“’I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'” Luke 19-40
“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” Luke 24:32
In 1947, an Arab shepherd stumbled upon the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Qumran cave in the Judean desert (Vermes, 1962). The Dead Sea Scrolls are a compilation of the books of the Old Testament by Jewish preservers that remained remarkably preserved for 2,000 years! The Dead Sea Scrolls contain 15,000 fragments from 500 different texts, including 19 copies of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of Psalms. (http://www.centuryone.com/25dssfacts.html)
New Testament scholars often engage in “textual criticism” and some, such as agnostic scholar Bart Ehrman, claim that the criticisms are too significant to consider the New Testament to be an accurate account of Jesus’ ministry. He therefore does not support Jesus’ divinity, though he acknowledges that Jesus existed.
The purpose of this essay is to identify passages in the Old Testament that give us enough information to support the New Testament, Jesus’ birth, kingdom, sacrifice, miracles, the timing of His crucifixion, the details of His crucifixion, and His resurrection. The Old Testament passages are listed below with their New Testament comparable passages.
Isaiah 9:6 (c.f., Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 1: 18-25, the birth of Jesus)
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.
Zechariah 9:9 (c.f., John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:11-44, Palm Sunday and the celebration of Jesus as King)
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.
2 Kings 13
“They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, ‘Jehu is king!’”
Jesus perfectly reconciled God’s perfect mercy with His perfect justice when he bore our sins as the sacrificial Passover Lamb. The Passover Lamb was to be a male without blemish (or sins) and the Lamb’s blood saved the Israelites from death (c.f., Exodus 12:5; Leviticus 22:20-21; Exodus 12:23). We can compare these passages to John 1:29, when John the Baptist recognized Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” Revelation 5:6 where the lamb looked as if he had been slain and the Last Supper Passover meal just before Jesus’ crucifixion (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; and Luke 22:7-23).
The Timing of Jesus’ Crucifixion and the Fall of the Second Temple
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
“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.”
Numerous scholars have analyzed this prediction, which indicated that after the Second Temple was built, 483 years would pass. 483 years passed and in 33 A.D., Jesus was crucified. In 70 A.D., the Second Temple was destroyed, as also predicted.
Dead Sea Scrolls (c.f., Matthew 11:2-13, John the Baptist asked for proof of Jesus)
“For the hea]vens and the earth shall listen to His Messiah … for He (i.e., God) will honor the pious upon the th[ro]ne of His eternal kingdom, setting prisoners free, opening the eyes of the blind, raising up those who are bo[wed down (Ps. 146:7–8) … For He shall heal the critically wounded, He shall revive the dead, He shall send good news to the afflicted (Isa 61:1), He shall sati[sfy the poo]r, He shall guide the uprooted, He shall make the hungry rich, and [ … ] disc[erning ones …] and all of them as the ho[ly ones …]” (4Q521 2+4 ii:1, 7-8, 12-14). (Perrin, 2017)
Isaiah 26:19 (Matthew 27:51-53, the spirits of the dead rose from the dead)
“But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.”
Isaiah 61:1 (Matthew 5, the Beatitudes)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”
Ezekiel 37: 12-14
“Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection
Isaiah 53:3-5 (c.f., Matthew 27:32-56; Mark 15:21-41; Luke 23; John 20)
“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.”
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.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 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.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 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.”
It is exciting when we read the Old Testament as so many of its passages point to our Messiah and Lord, Jesus Christ. In fact, 330 prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus. Rejoice! He has overcome the world.
Thank you for your time.
Perrin, A. (2017). How the Dead Sea Scroll Discovery Changed Christianity. Relevant Magazine. Accessed December 12, 2018 at https://relevantmagazine.com/article/how-the-dead-sea-scroll-discovery-changed-christianity/
Vermes, G. (1962). The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. Penguin Books. Accessed December 12, 2018 at http://www.thechristianidentityforum.net/downloads/Complete-Scrolls.pdf