By Nathan Jones
Can your life be changed by Bible prophecy?
Did you know there's no religious book, not the Koran nor the Hindu Vedas nor any other holy book out there, that has real fulfilled prophecy? Like for instance, a Muslim will say, "Sura 81:6 says wild beasts will gather together, so therefore, oh, we have zoos today, therefore that's fulfilled prophecy." That's not fulfilled prophecy! That's just a generally vague statement that invites any convenient interpretation.
No, I'm talking about explicit, highly detailed, fulfilled prophecies. The world has just one source for this caliber of prophecy — the genuine Word of God found in the Bible.
Now get this. Not counting prophecies in the Bible that have to do with Israel or the Church or nations, let's just focus on those First Coming prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Did you know there are 109 specific prophecies made about the Messiah's First Coming? Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that just 8 of those 109 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That's a 1 followed by 17 zeros! That number's impossible, unless there's an omniscient God involved.
Are you wondering if maybe those prophecies were written after the fact? You can read the prophecies from the Psalms, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets and other biblical books and be assured that they have been historically and archaeologically proven without a doubt to predate their fulfillment. Those books were written hundreds of years before Jesus came to this earth. There's no credible debate to this fact.
As to when Jesus was here, we have firsthand eye witness accounts in the Gospels. And we have extra-biblical support from contemporary historians such as Josephus and Tacitus who testified that Jesus was on this earth in the First Century.
The God of the universe knows everything from beginning to end. He knew what would happen to His Son before the earth was even created. With such divine foreknowledge, we can be assured of the fact that these prophecies were not written after their fulfillment.
Eight Messianic Prophecies
Not convinced? Let's then look at just eight of the events concerning the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled at His First Coming:
1) Nature of birth — Seven hundred years before Jesus was born it was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. The fulfillment of this prophecy can be found in Matthew 1, where we are told that Jesus was born of a woman who never had sexual relations with a man.
2) City of birth — About the same time as Isaiah, Micah prophesied the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and not just any Bethlehem, but Bethlehem Ephrathah, located just south of Jerusalem (Micah 5:2). In Israel at the time there were two Bethlehems, kind of like we have a Springfield in almost every state today. Matthew 2 and Luke 2 confirm that Jesus was born in the specified Bethlehem.
3) Heralded by a messenger — Isaiah 40:3-5 prophesied that the Messiah would have a herald who would come before Him, and that role was fulfilled by John the Baptist.
4) Perform miracles — Isaiah 35:5-6 foretold that the Messiah would be able to perform miracles that no other human could do. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus healed the blind, fed the poor, and raised the dead.
5) Preach the Good News — Isaiah 61:1 prophesied that the Messiah would proclaim good news. Jesus taught that through faith in His sacrifice and resurrection you can be forgiven for your rebellion against God and restored to Him. Jesus saves people from their sin and its sentence of Hell when they repent and accept Him as Savior, making it possible for us to fellowship with God for all of eternity. Sounds like good news to me!
6) Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver — Zechariah 11:12-13 foretold that the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver which would be used to buy a potter's field. That's the exact coinage Judas Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:9-10).
7) Executed by crucifixion — Psalm 22:16 prophesied that the Messiah would die by having His hands and feet pierced. This psalm was written by David 1,000 years before Jesus was born. Capital punishment at the time the prophecy was written was by stoning.
8) Timing of the Messiah — Daniel 9:25-26 provides the exact number of days until the Messiah would come to die. From the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem to Matthew 21 when Jesus came riding triumphantly into the city was exactly 173,880 days, just as was prophesied by Daniel. Amazing!
I could go on and on, for there are 101 other prophecies that Jesus fulfilled concerning the First Coming of the Messiah.
So, if Jesus fulfilled 100% of the First Coming prophecies, then what percentage of the Second Coming prophesies do you think He will fulfill? Clearly, 100%! And keep in mind that there's a whopping 500 Old Testament verses about the Messiah's return, and one out of every 25 verses in the New Testament are about the Second Coming.
When you see all of these Bible prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one person — Jesus Christ — you can only conclude that Jesus truly is the Messiah, and that the Bible is the true Word of God and therefore trustworthy. You can then put your faith in Jesus and grab hold of His salvation and the promise of everlasting life.
A foundation of trust is what Bible prophecy gives us, and that knowledge will change your life.