By Chris WittsWednesday 3 Jul 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
When it comes to predicting the future we generally think about horoscopes,crystal balls or even the writings of 16th century French seer Nostradamus. Not many people think about the Bible as a book containing prophecies.
While it is not solely a book about prophecy,there are significant portions in which divinely appointed people speak about God’s promises and plans. In particular,the Old Testament prophets,as they are commonly known,speak much about the coming of the Messiah ─ his birth,life,and death. Many of these biblical predictions are fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
More than Chance
Seeking to calculate the mathematical probability of one person randomly fulfilling all prophecies related to the Messiah,one scientist calculated the chance of this happening as one in 10157. That’s one with 157 zeros!
By comparison the chance of winning say,Oz lotto is one in 8,145,000,which might convince you not only of the futility if gambling,but also make you think carefully about the life of Jesus.
Jesus’ Birth Foretold
Some of the prophecies concerning Jesus which were made more than 1,000 years before his birth,include the following:
• Born of a virgin: ‘Watch for this: a girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God with us)’ (Isaiah 7:14; fulfilled in Matthew 1:18─25)
• Born in Bethlehem: ‘But you,Bethlehem…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′ fulfilled in Matthew 2:1─6)
Jesus’ Death Predicted
Not only did the biblical messengers foretell Jesus’ birth,but also his death and many prophecies about Jesus’ death on the cross were made more than 500 years before crucifixion was first used as a form of capital punishment.
Old Testament prophecies about Jesus’ death that are fulfilled in the New Testament include that he was:
• Beaten and spat on: ‘I give back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pull out my beard. I don’t hide from shame,for they mock me and spit in my face’ (Isaiah 50:6; fulfilled in Matthew 26:67,68).
• Buried in a rich man’s tomb: ‘They buried him with the wicked,threw him in a grave with a rich man,even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true’ (Isaiah 53:9; fulfilled in Matthew 27:57─60).
Jesus Talks about Prophecy
In the New Testament,Jesus himself recognises that his life and ministry are the fulfilment of ancient prophecies. As Luke says of one of Jesus’ lessons,’He started at the beginning,with the books of Moses,and went on through all the prophets,pointing out everything in the scriptures that referred to him’ (Luke 24:26─27).
If there were only one or two prophecies abut the promised Messiah that could be seen to be fulfilled in the life of Jesus then perhaps they could be explained away,but the sheer weight of numbers makes Jesus’ life worth a second look.