Luke 24: 25-27 “Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Throughout the Old Testament and especially from Psalm to Malachi, God gave His people specific words to speak and write in prophecy of the coming Messiah. He would remind them of His covenant promise of salvation to come through the seed of Abraham. Time and time again God would show His people His power and glory and tell them what was to happen so they could be reminded of His glory when the Messiah arrived. He gave them prophecy after prophecy concerning His coming. Yet most of them missed it when it happened. And although they refused to recognize God’s Lamb, God had prepared His people to receive His sacrifice by giving them the sacrificial system and telling them of the coming Messiah.
Many prophets foretold His coming. Each one accurately predicted His arrival and described His life on earth as well as His death and resurrection. Over and over in Psalms and throughout the major and minor prophets, God had spoken clearly about the coming of the Messiah. They were expecting a king to relieve them from oppression from foreign nations. Instead the King came to save us from our sins as the Lamb of God.
One of my favorites passages is Isaiah 53 written by the prophet Isaiah as he speaks of Jesus the Messiah.
Isaiah 53: 1-12 “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”
From this passage in Isaiah, Jesus is described as one who had no physical beauty that we would want to make Him King. He would be despised and rejected, oppressed and afflicted, sorrowful and familiar with grief. He would be wounded by beatings and scourging for our sins. He would be crucified on the cross for the sins of many and would make intercession for us in heaven. He would be placed in a rich man’s tomb after dying as a sacrifice for all sin.
God gave us a detailed description in Psalm 22 of the method by which Jesus would die long before the idea of crucifixion ever formed in the mind of man. Crucifixion as a means of torture and death had been designed by the Assyrians and used by the Greeks years before the Romans took command. However, the Romans perfected this form of torture way beyond the limits of the others in order to inflict the most pain on their victims and thus extend the length of life causing them to experience a slow, painful death. Some could linger as many as three to ten days.
The following are verses taken from the Psalm 22 passage with corresponding verses from the New Testament concerning Jesus’ death:
Ps 22: 6-8 “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. “Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
Matt 27: 39-42 “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’ In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Ps 22: 16-18 “…a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. And This verse mentioned the piercing of the hands and feet in crucifixion: John 19: 18 ”There they nailed him to the cross”
Read Psalm 22 for a detailed description of Jesus crucifixion.
The New Testament is the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the coming of Jesus the Messiah from the Old Testament. Jesus became the blood sacrifice for the redemption of sin just as God had said it would.
God’s divine plan of salvation would be fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Do you know Him as Lord and Savior? Are you part of the family of God?
Click on the link below for a complied list of 351 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus by New Testament Christians Bible Resources.