What Prophecies Did Jesus Fulfill?
Long before Jesus was born, the Bible predicted his life and death.
And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
The Old Testament was completed in 450 B.C., hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Many prophecies were made in astonishing detail by many people throughout these books. In fact, fulfilled prophecy is one of the distinguishing marks of the Bible, helping to prove it is the inspired word of God.
Examples of prophecies
For instance, the Old Testament foresaw Jesus’ betrayal by someone he trusted: "Even my close friend whom I trusted, he who has shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 41:9) The New Testament, which records Jesus' life and resurrection, reveals that one of the 12 people Jesus chose to be part of his inner circle betrayed him: "Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them." (Mark 14:10)
Jesus also was born of a virgin, as we learned in Matthew 1:18: "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." This was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."
What are the chances?
More than 300 Messianic prophecies made in the Old Testament were all fulfilled through Jesus' life, death and resurrection. The chances of one person fulfilling just eight of these prophecies are 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. For one person to fulfill 48 of these prophecies, the number becomes staggering — 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power (1 with 157 zeros after it). Add to that the 250 other prophecies, and it becomes impossible for any other person except Jesus to ever fit that particular sequence of time and events.
Here are some more of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled:
- A descendant of Abraham (Genesis 18:18)
- A descendant of Isaac (Genesis 17:19)
- A descendant of Jacob (Numbers 24:17)
- From the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10)
- Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
- Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
- Escaped to Egypt as a child (Hosea 11:1)
- Ministered in Galilee and along the Jordan River (Isaiah 9:1-2)
- Rejected by Jewish people (Isaiah 53:3)
- Had a character of wisdom and understanding (Isaiah 11:2)
- Entered triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)
- Met timing of triumphant entry (Daniel 9:25-26)
- Betrayed by a close friend (Psalm 41:9)
- Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12)
- Silver returned and used to buy land (Zechariah 11:13)
- Silent as He stood accused (Isaiah 53:7)
- Suffered for others (Isaiah 53:4-5)
- Crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12)
- Pierced in hands and feet (Psalm 22:16)
- Mocked and insulted (Psalm 22:6-8)
- Pierced with a spear (Zechariah 12:10)
- Soldiers cast lots for clothes (Psalm 22:18)
- Bones went unbroken (Psalm 34:20)
- Buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9)
- Resurrected after death (Psalm 16:10)
- Ascended to heaven (Psalm 68:18)
What’s the point?
What do all these prophecies show us? That God had a plan for our redemption and salvation hundreds of years (or even thousands) before Jesus showed up. God is not slow to move, and His timing is best. He is trustworthy to come through on all His promises to His people. He is also good to us and provides a way for us to return to Him. What an amazing God we serve!
Pray this week:
Lord, give me amazement this week at your perfect plan for my redemption. Thank you for sending Jesus, and for telling us what the Messiah would do for us hundreds of years before He came. We love you because you first loved us. Thank you for your trustworthiness. Amen.
Which of these prophecies gives you the most assurance that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah? Do you want to talk to a caring volunteer about any of these prophecies?