The historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth fulfilled the prophecies made hundreds of years before His death showing Jesus was the long awaited Messiah and that Jesus was God coming to earth as a man.
In the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, many prophecies were made foretelling the coming of the long- awaited Messiah or ‘anointed one’. These prophecies were fulfilled in the historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth showing He is the messiah.
This aspect of Christianity helps us see that the Bible is the Word of God, a God who knows the past, the present and the future. Nothing is hidden from Him. God who made the universe by speaking knows our hidden hurts and pains (and sins) and He reaches out to us through His Son, Jesus, who is the centre piece of human history.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
Jesus would be born in Bethlehem
Prophecy: “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 …” (Micah 5:2).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “… Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea” (Matthew 2:1).
Jesus would be born of a virgin
Prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18).
Jesus would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse and David
“… and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Abraham) (Genesis 12:3, word in brackets added),
“Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:19).
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob …” (Numbers 24:17).
“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his” (Genesis 49:10).
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1).
“’The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land’” (Jeremiah 23:5).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “Jesus … the son of David, the son of Jesse … the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham … “(Luke 3:31,33).
Jesus would perform miracles
Prophecy: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. (Isaiah 35:5-6)
Fulfilment in Jesus: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 9:35)
Jesus would be betrayed by a friend
Prophecy: “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus replied, ‘Do what you came for, friend.’ Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him” (Matthew 26:49-50).
Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver
Prophecy: “I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver … the handsome price at which they valued me!” (Zechariah 11:12-13).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me (Judas) if I deliver him (Jesus) over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15, words in brackets added).
Jesus would be despised, rejected and suffer
Prophecy: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3)
Fulfilment in Jesus: “Those who passed by hurled insults at him (Jesus), shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’ In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him” (Matthew 27:39-41, words in brackets added).
Jesus would suffer and die not for His own sins but for your sins and mine
Prophecy: “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:22-27, words in brackets added).
Jesus’ hands and feet would be pierced (Jesus would be crucified)
Prophecy: “… they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). [Note: This prophecy was written hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented.] Fulfilment in Jesus: “When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him (Jesus) there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.” (Luke 23:33, words in brackets added).
Jesus’ body would not see decay and thus He would rise from the dead
Prophecy: “… because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Psalm 16:10).
“Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer … After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11).
Fulfilment in Jesus: “Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it” (Acts 2:31-32).
God says that He Himself would become a man and be pierced
Prophecy: God says of Himself; “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced … “ (Zechariah 12:8-10).
Fulfilment: “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 10:43).
Jesus would be God himself coming to earth as a man
Prophecy: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace“ (Isaiah 9:6).
“He (Jesus Christ) said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I (Jesus Christ) will be their God and they will be my children’” (Revelation 21:6-7, words in brackets added). [Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. See Revelation 22:12-13, 20] “Thomas said to him (Jesus), “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28, words in brackets added)
“But about the Son (Jesus) he (God the Father) says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8, words in brackets added)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). [The Word is Jesus, see John 1:14] “While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)
“ … Be shepherds of the church of God, which he (God) bought with his own blood” (Act 20:28, words in brackets added).
The above prophesies were fulfilled in the historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
It was predicted (among other things) that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem, born of a virgin and of the family line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse and David. He would perform miracles, be betrayed a friend for 30 pieces of silver, be despised and rejected, suffer not for His own sins but for yours and mine, be crucified but would resurrect from the dead. The messiah would be God coming to earth as a man. Jesus fulfilled these things. Jesus was the long awaited messiah.
Jesus prophesied about Himself; “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (Luke 24:44-46)
A person who fulfilled His own prophecy that He would rise from the dead and can be seen to be the fulfilment of many prophecies, written by various writers some hundreds of years before he was born, is worth your most earnest consideration!
There are many other prophecies not mentioned here that were fulfilled in Jesus and you can more of these in Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell.