By Nathan Jones
Did Jesus Christ prove Himself to be the ultimate sacrifice for your sins?
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.
Nate Herbst: Nathan, please keep sharing prophesies from the 109 prophesies Jesus fulfilled concerning the First Coming of the Messiah. They are exciting!
Nathan Jones: One of the many acts that shows how much Jesus loved us even though we've sinned against Him, and not just the Jews or the Roman's sins but everybody's sin throughout history, is that Jesus put Himself on the unmerciful cross. He died because He loves us and He wants our sins to be forgiven. We can be forgiven when we repent and believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.
While Jesus was dying on the cross, Isaiah 53:12 prophesied that He would pray for His persecutors. We read in Luke 23:34 that Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for they "do not know what they are doing." Jesus actually prayed for His persecutors.
Zechariah 12:10 foretold that the Messiah would be pierced in His side. Someone would stab Jesus in the side after His death. We know that's exactly what the Roman's did. They stabbed Him in the side after He died to make sure He was truly dead.
While Jesus was on the cross, He became thirsty. Psalm 69:21 a thousand years earlier made note of this. The people who were there at the foot of the cross along with the Romans were mocking Jesus. The Pharisees were there too mocking Jesus. So, when Jesus said He was thirsty, they gave Him vinegar to drink, but it was a bad type of vinegar with gall in it. Psalm 69:21 tells us exactly that Jesus would be given gall vinegar to drink.
Psalms 34:20, which was fulfilled in John 19:32-36, foretold that Jesus would not have any of His bones broken. When people were crucified on a cross, they didn't die really from the blood loss or the whippings or being nailed to the cross so much, for what really killed them was suffocation. The condemned would have to hold themselves up. They'd be stuck in a bad position and it was hard to breath, so they'd pull themselves up, and of course it hurt with the nails in the hands and the feet, so they'd drop down again, and so eventually people on crosses would suffocate.
What the Romans did to force final suffocation would be to come and break the legs of the prisoners. That's what they did to the prisoners on either side of Jesus. That way they couldn't pull themselves up anymore and so they would suffocate.
But, the Messiah would have none of His bones broken. Jesus died before the Romans could break any bones, so they didn't bother to break any of His bones because there was no need to speed up the death process, for Jesus was already dead.
The fact of none of Jesus' bones being broken is amazing, because it ties into the whole Passover lamb symbolism. We read in Exodus about the sacrifice of the lambs that the Jews made on Passover. Their whole sacrificial system involved a perfect lamb without blemish or spot that could have no broken bones. Every sheep and lamb that was sacrificed was to be a symbol of Jesus Christ one day being sacrificed. Jesus is the perfect lamb without blemish and without spot, and without any broken bones considered holy. Not having His bones broken helps prove that Jesus was the Messiah and the true Passover lamb.
Fascinating still is that Jesus' death on the cross happened at the very same time during the Passover Feast when the sacrificial lambs were slain. Jesus again was the Lamb of God dying for the sins of humanity. The whole sacrificial system is one giant symbol. It's one giant prophecy that points to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.
Time to Respond
Nate Herbst: I would pray that everyone puts their faith and trust in God. From your heart pray, "Jesus, I know I need you. I am a sinner and I need your forgiveness. Please forgive me. Please come into my life. Please make me the kind of person you want me to be. Please be my Savior and Lord. I put my faith and trust in you."
The Bible says if you come to Jesus asking Him to come into your life, putting your faith and trust in Him, He will become your Savior and Lord. God will adopt you into His family and you will be able to look forward to an eternity with Him in Heaven. You will be able to look forward to a life of purpose and meaning on this planet. And, in addition to all of this wonder, you will be able to look at the chaotic world around you and even these biblical prophecies unfolding with hope rather than fear, because you see the big picture.
I pray that if you have never taken that step of repentance and faith that you'll take it this very day, even right now.
In the seventh part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I will add a few more Messianic prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ on the cross and explain why fulfilled prophecy is so vitally important.