The Witness of Fulfilled Prophecies

This is the seventh post looking at the subject of why we can and need to believe in Jesus of Nazareth. Our final witness to take the stand is none other than the witness of fulfilled prophecies related to the Messiah that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled.

Messiah comes from the Hebrew word, Mashiach, meaning “the anointed one,” or “the chosen one.” Christos (Christ) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed by oil when they were set apart for these positions. The anointing was a sign that God had chosen and consecrated them for the work He had given them to do.

We have already established the Bible is the trustworthy Word of God in previous posts. You can review the evidence here and here.

Predictions Are Easy

It’s easy to make predictions, anyone can do it. However, ensuring that they are fulfilled accurately 100% of the time is another story altogether. The more statements you make about the future and the greater the detail, the better the chances are that you will be proven wrong. God stated:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not occur or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.” – Deut. 18:22

Unlike modern psychics/prophets, such as Nostradamus,  Hughes, Criswell, Dixon, and Mark Taylor, anything less than 100% is not good enough per our Creator! You can read for yourself the penalty God decreed if alleged prophets were not 100% accurate.

But the prophet, who presumes to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.”Deut 18:20 (Emphasis mine)

God takes prophecy seriously. Therefore, we can too!

How Difficult Would It Be…

How difficult do you think it would be to…

  • Predict the exact city in which the birth of a future U.S. President would take place in the year 2700 A.D.
    • That’s what the prophet Micah did 700 years before the Messiah.
  • Indicate the precise kind of death that an unknown religious leader would experience a thousand years from today.
  • Or predict and describe a new method of execution not currently known? (One that won’t even be invented for hundreds of years.)
    • That’s what David did in 1000 B.C. when he wrote Psalm 22.
  • Predict the specific date of the appearance of some great future leader hundreds of years in advance.
    • The prophet Daniel did so 530 years before Christ.[1]

Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…” – Isa 46:9-10 (emphasis mine)

Uniqueness of Messianic prophecies

The uniqueness of the Messianic prophecies is seen in the following facts:

Therefore, It is only logical to conclude that if all of these prophecies perfectly fit the Person and life of Jesus Christ, then Jesus had to be the one and only Messiah. The Savior who gave His life and rose from the grave so we could have eternal life.

This conclusion can be avoided only by denying that the prophecies exist or denying that Jesus fulfilled them. The prophecies do exist, and even skeptics (whether they accept Him as Messiah or not) admit that they remarkably fit the life of Jesus.

Rabbis’ Modern Picture of Messiah

As Alfred Edersheim observes in his monumental work, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, “The general conception which the rabbis had formed of the Messiah, differed totally from what was presented by the prophet of Nazareth [Jesus].[2]

The rabbis’ modern picture of the Messiah contradicts much of their own scriptural commentaries down through history (such as the Midrashic and Talmudic commentaries.) What is significant is that their own scriptural commentary paints a picture of the Messiah which fits none other than Jesus Christ.

One modern rabbi who rejected Jesus was honest enough to admit that when the Messiah came, he would have to be “just like Jesus of Nazareth, except for his untimely death.”

Another rabbi appeared in a debate on apologetics expert John Ankerberg’s TV show. The evidence of Jesus’ messiahship was so clear to this rabbi that he concluded Jesus had indeed fulfilled the prophecies. He died and rose again from the grave, but He was the Messiah…for the Gentiles!

This rabbi rejected Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews not because Jesus failed to fulfill any of the prophecies required of Him, but because He would have to come twice to fulfill them all. Therefore, this rabbi expects the Jewish Messiah to come later. He stated: “When Messiah comes, he will settle all the problems of the world. I still see wars, death, disease, poverty, etc.; Therefore, we are still waiting for our Messiah.”

What this man didn’t understand is that the Messiah had to suffer first [3] for the sins of the world. Then, in the last days, He will come again for the second time and will fulfill all the remaining prophecies of His Second Coming.

READ MORE: Rabbis’ Modern Picture of the Messiah

How Many Prophecies are in the Bible?

According to J. Barton Payne, about 27 percent of the Bible is prophecy.[4] There are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament for a total of 1,817. This means that, when written, over one-fourth of the Bible, is prophetic.

At least one-half of all biblical predictions have already been fulfilled precisely as God had declared. Because of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling these prophecies, we can be assured that He will fulfill the rest of the prophecies in Scripture without fault.

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He spoken, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” – Num 23:19

How Many are Messianic Prophecies?

Alfred Edersheim also stated:

“[If we examine] those passages in the Old Testament to which the ancient synagogue referred as Messianic… [we find] upwards of 456… and their Messianic application is supported by more than 558 references to the most ancient rabbinic writings.[5]

Dr. David Reagan of Lamb and Lion Ministries agrees. However, in his Christ in Prophecy Study Guide, he tells us that many of these prophecies are repeated several times. When you take all the repetitive prophecies out there remain slightly more than 100 distinctly different, specific prophecies about the Messiah’s First Coming.

For all of them to be fulfilled by one individual requires a man so unusual and a life so unique as to eliminate all pretenders and indeed all men who have ever lived, except one![6]

Is a Prophetic Scheme Possible?

Is it possible a scheme could have been hatched to make Jesus’ life seem prophetic by creating prophecies after He had passed? Modern scholars have established that such a scheme is simply not possible.

Most scholars of antiquities admit that the Hebrew original must have existed at least 50 to 150 years before the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures) was produced. That means all prophecies of Jesus’ life and death had to be written at least 250 to 400 years prior to his birth. Consequently, these prophecies are more than adequate witnesses to His unique person and identity.

Science of Probability

How we all remember the phrase “trust the science” during the so-called “world pandemic” recently. Except, the true science was hidden as much as possible because of the agenda of certain people.

However, we can trust the science of Peter W. Stoner, Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College. He calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes, involving more than 600 college students.

Dr. David Reagan in his article Applying the Science of Probability to the ScripturesDo statistics prove the Bible’s supernatural origin? stated,

“For years I have been quoting a book by Peter Stoner called Science Speaks.[7]  I like to use a remarkable illustration from it to show how Bible prophecy proves that Jesus was truly God in the flesh.

“I decided that I would try to find a copy of the book so that I could discover all that it had to say about Bible prophecy… In the edition I purchased, there was a foreword by Dr. Harold Hartzler, an officer of the American Scientific Affiliation. He wrote that the manuscript had been carefully reviewed by a committee of his organization and that ‘the mathematical analysis included is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound.’ He further stated …Stoner ‘has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way.’”

READ MORE: See Dr. David Reagan’s complete article HERE and discover the shocking results Peter Stoner found.

One person has suggested, “Only a preexisting bias against supernatural prophecy itself (such as those holding a rationalistic worldview) or a bias against these prophecies referring to the Person of Jesus can deter someone from accepting the Scriptures as Messianic prophecy.[8]

Listed below are just a few of the many prophecies from the Old Testament Scriptures concerning the Messiah’s First Coming, along with the New Testament Scriptures of fulfillment.

Prophecies Concerning the Messiah’s First Coming

His Lineage

The Messianic Prophecy:Old Testament Prophecy LocationNew Testament Fulfillment Location
The Son of GodPs 2:7Mat 3:17
From the Shemite branch of humanityGen 9:26Lk 3:36
From the seed of AbrahamGen 12:3Mat 1:1
From the seed of IsaacGen 21:12Lk 3:23; Lk 3:34
From the seed of JacobGen 28:14Lk 3:34
From the seed of JesseIsa 11:1Lk 3:23-32
From the house of DavidJer 23:5-6Lk 3:23-31
From the tribe of JudahMic 5:2Lk 3:33

His Birth

The Messianic Prophecy:Old Testament Prophecy LocationNew Testament Fulfillment Location
Born at Bethlehem EphrathahMic 5:2Mat 2:1
The virgin shall conceiveIsa 7:14Lk 1:34-35
Shall call His name ImmanuelIsa 7:14Mat 1:21
Spirit-filled from birthIsa 11:1-2Lk 2:46-47, Mat 3:16-17
The timing of Messiah’s birthGen 49:10Mat 2:1

Around approximately 7 A.D. the Romans abolished the power of the Sanhedrin council in Judah to pronounce the death penalty – thus, the scepter (power) passed from Judah. Jesus had been born in 4 B.C., during the reign of Herod (Matthew 2:1), so Shiloh (the Messiah) had come shortly before the scepter departed – just as prophesied. [9]

His Childhood

The Messianic Prophecy:Old Testament Prophecy LocationNew Testament Fulfillment Location
Kings of Tarshish, the Isles, Sheba, and Seba bring presentsPs 72:10Mat 2:1; Mat 2:11
Live in NazarethIsa 11:1Mat 2:23
Grows up in povertyIsa 53:2Mk 6:3, Lk 9:58

Messiah’s Purpose is to…

The Messianic Prophecy:Old Testament Prophecy LocationNew Testament Fulfillment Location
Be the Bridge to heavenGen 28:12Jn 1:51
Be the Intercessor between man and GodIsa 59:16Mat 10:32
Be the Light of the GentilesIsa 49:6Jn 8:12; Acts 13:47
Be the New CovenantJer 31:31Mat 26:28
Be the Offering for sinIsa 53:10Mat 20:28; Gal 3:13
Be the Salvation for IsraelIsa 49:6Lk 2:29-32
Comfort the broken-heartedIsa 61:1Mat 11:28-30
Declare things not yet doneIsa 46:9-10Jn 13:19
Die for the sins of the worldIsa 53:10Jn 18:11
Do battle w/SatanGen 3:15Mat 4:1-11
Give up His life to save mankindIsa 53:12Lk 23:46
Have a ministry of miracles – See NoteIsa 35:5-6Mat 11:2-6
Intercede to God on behalf of mankindIsa 53:12Lk 23:34; Rom 8:34
Minister to broken livesIsa 42:3Mat 8:16
Preach the righteousness in IsraelPs 40:9Mat 4:17
Provide freedom from the bondage of sinIsa 61:1Jn 8:31-36
Send the Spirit of GodIsa 44:3Jn 16:7-13
Speak the Wisdom of God with authorityPs 78:2Mat 7:29

Note: The context of the Isaiah passage makes it clear that its ultimate fulfillment will occur during the Millennium. But Jesus makes it clear that it was prefilled in His healing ministry.

Messiah’s Nature

The Messianic Prophecy:Old Testament Prophecy LocationNew Testament Fulfillment Location
CompassionatePs 112:4Mat 9:36
DevineIsa 9:6Jn  10:30
God’s servantZech 3:8Jn 17:4
GoodPs 100:5Mat 19:16-17
HolyPs 2:6Jn 8:46; Rev 3:7
JustIsa 9:7Jn 5:30
KingPs 2:6Mat 27:37
LordPs 110:1Jn 13:13Mat 22:44-45
LovingPs 103:17Jn 15:13
Meek and lowlyIsa 42:2Mat 11:28-30
MercifulEx 33:19Lk 1:72
ProphetDeu 18:15-18Mat 21:11
Reliance and trust in GodPs 22:9-10Jn 5:19
RighteousIsa 53:11Acts 7:52
The Anointed OnePs 2:2Lk 2:10-11 Jn 1:41; Acts 2:36
Zealous for GodPs 69:9Jn 2:14-16

Messiahs Adult Ministry

The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
A stranger to own brethrenPs 69:8Jn 1:11; 7:5
Anointed by the Holy SpiritPs 45:7Mat 3:16; Lk 3:22
A man of prayerPs 109:4Lk 18:1
Despised by someIsa 53:3Lk 4:28-29
Hated without a causePs 69:4Jn 15:24-25
Rejected by JewsPs 69:7-8Jn 1:1; Mat 27:21-23
The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
Came as a TeacherIsa 48:16-17Jn 3:2
Healed the sickIsa 53:4-5Mat 8:16-17
Knew people’s thoughtsIsa 11:3Lk 6:8; Jn 2:25
Opened blind eyesIsa 42:7Jn 9:25-38
Would begin His ministry in GalileeIsa 9:1-2Mat 4:12-17
Would teach in parablesPs 78:1-2Mat 13:34-35
Entered Jerusalem riding on a donkeyZech 9:9Mat 21:6-10
Greeted with rejoicing in JerusalemZech 9:9Mat 21:9-10; Lk 19:37
The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
His people would not believe HimIsa 53:1Jn 12:37-38
Parables fall on deaf earsIsa 6:9-10Mat 13:13-15
The Gentiles seek HimIsa 11:10Jn 12:18-21
The Spirit of God upon HimIsa 61:1Mat 3:16-17

Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Within 24 Hours

Messiah’s Betrayal and Trial

The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
Experienced grief/agonyIsa 53:11Mat 26:37-38
My soul is exceeding sorrowfulPs 69:20Mat 26:38
Betrayed by a friendPs 41:9Jn 13:18; Mat 26:20-21
Betrayed for thirty pieces of silverZech 11:12-13Mat 26:14-15
His acquaintances fled from HimPs 31:11Mk 14:50
Forsaken by His disciplesZech 13:7Mat 26:55-56
Innocent and had done no violenceIsa 53:9Lk 23:41; Jn 18:38
He would be judgedIsa 53:8Jn 18:13-22
Accused by false witnessesPs 35:11Mat 26:59-63
Silent before His accusersPs 38:12-13Mat 27:12-14
They took counsel to put Him to deathPs 31:13Mat 27:1; Jn 11:53

Messiah’s Torture

The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
Stripped Him before the stares of menPs 22:17-18Lk 23:34-35
I gave my back to those who struck MeIsa 50:6Mat 27:26
Smitten on the cheeksIsa 50:6Mat 26:67
Wounded and bruisedIsa 53:5Mat 27:26
Oppressed and afflictedIsa 53:7Mat 27:27-31
He was scourgedPs 129:3Mat 27:26
Spit uponIsa 50:6Mat 27:30

Messiah’s Crucifixion

The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
Fell under the crossPs 109:24-25Jn 19:17
Hands and feet piercedPs 22:16Jn 19:34-37; 20:27
Crucified with thievesIsa 53:12Mk 15:27-28
They stood afar off and watchedPs 88:8Lk 23:49
Prayed for forgiveness of His persecutorsIsa 53:12; Ps 109:4Lk 23:34
Suffered agony on CalvaryPs 22:14-15Mk 15:34-37
He thirstedPs 22:15Jn 19:28
Gall and Vinegar Offered to HimPs 69:21Mat 27:34
They parted His garmentsPs 22:18Jn 19:23-24
Forsaken by GodPs 22:1Mat 27:46
No bones brokenNum 9:12Jn 19:31-36
It is finishedPs 22:31Lk 23:46
Darkness over the landAmos 8:9Mat 27:45
Buried in a rich man’s graveIsa 53:9Mat 27:57-60

The Resurrection Prophecies

Within Christianity, the resurrection is vitally important.  Without the resurrection, our faith is useless (1 Cor. 15:14).  It was Jesus’ resurrection that changed the lives of the disciples.  After Jesus was crucified, the disciples ran and hid.  But when they saw the risen Lord, they knew that what Jesus had said and done proved that He was indeed God in the flesh, the Savior.

No other religious leader has died in full view of trained executioners, had a guarded tomb, and then rose three days later to appear to many people.  This resurrection is proof of who Jesus is, and that He did accomplish what He set out to do: provide the only means of redemption for humanity.

The Messianic Prophecy:O.T. Prophecy Location:N.T. Fulfillment Location:
He would defeat deathHos 13:141 Cor 15:55-57
Resurrected and live foreverIsa 53:10Rom 6:9
ResurrectedPs 16:10Mk 16:6
Was to arise from the deadPs 16:9-11Jn 20:9

READ MORE: 15 Quotes From Jesus After the Resurrection

First Coming Prophecies in the New Testament

According to Dr. David Reagan, a truth that is often overlooked is the gospels also contain prophecies about the Messiah’s First Coming. Moreover, several of them are clustered around the birth of Jesus.

As we have seen in a previous post there are several prophecies which the Holy Spirit revealed to people concerning who this child was such as Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, Mary, and two aged prophets named Simon and Anna.

Angels spoke prophecies about the Lord’s First Coming to Joseph and Mary, to the priest Zacharias, and declared His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem.

John the Baptist, who was a prophet of God, made several prophetic statements about his cousin, Jesus. Moreover, Caiaphas, the high priest at the time of Jesus’ death was directed by the Holy Spirit to make a prophetic utterance about the death of Jesus and its significance.

  • An “Angel of the Lord” revealed to Joseph in Mat 1:20-23 
    • Mary will have a son conceived by the Holy Spirit – Mat 1:20
    • You shall call His name JESUS – Mat 1:20
    • He will save His people from their sins – Mat 1:21
  • Gabriel revealed to Zacharias in Lk 1:11-17
    • Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son – Lk 1:13
    • You will name him John. – Lk 1:13
    • He will be filled with the Holy Spirit – Lk 1:15
    • He will turn many to the Lord their God. Lk 1:16
    • He will prepare people for the Lord – Lk 1:17
  • Gabriel revealed to Mary – Lk 1:26-37
  • You will conceive and bear a Son – Lk 1:31
  • His name will be JESUS. – Lk 1:31
  • He will be great and called the Son of the Highest. – Lk 1:32
  • The Lord God will give Him the throne of David. – Lk 1:32
  • He will reign over the house of Jacob forever  Lk 1:33
  • Of His kingdom there will be no end  Lk 1:33
  • Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit – Lk 1:35
  • The Holy One will be called the Son of God. – Lk 1:35                                                                            
  • The prophecy of Elizabeth – Lk 1:40-45
  • The prophecy of Mary – Lk 1:46-55
  • The prophecy of Zacharias – Lk 1:67-79
  • Simeon and Anna – Lk 2:25-38
  • The prophecy of John the Baptist – Jn 1:23, 29,30,33
  • The prophecy of Caiaphas, the High Priest (who condemned Jesus to death) – Jn 11:49-51

Prophecies Given by Jesus

The bulk of New Testament prophecies concerning events related to the First Coming came from the mouth of Jesus himself. 1500 years earlier Moses had prophesied that the Messiah would be a prophet. (Deut 18:15,18).

Jesus certainly operated as a prophet. He spoke prophetically about events that would occur during His life, or which would result from it. Likewise, He spoke many prophecies concerning His Second Coming which we will review in a different post. Below are just a few samples of the many prophecies given by Jesus found in the Gospels.

His Purpose

  • To give His life as a ransom for many. –  Mat 20:28
  • Not to judge/condemn the world but to save. – John 3:17; 12:47

READ MORE: 21 Quotes of Jesus Regarding His Purpose

Regarding His Fate

Jesus states: “Now I tell you before it happens, that when it does happen, you may believe that I am He.” [The Messiah] – Jn 13:19

Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes. And they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him, but on the third day He will rise.”Mat 20:18-19

Taking the twelve, He said, “Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished, for He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and put Him to death, and on the third day He will rise again.” Lk 18:31-33

My Father loves Me because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I received this command from My Father.Jn 10:17-18

After I have risen, I will go before you to Galilee.” – Mat 26:32

Jesus said to her, …”go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ” – Jn 20:17

READ MORE: Jesus of Nazareth Declares Clearly, He Is God

The 100% accuracy
of Jesus’ prophecies
about Himself is proof positive
that He was God in the flesh.

In Closing

In an article titled, Why believe in Christianity over all other religions? The writer Matt Slick states:

“There are such things as absolute truths…Religions contradict each other; therefore, they cannot all be true…Though other religions have prophecies in them, none are 100% accurate as is the Bible; and none of them point to someone like Jesus who made incredible claims and performed incredible deeds.”

 In the article’s conclusion, Slick writes:

“Why should anyone trust in Christianity over Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, or anything else?  It is because there are absolute truths.  Only in Christianity are there accurately fulfilled prophecies of a coming Messiah.  Only in Christianity do we have the extremely accurate transmission of the eyewitness documents (gospels). So, we can trust what was originally written.  Only in Christianity do we have the person of Christ who claimed to be God, performed many miracles to prove His claim of divinity, who died and rose from the dead, and who said that He alone was the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).  All this adds to the legitimacy and credibility of Christianity above all other religions – all based on the person of Jesus.  It could not be that Jesus is the only Truth, and other religions also are the truth.

“Either Jesus is true, and all other religions are false, or other religions are true, and Jesus is false.  There are no other options.  I choose to follow the risen Lord Jesus.”

READ MORE: Why believe in Christianity over all other religions?


The evidence in the Hebrew Scriptures shows that Jesus is the Messiah. God gave this evidence hundreds of years in advance so you would be certain to identify Him. But Jesus, who is the Messiah, desires for you to know Him personally, not just for you to know facts about Him intellectually. Therefore, I must ask you… Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, The risen and soon-returning Savior?

Maranatha! Until next time, I am Passionately Loving Jesus, the Anchor of my Soul.

ABC’s of Salvation – Repent and be saved from the Wrath of God to come.

Read the complete series here.

Other Posts of Interest:

End Notes

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