Old Testament Prophecies of Jesus by Brother Lynn Nicholson
Every year Christians around the world celebrate the birth of our God-Man Savior, Jesus. Also, every year we celebrate His resurrection from the dead. Of course there are many non-Christians who celebrate those days as well. Most of them do not understand the significance and importance of Christmas and Easter to those of us who are born-again believers. And often times when we try to explain and share our faith to non-believers, they remain skeptical…unconvinced. And so, I have created this little study of Old Testament prophecies of Jesus in order to help you to understand one particular concept that you may not be aware of, and which you may find useful in your personal ministry and in witnessing.
My “Ah-hah” moment: Isaiah 45:1-7. What I mean by my “Ah-hah moment” is that while I was studying Isaiah many years ago as a new Christian, I came upon this verse. And I wondered about the relationship between Isaiah, God, Israel and their situation at the time of this writing. This chapter 45 is NOT a messianic prophecy. I am just sharing this little tidbit with you about what inspired me to look into the statistics that surround messianic prophecies. In other words, what are the odds that Jesus or anyone else, for that matter, could be the real Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament? I am here to tell you that when you understand the math and logic involved, you will discover just how staggering the answer to my question is!
Isaiah’s ministry lasted from 740 BC to 685 BC (about 55 years). Cyrus the Great lived from 600 or 576 BC to 530 BC. Was king of Persia from 559 BC to 530 B.C. The shortest time span between the death of Isaiah and the birth of Cyrus is 85 years. But the NLT Study Bible states that, “Isaiah predicted the rescuer Cyrus by name 150 years in advance.” Can you name our next president with certainty? How about who will be our President in 2052…and that’s only a few years in the future! Yet, God gave Isaiah the name of Cyrus, “his servant,” about 150 years before Cyrus was born!!
The light bulb went on over my head! Ah-hah, I said to myself. This is solid evidence or maybe even indisputable proof that the God of Israel, the One True God is real and that His prophecies are real and true. Archaeology and history have already proven that the books of the Bible are a compilation of books written by different men who lived at different times in history. Isaiah the Prophet was a real person in history whose ministry lasted for more than 55 years encompassing the period of his adult life from 740 to 685 B.C. And the Cyrus of the Bible is Cyrus the Great, who reigned as King of Persia from 559 B.C. to 530 B.C. And Cyrus the Great is known from extra-biblical archaeology as well.
New Testament writers appeal to prophecies fulfilled in Jesus: Acts 3:18; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:29; Acts 17:2-3; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Romans 1:2; 1 Pet. 2:5-6; Matt. 2:4-6.
But, in fact, there are some 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. That is way too many to explore in one lesson. Listed below are 36 of those prophecies along with the text in the New Testament that indicates that the OT prophecies were fulfilled. And we shall not examine all of them during this presentation, but they are there for you to check out at your leisure.
Born of seed of woman:
Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4 and Matthew 1:20
Born of a Virgin:
Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1: 18, 24, 25 and Luke 1:26-35
Son of God:
Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35
Seed of Abraham (Messiah would come from the Hebrew race):
Genesis 22:18 Matthew 1:1 and Galatians 3:16
Son of Isaac (Since Abraham had 2 sons, eliminates ½ the Abrahamic lineage):
Genesis 21:12 Luke 3:23, 34
Son of Jacob (Since Isaac had 2 sons, eliminates ½ the lineage of Isaac):
Numbers 24:17 Luke 3:23, 24
Tribe of Judah (12 sons of Jacob 12 tribes of Israel. Eliminates 11/12ths of Israel):
Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:23, 33
Family line of Jesse:
Isaiah 1:10 and11:1 Luke 3:23 and 32
House of David (God eliminates all of Jesse’s 8 sons except one):
Jeremiah 23:5 Luke 3:23 and 31
Born at Bethlehem (God eliminates all the cities of the world, save one, for the entrance of His Incarnate Son):
Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Presented with gifts:
Psalm 72:10 Matthew 2: 1 and 11
Herod kills children:
Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew 2:16
Micah 5:2 Colossians 1:17
He shall be called Lord:
Psalm 110:1 Luke 2:11 and Matt. 22:43-45
Shall be Immanuel (God With Us):
Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
Shall be a prophet:
Deuteronomy 18:18 Matthew 21:11
Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 3:1
Isaiah 33:22 John 5:30 and 2 Tim 4:1
Psalm 2:6 Matthew 27:37
Special Anointing of the Holy Spirit:
Isaiah 11:2 Matthew 3:16, 17
His zeal for God:
Psalm 69:9 John 2:15, 16
Preceded by a messenger:
Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2; John 1:23
Ministry begins in Galilee:
Isaiah 9:1 Matthew 4:12, 13, 17
Ministry of Miracles:
Isaiah 35:5, 6 Matthew 9:35; Mark 7:33-35
Teacher of parables:
Psalm 78:2 Matthew 13:34
He was to enter the Temple:
Malachi 3:1 Matthew 21:12
He was to enter Jerusalem on a donkey:
Zechariah 9:9 Luke 19:35-37
“Stone of Stumbling” to Jews:
Psalm 118:22 1 Peter 2:7
“Light” to Gentiles:
Isaiah 60:3 Acts 13:47-48
Psalm 16:10 Acts 2:31; Matt 28:6; Luke 24:46
Psalm 68:18 Acts 1:9
Seated at the right hand of God:
Psalm 110:1 Hebrews 1:3
Betrayed by a friend:
Psalm 41:9 Matthew 10:4
Sold for 30 pieces of silver:
Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15
Money to be thrown into God’s House:
Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:5
Price given for potters field:
Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:7
The list of prophecies above is not a complete list. There are about 300 Old Testament prophecies that identify specific qualifications that the Messiah must meet. In the last 4 prophecies above, we find both prophesied and fulfilled: Betrayal; By a friend; For 30 pieces (not 29 or 31); Of silver (not gold); Thrown down (not placed); In the House of the Lord; Money used to buy a potter’s field. How specific can one group of prophecies be!!
While He was on the cross, Jesus pointed us to Psalm 22 when He said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” Written 1000 years before He was born, and about 700 years before crucifixion became a common form of tortuous execution, His suffering is vividly depicted in Psalm 22.
What are the odds that one person could meet all of the Old Testament Prophecies?
To help you understand the significance of this question, consider the following:
|Name||Looks Like This:||# Of Zeroes:|
The above illustration is a schematic symbol of a two-input “And Gate” which is a kind of digital logic switching circuit. Computer chips have millions of “and gates” and other logic circuits in them. With two inputs to an And Gate, both input A and input B must be “true” or “1” in order to have a “True or 1” on the output. There are 4 possibilities of input situations, but only one of the situations, when ALL inputs are true will we get a “true” output (odds of 4:1). That is the definition of an AND Gate. If you add a third input, you will have 8 possible input combinations (odds of 8:1), but only when all 3 inputs are true will you get a “True” output. Add a fourth input and you will have 16 possibilities but only one condition when all four inputs are true (odds of 16:1), will you have a true output.
I hope that I am not sending your mind into its “Happy Place!” But, stick with me for just a few more minutes and you will be astonished at the true odds of any one human being matching all 300 Messianic prophecies.
In the illustration above you see the schematic drawing for a circuit with a battery on the left, then four switches connected in “series” and a light bulb that is controlled by the switches. Here, there is only one condition in which the light bulb will turn on. All four switches must be closed. Any other combination of open and closed switches will not turn on the light bulb. This schematic is a representation of a four input circuit that operates like the 2 input “and gate” above but with 4 inputs. Notice that each time you add one more input “condition” that must be met, the odds of getting a “true” output doubles. See the table below for a starter:
|# Of Inputs||Odds of “True Output||# Of Inputs||Odds of “True” Output|
|1||2:1 (off or on)||9||512:1|
|2||4:1(off, off, off, or on)||10||1024:1|
So, if there were only sixteen messianic prophecies, the odds would be 65,536 to one. However, there are more than 300 Messianic prophecies about Jesus in the OT. If you had an AND Gate with 300 inputs (or 300 switches in series), and all 300 had to be true in order to have a true output, the odds would be 20370359763 followed by 80 more zeroes to one! Since the creation in Genesis there have been fewer than 30 billion humans born (there are about 7 billion alive today). A billion has 9 zeroes (1,000,000,000) or odds of 1×109: 1. But the odds of even one person meeting all 300 prophecies are greater than 2×1090: 1!! Yet, in Jesus Christ we find the One and only person who meets all of the Old Testament prophecies! No one else in all of history has ever or will ever meet all of those qualifications, except for Jesus! Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25
Do you like to cook? When you want to make some special meal or dessert, you pull out a recipe, then gather all of the ingredients together, assemble the utensils necessary, and then get to work, joyfully! You have a plan! In this precious Book, God has revealed to us that He had in mind from “the beginning” a plan (recipe) of salvation for the ones He created in His own image, the ones He loves, you and me.
Everything He planned and prophesied from the very beginning has come true, to His glory! Praise His Holy Name!!!