The Messiah, Jesus Christ, Savior of Mankind by Josh McDowell
The Old Testament of the Bible contains 333 references to the Messiah’s coming, many of which are considered major prophecies about the future made 400 years in advance.
Genesis 3: God said a man, a Messiah, would come into the world, undo the works of Satan and be born of a woman. In all of Scripture, only one man is “born of the seed of a woman.” All other biblical characters are born of the seed of a man.
Genesis 9: Noah had three sons: Shem, Japheth and Ham. God eliminates 2/3 of them declaring that the Messiah would come through the line of Shem.
Genesis 28: God states that the Messiah would be one of Abraham’s descendants. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Fifty percent of Abraham’s descendants were eliminated when God selected his second son, Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau and God chose the line of Jacob.
Genesis 49: Jacob had 12 sons, out of which developed the 12 tribes of Israel. God eliminated 11/12 of the Jewish tribes when He singled out the tribe of Judah for Messiahship.
Isaiah 11:1: Of all the family lines within the tribe of Judah, the line of Jesse was the divine choice.
2 Samuel 7 and 17, Jeremiah 23, 1 Chronicles 7: Of Jesse’s eight children God chooses David’s lineage.
Psalms 22: A prophecy dating 1012 B.C. predicted this man would be crucified, nailed to a tree, and His hands and feet would be pierced. The amazing thing is that this Roman-style method of crucifixion was described and written about 800 years before crucifixion was put into effect by the Romans.
Isaiah 7: States the Messiah will be born of a virgin: a natural birth of unnatural conception and a criteria beyond human planning and control.
Isaiah and Psalms (several prophecies recorded): Describe the social climate and response that God’s man will encounter: His own people, the Jews, will reject Him; and the Gentiles will believe in Him.
Zechariah 11, Psalm 41 (400 B.C. prophecy): God says the Messiah will be 1) betrayed 2) by a friend 3) for 30 pieces 4) of silver (not gold but silver). He also says that it would be 5) cast on the floor 6) of the temple and 7) used to buy a potter’s field. That’s pretty specific!
Micah 5:2: God eliminated all the cities of the world and selected Bethlehem, with less than 1,000 people, as the Messiah’s birthplace.
Malachi 3: God says the Savior would come while the temple of Jerusalem was standing. This is of great significance for the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. and wasn’t rebuilt.
Approximately 40 men claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, but only Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecy to substantiate His claims. The precise lineage; the place, time and manner of birth; people’s reactions; the betrayal; the time and manner of death, are just a fragment of hundreds of details that made up the address of God’s Son, the Messiah, Savior of the world.
Why did God go to all this trouble? Very simple. He wanted Jesus Christ to have all the credentials He needed when He came into the world. Yes, the first Christmas was well planned.
- Fulfilled prophecy is one way we know the Bible is true. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken.” Deuteronomy 18:22