"Messianic prophecy" is the collection of over 300 predictions in the Old Testament scriptures about the future Savior (Hebrew: Messiah ) of the Jewish people and the world. These predictions were written by multiple authors, in numerous books, over approximately 1,000 years. Messianic Prophecy is so dramatic today, because with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the reliability of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament (both of which have been proven to exist prior to the time Jesus walked the earth) we can be assured that these prophecies were not "conspired" after-the-fact.
When all the historic evidence is thoughtfully examined, it's clear that Jesus Christ fulfilled all the prophetic requirements of the foretold Messiah. In fact, "Christ" (Greek for "the Anointed One") was the title given to Jesus of Nazareth as it became clear who he was. Although many Jews did not accept Jesus as their Messiah, many did, and they became the Jewish sect called "The Way." Later in Antioch , both Jewish and Gentile believers would start to be known as "Christians."
Christianity, based in part on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire of the 1st Century AD. In fact, many of the first sermons were based on presenting Jesus Christ from the Old Testament scriptures alone. The evidence was so dramatic that many became followers of this new "way."
Using the 1st Century teaching on Jesus' fulfillment of prophecy, here are some of the Old Testament prophecies they used. Check them out for yourself!
- Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23)
- A descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16)
- Of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23, 33; Hebrews 7:14)
- Of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Matthew 1:1)
- Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7)
- Taken to Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15)
- Herod´s killing of the infants (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
- Anointed by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16-17)
- Heralded by the messenger of the Lord (John the Baptist) (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3)
- Would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35)
- Would preach good news (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:14-21)
- Would minister in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-16)
- Would cleanse the Jewish Temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12-13)
- Would first present Himself as King 173,880 days from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25; Matthew 21:4-11)
- Would enter Jerusalem as a king on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-9)
- Would be rejected by the Jews (Psalm 118:22; I Peter 2:7)
- Would die a humiliating death (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) involving:
Would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6; Acts 2:31)
Would ascend into heaven (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9)
Would sit down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)
- rejection (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:10-11; 7:5,48)
- betrayal by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:3-4; John 13:18)
- sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15)
- silence before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14)
- being mocked (Psalm 22: 7-8; Matthew 27:31)
- beaten (Isaiah 52:14; Matthew 27:26)
- spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:30)
- piercing His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Matthew 27:31)
- being crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38)
- praying for His persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34)
- piercing His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)
- given gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34, Luke 23:36)
- no broken bones (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-36)
- buried in a rich man's tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)
- casting lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24)
"Jesus said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.'" (Luke 24:44)
As you examine these texts, think of the probability of one man fulfilling just a handful of the most specific ones, and you'll be amazed. Then, start to contemplate the mathematical impossibility of just one man fulfilling each and every one, and you might be changed!
Got Spiritual Questions?
Sources : Randall Niles, www.AllAboutGOD.com , www.GotQuestions.org , and www.AllAboutTheJourney.org .