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Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries

 

Old Testament Prophecies about Jesus

Each year you find in the business pages an analysis of the performance of various stocks that the analysts had made predictions about the previous year. And each year you discover that they were as wrong as often as they were right. Which makes you wonder why people pay analysts so much money to make their predictions. It seems they're not much better than weather forecasters.

Weather forecasts: traditionally unreliable. Hard to see into the future even with one of the world's largest super computers.

But there are some forecasts that are reliable: namely those we find in God's word; especially those to do with the coming of the Messiah.

 

But first, let's think about why we're looking at these forecasts today. It could just be an intellectual exercise. For those who haven't seen these connections before there may be a level of novelty to it. To others it could just be a pleasant exercise in literary exploration. But there's a much more important issue at stake.

One of the most popular books in the shops at the moment is the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It's been near the top of the New York Times Bestseller List for at least the past year and it's a great read, but it presents a problem for us as Christians. You see, it's built on a premise that the Scriptural records of Jesus' death and resurrection are a fabrication, that they're unreliable. Now it's all pure fiction but lots of people are taking it as fact. So we need to be reminded and perhaps reassured that what we read here in the Bible is reliable. And one of the most convincing ways of discovering that is to see how many events in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus were predicted by God's prophets long before they actually happened.

Before we look at these prophecies I want to look at Luke 24, at the 3 Easter Day events that Luke has recorded for us.

(Luke 24:5-8 NRSV) The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." 8Then they remembered his words.

(Luke 24:25-27 NRSV) Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

(Luke 24:44-45 NRSV) Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.

So what was it they should have understood from the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms? Let's look at some of the prophecies about Jesus.

(Isa 7:14) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

(Mat 1:18-25) Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."

(Isa 35:4-6) Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you." 5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

(Mat 11:2-6) When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" 4Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me."

(Zec 9:9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

(Mat 21:6-9) The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

(Mal 3:1-2) See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;

(Mat 21:10-13) When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" 11The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee." 12Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

(Psa 41:9) "Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me."

(Mat 26:47-49 NRSV) "While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him." 49At once he came up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him."

((Is 53:3,8 NRSV) "He was despised and rejected; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. ... he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people."


(Mat 27:29-31) after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

4Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(1 Pet 2:23-25) When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. ...

(Mark 14:60-61) Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?" 61But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?"

9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

(Mark 15:43-46) Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. … 45When Pilate learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

(Psa 22:6-18) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?... 7All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads; 8"Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver-- let him rescue the one in whom he delights!" ... 16For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me.

(Mat 27:41-43) In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42"He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, 'I am God's Son.'"

 

My hands and feet have shriveled; 17I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; 18they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

(John 19:23-24) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill what the scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots."

(Psa 69:20-21) Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. 21They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

(Mark 15:23-24 NRSV) And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

(Amos 8:9-11) "In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. 10I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. 11"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

(Luke 23:44-45) It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

(Isa 49:1-6 NIV) Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name&127; 3He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor." ... 5And now the LORD says-- he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, ... -- 6he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

(Acts 2:5-11) Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."

(Psa 16:9-11) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

(Acts 2:29-33) "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

(Mat 20:18-19 NRSV) "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; 19then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised."

(Acts 10:39-41 NRSV) We are witnesses to all that Jesus did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

It's interesting that the prophecies about Jesus don't end with his resurrection. There are others that point to a day when he'll return and take us to be with him in heaven for eternity.

(Isa 11:6-9 NRSV) "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. ... 9They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

 

(Rev 21:1-4) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

   

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