Jesus is the focus and foundation of the entire storyline of Scripture. We have called these glimpses of Jesus (specifically in the Old Testament) “Christophanies.”
In this episode, we examine the Old Testament prophecies and see how Jesus has perfectly fulfilled them.
This special Christophany series is in partnership with Ellerslie’s Daily Thunder Podcast. In Daily Thunder, Nathan is teaching through a series called The Storyline of Scripture and then dives even deeper on this podcast to show one of his favorite Christophanies from that part of God’s Word.
Listen to or download the episode
The probability that one man could fulfill the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament is impossible. The fact Jesus did, only testifies as to His soverignty.
In his book, Science Speaks, Professor Peter W. Stoner calculated the mathematical probability that one person in the first century could fulfill just eight of the prophecies. Josh and Sean McDowell quote Stoner in their book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict:
“We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017 (1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000).”
Stoner also calculated the probability of one person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 in 10157
In other words, it is supernatural that Jesus fulfilled not just 8, or 48, but over 300 prophecies to perfection. He, and He alone, is the Messiah.
The Prophecy Test
Jesus had to perfectly fulfill the prophecies in the Old Testament to prove Himself the Messiah. Here is a list of 30 (out of over 300 Old Testament Messianic prophecies) Jesus perfectly fulfilled.
When you get into the heart of prophecy you find a testimony of Jesus. As Revelation 19:10 says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
- He must prove to be the Son of God (Psalm 2:6-9 / Luke 1:30-35)
- He must prove the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:14-15 / Galatians 4:4)
- He must prove the Seed of Abraham (Genesis 17:7-8 / Galatians 3:16)
- He must prove the Seed of Isaac (Genesis 21:12 / Hebrews 11:17-19)
- He must prove the Seed of David (Psalm 132:11 / Acts 13:22-23, Romans 1:1-14)
- He must be born of a virgin. He must be Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14 / Luke 2:7, Matthew 1:18-23)
- He must be born in Bethlehem Judea (Micah 5:2 / Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4-6)
- Kings must fall down before him offering gifts (Psalm 72:10-11 / Matthew 2:1-11)
- He must be called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1 / Matthew 2:13-15)
- Elijah must come before Him (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, 4:5 / Matthew 3:1-3, 11:9-15, 17:10-12)
- He must be anointed with the Spirit (Psalm 45:7 / Matthew 3:16)
- His ministry must start in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2 / Matthew 4:12-19)
- He must enter Jerusalem riding upon a colt (Zechariah 9:9 / Matthew 21:1-5)
- He must be undesirable to many (Isaiah 53:1 / Mark 6:3)
- He must be meek (Isaiah 42:1-3 / Matthew 12:14)
- His being without guile (Isaiah 53:9 / 1 Peter 2:21-25)
- He must be consumed with zeal for God’s House (Psalm 69:9 / John 2:13-22)
- He must bear the reproach (Psalm 22:6-8, 12-13 / Romans 15:3)
- He must be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9 / John 13:18-19)
- The sheep must be scattered (Zechariah 13:7 / Matthew 26:31, 56)
- He must be sold for thirty pieces of silver and the Potter’s field must be purchased with the money (Zechariah 11:12-13 / Matthew 26:15, 27:3)
- He must be numbered with the Criminals (Isaiah 52:12 / Matthew 15:27-30)
- He must make intercession for his murderers (Isaiah 53:12 / Luke 23:34)
- They Must Cast Lots for His Clothing (Psalm 22:18 / Luke 23:34)
- His hands and his feet must be pierced (Psalm 22:16 / John 20:25-27)
- He must die (Isaiah 53:12 / Matthew 27:50-54)
- His bones must not be broken (Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:20 / John 19:33-36)
- His side must be pierced (Zechariah 12:10 / John 19:34)
- He must rise again from the dead (Psalm 16:10 / Luke 24:6-8)
- He must ascend (Psalm 68:18 / Luke 24:51-53)
As you examine passages such as Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22, you find a beautiful (and perfect) articulation of the Cross.
For example, Psalm 22 begins with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The first line of any Psalm is how the Jews identified it; so when Jesus cried out those words in Matthew 27:46, it would have been a signal to those standing around saying, “Psalm 22!” And as they pondered that Psalm, the passage would have been playing out on the cross before them:
- I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people
- All those who see Me ridicule Me
- They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” …
- Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help
- Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me
- They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion
- I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint
- My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me
- My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws
- You have brought Me to the dust of death
- For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me
- They pierced My hands and My feet
- I can count all My bones
- They look and stare at Me
- They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots
- Listen to the Daily Thunder series The Storyline of Scripture
- Join the Weekly Wrapup and get all the quotes, articles, podcasts, and resources from Nathan and deeperChristian from the week.
Show Notes / Additional Resources
- Exodus 15:22-26 – Then Moses had Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. And they came to Marah, but they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to Yahweh, and Yahweh showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He set for them a statute and a judgment, and there He tested them. … for I, Yahweh, am your healer (Jehovah Rapha).
- A picture of Numbers 22 and Balaam cursing Israel encamped around the Tabernacle in the shape of a cross
- Galatians 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” (see Deuteronomy 21:23)
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Question: How have you seen Jesus and the Old Testament?
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
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