By Jon Quinn
“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things are written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).
Suppose that we took 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and marked one of them. Then we mixed them up and scattered them across the State of Texas. Then we put a blindfold on you and told you to walk into Texas, as far as you want to, stepping on silver dollars as you go. When you decide that you want to stop, bend over and pick one up. If it is the one with the mark on it, then you win. How would you like those odds? You would have a far greater chance of being struck by lightning, but that would not be as much fun. Push those silver dollars to the back of your mind right now, but not too far because we will want to use them again shortly.
Prophecies and Jesus
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and He will not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19)
The apostles and prophets, and Jesus himself appealed to the Scriptures as proof of Jesus’ messiahship. The Old Testament, written over a period of about 1,000 years (1400-400 B.C.), and completed at least four centuries prior to Jesus’ birth, establishes and confirms the fact that Jesus was who he claimed to be. There were over 300 prophecies made, including over 60 major prophecies that show obvious Divine foreknowledge. It is strikingly impressive that not a single one has failed!
Some Objections Considered
“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27).
Many have tried to explain away the prophecies. There is really no adequate explanation other than Jesus is God’s Son, the Messiah promised from the beginning. Some skeptics suggest that the prophecies were actually written after Jesus lived, but the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls disproved that. Add to that the fact that the Greek translation of the Old Testament occurred in 250 B.C. You could not very well translate from the Hebrew to the Greek if the Hebrews Scriptures did not already exist!
Others suggest that Jesus deliberately fulfilled the prophecies. No doubt he did; the riding into Jerusalem on the back of a colt was something he deliberately did to fulfill prophecy. But not all can be explained that way. If he were only a mere man, then he certainly had no control over the place of his birth, nor the time of it. He had no control over the method of his execution, the piercing of his side, the casting of lots for his garments and where he would he buried!
Maybe it was all coincidental. You can find some of these prophecies fulfilled by lots of people. Jesus was not the first, or the last, to die for others. But again, Jesus did not fulfill just one or two, but hundreds. In fact, all of them. No other in human history comes close! No objection conceived by the unbelieving mind of man has ever provided a reasonable alternative.
Some Specific Prophecies
“Think not that I came to abolish the Law or the Propets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17).
There are far too many prophecies to note all of them here. We will note eight of them, selected because they were all beyond the human control of Jesus to manipulate. According to the prophet Micah, the Messianic ruler would come from Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Here God eliminates all the other cities and villages of the world as possibilities (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2: 1). Even if Jesus had fulfilled all the other prophecies, if he had failed just this one, then he could not have been the Promised One! Fo- example, if he had been born in Nazareth, a very likely place since it was the home of Joseph and Mary, then Jesus might still be a teacher or prophet, but not the Son of God!
The time of the Messiah’s coming would be in the days of the fourth empire, which turned out to be Rome (Dan. 2:44). Very exact time references are given (Dan. 9:25) and fulfilled in Jesus. To have been born early or late would have disqualified Jesus from being the Christ!
He was to be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-24). This event was to be a sign to identify him as God’s Son. No other circumstance, however wonderful, would have sufficed. Even if the angels had announced the birth of the Savior, if Mary had not been a virgin, then the angels would not have been speaking the truth!
He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12,13; Jn. 13:21; Matt. 26:15). If Judas had received 25 or 40 pieces of silver, then we would still be waiting today for someone to come and fulfill the promise.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 22, pp. 684-685
November 15, 1990