By Nathan Jones
Why is the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is so vitally important?
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.
A Magnitude of Evidence
Nate Herbst: Bible prophecy is one of those things that absolutely blows my mind! There is no other religious system. There is no other religious text. There is no other worldview that has prophecies that have come to pass like in the Bible. We have in the Bible hundreds of prophecies which have come to pass, and there is historical collaboration for those. And, there are even more prophecies about what we can look forward to in the future.
God has given us what Nathan called in a previous segment the "bird's eye view of His plan for human beings." And, it's exciting to look at some of those prophecies which have come to pass already, and so therefore understand that we can fully trust the Bible.
As Nathan said previously, if 100% of those First Coming prophesied in the past have come to pass, then we can trust that the rest concerning Jesus' Second Coming will come to pass as well. We then can absolutely trust what the Bible foretells about the future.
Let's start by discussing a few more Messianic prophecies before later we get into those that are still to come in the future.
Nathan Jones: Sure, let's go on. I believe I've covered in previous segments 24 Messianic prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus, so let's start with number 25.
In Psalm 22:1, 8, and 5-18, this amazing first-person account of Jesus' crucifixion — written 1,000 years before Jesus' First Coming — tells us that Jesus would cry out from the cross. And, at the end of His suffering there, Jesus did indeed cry out to God, "Why have you forsaken me?"
In other words, the sin that Jesus took on upon Himself, which is all of our sins — your sins, Nate, and my sins, and everybody's sins — came upon Jesus. The Father who could not look upon sin had to look away from His own son because Jesus became our sin. For the first time ever being separated from the Father, Jesus cried out, "My God, my God why have your forsaken me?" That was prophesied to happen from the cross.
Jesus also yelled out, "It is finished!" In other words, the painful work of sacrifice for our sins on the cross, that death sentence that we all deserve, Jesus paid on the cross. He cried out about how that work was over.
A twenty-sixth fulfilled prophecy, after Jesus died, Isaiah 53:9 foretold that He would be buried in a tomb not His own. It would be a rich man's tomb, and that is exactly what it was. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus brought Jesus and put Him in Joseph's own tomb. We read about that in Matthew 27.
A twenty-seventh fulfilled prophecy, and here this is probably one of the best and the most important, is Psalm 16:10. This prophecy tells us that the Messiah would rise from the dead. Now Buddha, where is he? He's in the grave. Mohammed, where is he? He's in the grave. Joseph Smith, where is he? He's in the grave. Every religion out there — their holy man is dead and gone. But, we have the God of the universe, Jesus Christ, and He raised Himself from the dead. We can read about that in Mark 16 and Acts 2.
Over 500 people corroborated that Jesus rose from the dead. The Christian religion spread instantly across Israel and throughout the lands because people knew that there were firsthand accounts that Jesus rose from the dead.
A twenty-eight fulfilled prophecy foretold that Jesus would ascend into heaven after a certain amount of time after He rose from the dead. Psalm 68:18 says that, and we read in Acts 1:9 that Jesus indeed went up to Heaven to be with the Father. Likewise, when Jesus returns, He will return in the clouds to take the Church, which is all those who believe in Him as Savior in this age, and bring them up to Heaven.
So, we have now covered 28 of the 109 fulfilled prophecies that dealt alone just with Jesus, and that doesn't even begin to cover all the other subjects that have fulfilled prophecies.
Nate Herbst: Incredible! When we hear about prophecy concerning Jesus' resurrection, and then we hear about the basis of the Christian faith as Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 15 being based on Christ's resurrection, we learn that this miracle is what sets Christ apart from every other religious figure in history. With this fact firmly in place, we can realize that even today we can confidently believe in the Resurrection because of the magnitude of the historical evidence. We sit astonished!
Faith in Jesus Christ is no joke. This is no blind leap of faith. We are setting our faith on the firm foundation of truth. Jesus really did come according to prophecy. He really did die and rise again according to prophecy. And, we can believe that because history corroborates it with a magnitude of evidence that is unparalleled.
Nathan, thank you so much for sharing some of those prophecies about Jesus. I know that you could go on and share four times that many if we had more time.
In the eighth part of the God Solution interview, Nate and I will look at some of the end times prophecies related to Israel.