In Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for Christ,” he dedicates a chapter on Jesus fulfilling the prophecies in the Old Testament. Here are just 4 shared in the book, that Jesus could not have arranged his life to fulfill.
PLACE OF BIRTH: Jesus was born in Bethlehem (See Matthew 2:1)
Prophecy from 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.”
FAMILY TREE: Jesus was a descendent of David
Prophecy from Jeremiah 23:5-6
“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.
In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
BLOOD MONEY: Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty silver coins. Later Judas threw the money into the temple and left, and the priests decided to use the money to buy a potter’s field. Matthew 26:15; 27:5, 7)
Prophecy from Zechariah 11:12-13
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.
And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
GAMBLING OVER CLOTHES: While Jesus was being crucified, soldiers gambled for his clothes by casting lots. (See Matthew 27:35)
Prophecy from Psalm 22:18
“They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
There are over 60 major prophecies in the Old Testament that ONLY Jesus perfectly fulfilled.
Josh McDowell in his book “More than a Carpenter” writes, “a prophecy dating from 1012 BC also predicts that this man’s hands and feet will be pierced and that he will be crucified. This description was written 800 years before the Romans used crucifixion as a manner of execution.”
Here are the descriptions of the Jesus crucifixion written 1000 years before they took place.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
Mourning for the One They Pierced
“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, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
Of all the prophecies this one from Isaiah 53:5-6 profoundly shapes my thoughts and emotions as we enter Holy Week.
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.
HE WAS PIERCED FOR MY TRANSGRESSIONS AND BY HIS WOUNDS I AM HEALED.