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There are many scriptures in the Old Testament that Christians claim Jesus fulfilled. I have seen numbers from 100 to 436 different scripture texts written hundreds, even thousands of years before Jesus’ birth, that tell of a messiah God will send in the future who will redeem the world. I have listed eight of the most popular and well known of those scripture texts, with the New Testament proof of their being fulfilled.
• Jeremiah 23:5 – “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. (cf. Matthew 1 & Luke 1)
• Micah 5:2 – “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (cf. Matthew 2:1-6)
• 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. (cf. Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:27-31)
• Malachi 3:1 – “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord almighty. (cf. Matthew 3, Mark 1, and Luke 3)
• Zechariah 9:9 – Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion. Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem. See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (cf. Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19:28 ff., John 12:12 ff.)
• Zechariah 11:13 – And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – the handsome price at which they priced me. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter. (cf. Matthew 25:5-7)
• Psalm 22:18 – They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. (Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:24)
• In the “Suffering Servant” passage of Isaiah 52-53 there is an astounding account of a man’s death that is described just like Jesus’ crucifixion, and it was written in 712 B.C.
We read in Isaiah 53:5 – But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling these eight major prophecies made concerning the Messiah.
The estimates were worked out by 12 different classes representing some 600 university students. They came to the conclusion that the chances of one man fulfilling all of these prophecies was 1 in 10 to the 17th power. (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, Chicago: Moody Press, 1969, 4)
To get an idea of how impossible this would be you would have to cover the state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep. Then you mark one of those silver dollars and put somewhere in the pile. Next blindfold a man and tell him he has one chance to find the right silver dollar.
What chance would he have of getting the right one?
Just the same chance that the prophets would’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom
For the skeptic there is likely no proof I can offer to believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah. But if you have any doubts this Christmas that Jesus is who He says he is simply consider what the God inspired writers of the Old Testament said would happen.
This Christmas I hope you will put your trust in Jesus without reservations.
Al Earley is the pastor at La Grange Presbyterian Church. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.