The Old Testament contains 330 prophecies of the Messiah, the Anointed One, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. The intention of this blog is to highlight nine of them.
Jesus’ Birth and Characteristics
“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
Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem
“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.” Micah 5:2
The Virgin Birth
“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 (Immanuel means God with us).
Jesus’ Lineage and Righteousness
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, The Lord our righteousness.’” Jeremiah 23:5-6
The Rejection of Jesus by Most of Israel
“Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.” Jeremiah 23:3
“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Psalm 118:22
Jesus’ Triumphal, yet Humble Ride in Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
Jesus’ Crucifixion* (c.f., Psalm 22)
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 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. 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.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 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.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
* Rabbinic Jews often claim that the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53 represents Israel, yet there are three reasons why such a statement is inaccurate: (1) Israel has beauty and majesty; (2) when Israel has been oppressed and afflicted, Israelites have spoken; and (3) Israel has been violent and deceitful and therefore is not a worthy (blemish-free) offering for sin. Only the Passover Lamb, Jesus, bears these characteristics.
Jesus’ Execution and the Destruction of the Temple (by the Romans in 70AD)
“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 9:25-27
These are just a handful of the many prophecies of the Old Testament that support the validity of Jesus’ ministry and divinity. Though only a “remnant” of Israel has accepted Jesus as their Savior (the Messianic Jews), establishing alternative hypotheses to explain these and other prophecies in the Old Testament must be a monumental endeavor.
Understanding the Old Testament in the context of the New Testament unites and clarifies its message, bringing to light what would be dark and dismal without Jesus. Furthermore explaining Daniel’s prediction that Jerusalem would be destroyed after the Anointed One had been executed leaves little guess work. Jesus was crucified around four decades before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Either Daniel’s prophecy was inaccurate and the Rabbinic Jews need to remove it – or they must accept the prophecy for what it predicted and demonstrated: Jesus is the Anointed One and is the way, the truth, and the life.
Thank you for your time.