew 27:7)
In the previous four prophecies we find in both prophecy and fulfillment the following:
2. By a friend
3. For 30 pieces of silver (not 29)
4. Silver (not gold)
5. Thrown down (not placed)
6. In God's house
7. Money used to buy potter's field
37. Forsaken by His
disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Mark 14:50)
38. Accused by false witnesses (Psalm 35:11; Matthew 26:59-61)
39. Mute before accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-19)
40. Wounded and bruised (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:26)
41. Smitten and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Micah 5:1; Matthew 26:67)
42. Mocked (Psalm 22:7,8; Matthew 27:31)
43. Fell under the cross (Psalm 109:24; John 19:17; Luke 23:26)
44. Hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16; Luke 23:33)
45. Crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38)
46. Made intercession for His persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34)
47. Rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3; John 7:5,48)
48. Hated without a cause (Psalm 69:4; John 15:25)
49. Friends stood afar off (Psalm 38:11; Luke 23:49)
50. People shook their heads (Psalm 109:25; Matthew 27:39)
51. Stared upon (Psalm 22:17; Luke 23:35)
52. Garments parted and lots cast (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23,24)
53. Suffered thirst (Pslam 69:21; John 19:28)
54. Gall and vinegar offered Him (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34)
55. His forsaken cry (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46)
56. Committed Himself to God (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46)
57. His bones not broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33)
58. His heart broken (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34) The blood and water which came from Jesus' pierced side are evidences that the heart had literally burst.
59. His side pierced (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)
60. Darkness over the land (Amos 8:9; Matthew 27:45)
61. Buried in a rich man's tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)
II. OBJECTIONS ANSWERED
A. Fulfilled Prophecies Were Actually Written At Or After The Time Of Jesus
Answer: If you are not satisfied with the date of 450 BC as the date of the Old Testament completion, then realize that the Greek translation of the Old Testament was completed in 250 BC.
Therefore, it appears evident that there were at least 250 years between the time of the writing of the prophecies and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
B. The Fulfilled Prophecy In Jesus Was Deliberate On His Part. He Knew The Old Testament Well Enough And Just Set Out To Fulfill All Of Them.
Answer: This might seem possible until we realize that thee were many prophecies outside of His control, such as:
1. Place of birth (Micah 5:2)
2. Time of birth (Daniel 9:25; Genesis 49:10)
3. Manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14)
5. Manner of death (Psalm 22:16)
6. People's reactions (Mocking, spitting, staring, etc.)
7. Piercing of His side
C. The Fulfilled Prophecy In Jesus Was Coincidental, An Accident
Answer: Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963) determines the probability of one man fulfilling eight of the prophecies of the Old Testament for the Messiah to be 1 in 10 to the 17th power.
Now let's try to imagine what this means. If we took that many silver dollars (100,000,000,000,000,000) and laid them over the State of Texas, they would cover the state two feet deep. Now mark one of the silver dollars, stir the whole mass thoroughly, blindfold a person, and tell him/her that they can travel as far as they want but must pick up one silver dollar and say that it is the marked one. What chance would s/he have of picking up the right one? It would be the exact same odds of anyone fulfilling eight of the Messianic prophecies by chance alone.
Peter Stoner then goes on to consider the possibility of any one person fulfilling 48 of the prophecies by chance. Here the odds jump to 1 in 10 to the 157th power. That number would look like this:
1 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
"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 been done; Saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'"
"I declare the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly, I acted and they came to pass. Therefore, I declared them to you long ago, before they took place I proclaimed them to you, lest you say, 'My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.'" (Isaiah 48:3,5)
The Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell
has been a primary source for the preparation of this paper.
Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell
Answers To Tough Questions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart
The Honest Skeptic's Worksheet
The Historical Reliability Of The New Testament
Know Why You Believe by Paul Little
10 Reasons To Believe (http://www.gospelcom.net.rbc/10rsn.home/)
Copyright 2002. Dave Arch. All rights reserved.