By Nathan Jones
Can you name just 10 of the 109 specific First Coming prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ?
On Friday, September 27, 2013, I was interviewed on The God Solution Show with Nate Herbst which airs on KDUR 91.9 and 93.9 in Durango, Colorado. Nate's show is special because he's the only Christian program on a totally secular station. With such a fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel with an unbelieving audience, he focuses on apologetics which defend the Christian faith. I came on to share one of the best defenses for why we can trust the Bible as God's word and place our faith in it — fulfilled Bible prophecy.
10 Messianic Prophecies
Nathan Jones: Here are some the events concerning the Messiah that God through the Bible told us would happen to Jesus at His First Coming.
For one, Jesus would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that 700 years before Jesus was born. We know that it's impossible for a virgin to conceive and give birth, but not for God. Jesus' virgin birth was fulfilled in Matthew 1. Jesus was unlike any person in all of history, for He was born of a woman who was never with a man.
The Bible in Micah 5:2 prophesied what town the Messiah would be born in. Micah said that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, and not just any Bethlehem, but Bethlehem Ephrathah. In Israel at time there were two Bethlehem's, kind of like we have a Woodstock or a Springfield in every state. Israel had two Bethlehems. And so, the Bible went out of its way in Micah 5:2 to say that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah. We know from Matthew 2 and Luke 2 that Jesus was born in that Bethlehem just south of Jerusalem.
Hosea 11:1 foretold that Jesus would be called out of Egypt. We know that Jesus and family fled to Egypt to get away from the murderous King Herod, and we know from Matthew 2 that Jesus came back from out of Egypt after Herod died. The Messiah, the Christ, would be hunted by a killer we are told in Jeremiah 31:15. Herod killed all the infants in Bethlehem, so Jesus' family had to flee down to Egypt for safety.
The Christ would be heralded by a messenger of the Lord, which ended up being John the Baptist. Isaiah 40:3-5 some 700 years before Jesus was born prophesied that. The Messiah would have a herald who would come before Him, and that was fulfilled by John the Baptist.
To show that Jesus was no ordinary man but divine, the Messiah the King would perform miracles. Isaiah 35:5-6 said that the Messiah would be able to do things that no other human could do. He healed the blind, fed the poor, and raised the dead. In Matthew 9:35 and other verses throughout the New Testament, that's exactly what Jesus did. His miracles prove that He is the Messiah.
As Jesus went along doing His ministry, He would preach the God News, just as Isaiah 61:1 prophesied. That Good News is the message of our salvation. We can be forgiven from our rebellion against God and restored to God through Jesus' sacrifice. He makes the way for us when we accept Him as Savior. Once saved from our sins and Hell, we can have fellowship with God and spend eternity in Heaven with the One who died for us. That's the God News — that message of the Kingdom — that Jesus preached.
That's just seven of the prophesies concerning the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled. I could go on.
The eighth prophesy is that the Messiah would minister and come from Galilee. In Jesus' older years, He lived in Galilee. Isaiah 9:1 foretold where He'd come from. Jesus came down from Galilee.
Nine, Malachi 3:1 said that the Messiah would come and cleanse the Temple. In Matthew 21, we read that Jesus came during the week before He died on the cross and went and cleansed the Temple out. Jesus threw the money changers out of the Temple.
Ten, we even know exactly when Jesus would be cut off, meaning crucified. This is a humongously important prophecy given in Daniel 9:25. Daniel gives exactly 173,880 days from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to when the Messiah is cut off. Do you know what? Jesus is the one who exactly fulfilled that prophesy. From the Decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem after it was destroyed all the way to Matthew 21 where Jesus comes riding in on a donkey, that is exactly 173,880 days. We have the exact date that the Messiah would come!
I could go on and on if you want me to. There are just so many prophecies that prove that Jesus Christ fulfilled all the prophecies about the First Coming of the Messiah.
Nathan Jones: If Jesus fulfilled 100% of the First Coming prophecies, what is the percentage that He is going to fulfill all of the Second Coming prophesies?
Nate Herbst: I'd say 100%.
Nathan Jones: I'd say 100% as well. Jesus is returning! There are 300 general prophesies concerning the First Coming, but there are a whopping 500 Bible prophecies concerning the Second Coming. If Jesus fulfilled them all 100% for the First Coming, then we know that Jesus will come definitely soon, just as He promised in Revelation 22:20.
Nate Herbst: I love that prophecy in Daniel! I often share how Daniel in those couple of chapters prophesied nearly 500 years of Israel's history culminating with Jesus coming to pay for the sins of His people. The prophesy is incredibly accurate, down to the very day. I look at something like that and think, "How could we doubt anything else in Scripture after seeing the credibility of those prophecies?"
I was talking to an Atheist recently and he said, "We can't trust prophecy and the Bible because it's just post-written history." Of course, that's what they always try to claim.
Nathan Jones: Of course.
Nate Herbst: But here we see copies of Daniel that long predate Jesus and predict to the very day when He would come into Jerusalem to be crucified. How incredible!
In the fifth part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I cover even more of the amazing 109 specific First Coming prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ.