One of the many compelling proofs that the Bible is the absolutely true word of God is the evidence of fulfilled prophecy. It’s especially compelling because only the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, can foretell the future with 100% accuracy. Not only with perfect accuracy but also, unlike so-called prophets like Nostradamus, the prophecies recorded for us in the Bible provide an amazing degree of detail. Satan can’t do this and neither can any of the false gods of the world’s many false religions.
Someone once said that because 27% of the Bible is prophecy, if you love the Bible you should also love prophecy. I agree with that assessment but then again, I’ve been interested in it for decades. In fact, ever since I read the book The Great Late Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, decades ago.
Of the hundreds of prophecies that were passed down to us by the prophets of God, more than 300 of them are about the Messiah, Jesus Christ and many of those have already been fulfilled. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Jesus was to be born of a virginAbout 750 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.This was fulfilled by Jesus’ birth as recorded in Matthew.
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
A voice in the wilderness announces the coming of JesusThe prophets Isaiah and Malachi both prophesied about John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus to begin his ministry.
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.And Malachi wrote:
“Behold, I send My messenger,These prophecies were fulfilled by John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus.
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
Jesus will be born in BethlehemThe prophet Micah foretold the exact town where the Messiah would be born. It’s interesting to note that Bethlehem was an insignificant town that the Jews didn’t expect anyone of importance to come from.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,This prophecy was fulfilled as recorded in the book of Matthew.
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:And also in the book of Luke.
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Wise men will bring him giftsThe book of Psalms speaks of the wise kings who would bring Jesus gifts.
The kings of Tarshish and of the islesMatthew confirms that this occurred.
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Infants were slaughtered at his birthplaceThe prophet Jeremiah foretold this horrible event.
Thus says the Lord:Then Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi (see Matthew 2:16-17).
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”
Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
He will be filled with God’s SpiritThis was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,And fulfilled when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist:
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord
And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
He will be a mighty healerAs foretold by the prophet Isaiah:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy…Scripture tells the stories about the people that Jesus healed. Here’s just one of them.
When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
"He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
He was rejected by the Jewish peopleThis was prophesied by Isaiah:
He is despised and rejected by men,This was witnessed and recorded by the Apostle John:
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
He made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkeyThis was foretold by the prophet Zechariah:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!The fulfillment of this prophecy was recorded by Matthew:
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
He was the rejected cornerstoneChrist being rejected as the Messiah was foretold by the Psalmist:
The stone which the builders rejectedThe fulfillment was recorded by Matthew:
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was thebLord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
He was beaten and spit uponForetold by Isaiah:
I gave My back to those who struck Me,The fulfillment was witnessed and recorded by Matthew:
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophecy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
His betrayal money was used to buy a potter’s fieldForetold by the prophet Zechariah:
Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.The fulfillment was witnessed and recorded by Matthew:
And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me.
So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
They cast lots for his clothesThis prophecy was recorded in the book of Psalm:
They divide My garments among them,The fulfillment was witnessed by his disciples and recorded by Luke:
And for My clothing they cast lots.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
None of his bones were brokenProphesied in Psalm:
He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.The fulfillment was witnessed and recorded by John:
But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
He would rise from the dead in three daysHis resurrection from the dead was recorded in Psalm:
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,And also prophesied by Jesus himself, although his disciples didn’t understand what he meant at the time:
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.Each of the Epistles records his resurrection. (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.)
Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I believe that there would be no Christian church. The most compelling proof that the resurrection actually occurred is that his disciples were willing to follow him, even unto death. That is all of them, except Judas and John, were killed for their commitment to the Gospel. I believe that John was saved from this so he could live long enough to write the book of Revelation and of course, Judas hung himself out of grief for betraying the Messiah.
The disciples wouldn’t have died for their faith if they knew that his resurrection was a lie.
SummaryThis is just 15 out of many prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. So, just how compelling is this? Someone much better at math than me said the chances of just eight prophecies being fulfilled by a single person would be equivalent to:
- Covering the state of Texas three feet deep in silver dollars.
- Then marking one of them with a red X and dropping the marked silver dollar from an airplane somewhere over Texas.
- And lastly, blindfold a man, place him somewhere in the state and give him one chance to pick up the silver dollar with the red X on it.
Your brother in Christ Jesus,