Prophecies of Christ

Scripture: Acts 18:28, 1 Peter 1:10-12, Micah 5:2
The Bible prophesied that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would come to our earth. Many prophesies foretold His birth and how He would suffer and die. We can trust the Bible, and we can trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.
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The most stupendous claim that ever has been advanced by any person was that put forth by a young carpenter in an obscure village in the hills of Galilee some nineteen hundred years ago. His family was poor and unknown, his foster father was the village carpenter. This young man worked unnoticed in the carpenter shop of his foster father in the little town of Nazareth until he was thirty years of age. When he reached his thirtieth birthday he stepped out from the family circle, out from the carpenter shop and from the quiet hills of Nazareth and boldly proclaimed to the world that He was the Saviour of mankind-the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God. But was he? Very few people believed it then.

However, today, millions of people the world over are trusting in that carpenter as their only Saviour. As Christians we risk everything on Jesus. We are depending upon Him to forgive us our sins and to give us an eternal happy home in heaven. Friends, can Jesus really do all this for us? How is it that people like us who have never seen Jesus in the flesh, come to the place that we absolutely are sure that He is the true and only Saviour. The answer to this question will be found in the 18th chapter of the book of Acts and the 28th verse. Here Paul is speaking of that eloquent man by the name of Apollos who was mighty in the Scriptures. It says, “For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. Now notice, friends, that he used the Bible to prove who Jesus was and that He was the Son of God, I might add that the Scriptures here referred to are the Old Testament Scriptures, because at that time of course, the New Testament had not even been written or brought into use.

Well, let me tell you, that the words of Jesus, the miracles of Christ and the life of our Lord, all testify to His divinity. Did you know in fact, friends, that Jesus wrote His own autobiography hundreds of years before He was born? I want us to consider that the Old Testament actually predicted this. You may never have heard of it before, of a man’s life story being written centuries before the man himself was born. When this man finally did appear, every item was fulfilled to the very letter as predicted centuries before. This is what we are going to set forth in the message today. I want to show you how Jesus actually directed the writing of the story of His own life long before He was born.

Now let’s read 1 Peter 1:10-12 “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Now did you notice that the very spirit of Jesus inspired the holy prophets of old so that they wrote things about the sufferings of Christ that would take place after he would be born into the world. Actually, then the spirit of Jesus was there to write His own life story in a sense, through the inspiration of the prophets before Christ came into the world as a babe. This means that Jesus was in existence long before He became incarnate in the flesh as a babe in Bethlehem.

Let us consider now that the Old Testament actually predicted the coming of Jesus five hundred years before He was born. In the writings of the Major and Minor prophets we will find over three hundred predictions concerning the life, work, and death of the Messiah, One writer has estimated that according to the law of compound probability, there wasn’t one chance in eighty-four with one hundred ciphers after it-now I can’t tell you how much that is, I can’t even read it, but it’s eighty-four with one hundred zeros after it-there was not one chance in that many that all of these prophecies could ever be fulfilled in the life of one man; and yet, they were all met and completely fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Oh, I wish we had time to study all of the prophecies. But we will just have to confine ourselves to a few. Think for a moment about the birthplace of Jesus. There is a reason why He was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Over seven hundred years earlier Micah had taken his quill in hand and had written these words found in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.” Now how could the prophet know that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem? There were thousands of other places in the earth where He might have appeared among men. This old world is 25,000 miles in circumference, and yet, Micah pinpointed the little hamlet of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Christ. The prophecy has been fulfilled. The history of Christ’s birth proves it. You could ask six out of eight children and they will tell that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

But let us look at the facts a moment now. Mary lived in Nazareth, which was 92 miles north of Bethlehem. Now 92 miles in those days was a four-or five-day journey on mule back. Today it would be about a two hour journey by car. But three weeks before Jesus was born, you would have expected Him to be born in Nazareth. That’s where they were living. But what happened? Ah, friends, God moves in mysterious ways. Just at the right time over in Rome, the Emperor Augustus made a decree that everyone was to be taxed. They were to go out to their home place to register for that tax. So Joseph and Mary journeyed up to Bethlehem just at the right time for Christ to be born there as it had been prophesied 700 years before. Isn’t that wonderful, friends? Doesn’t it show that God’s Book never fails. The prophecy is exact and it doesn’t vary at all.

The virgin birth of Christ was predicted in Isaiah 7:14 and the fulfillment of it, of course, is seen in Matthew 1:8. The very year of His birth was revealed to the prophet Daniel in the longest time prophecy in the Bible. But perhaps the largest number of specific predictions, cluster around His last days on earth. The details of His betrayal and death are recorded with such accuracy that it is almost uncanny. For example, in Zechariah 11:12, 13. we read about the price of His betrayal. “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price: and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was praised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.”

Now just suppose, friends, for a moment, that Judas had bargained for twenty-nine coins instead of thirty, or even thirty-one coins, then the word of God would have failed, the prophecy would have been broken. Or suppose they would have been copper coins or brass coins instead of silver. And what if the money had been cast down somewhere besides the house of the Lord. Read Matthew 27:5, “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple.” That’s the way the prophet had explained it long years before, that it would be thrown down in the house of the Lord. Or suppose the priests had counseled together and decided to use the money for a poor fund or building fund or any other purpose except to purchase a potter’s field as it had been prophesied 700 years before. But we read in Matthew 27:7 that they did take it and applied it to a potter’s field and not one iota of the Word of God has failed.

Now consider another amazing prophecy recorded in Psalms 22:18. “They part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture.” The manner in which they disposed of Christ’s garments is described in detail. According to these words the garments were to be parted and then lots were cast for them. It almost seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it, until we read the story in John 19:23, 24.

“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and also his coat: now the coat was without seams, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be. Now here we learn that four soldiers took one garment each except the seamless robe and for that robe they decided to cast lots. Consider for a moment, friends, how the Scriptures would have been broken if the soldiers had taken a sword and divided that robe into four parts instead of casting lots or gambling for it, as they actually did.

Now, in Psalms 22:16 the manner of Christ’s death is described in these words. “They pierced my hands and my feet.” Now this is incredible, because the crucifixion was an unknown thing at the time. David wrote those words in Psalms. No man himself could have foreseen the introduction of the inhumanly cruel instrument of the cross as a method of punishment. It came hundreds of years afterwards through the Romans. But David could describe it through inspiration before men ever thought of the idea. Talk about television, and electronic communication: this is really it, friends. It shows the authority of God’s word. Then, too, the priests expected to bury Jesus. We want to read here about the way He was buried, because there was a prophecy made hundreds of years before. If He had been buried with the criminals with whom He died, the Word of God would not be true. Isaiah had said that Christ would be numbered with the transgressors in His crucifixion but with the rich in His death. Isaiah 53:9. Notice the words of it, “And He made His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death because He had done no violence neither was any deceit in His mouth.” So when they placed Him there between the two thieves on the cross it was fulfilling prophecy, and when they put His body into the tomb of a rich man it was also fulfilling prophecy.

We read on in Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great. He was numbered with the transgressors ... and made intercession for the transgressor.” So, again, we read about the fulfillment of that: Joseph of Arimathaea begged the body of Jesus from the priests. He was a very wealthy man and he placed Christ in his new tomb. Luke 23:50-53, so the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said that He was with the rich in His death. Then Christ was to be resurrected before His body would begin to decay, Psalms 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Also, He was to be raised the third day. If the Jews had known the Scriptures, they could have known Christ would rise the third day. Hosea had said concerning the Messiah. “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Hosea 6:2.

Every time I read these prophecies of Christ and then read of their fulfillment, my faith is increased, friends, in this Bible. Why, this Book is amazing! It’s fantastic how it has been completely carried out in the actual history which followed. Every time I preach a sermon on these prophecies, Jesus is more real to me. Because of these prophecies, people like us who have never seen Jesus in the flesh, can be absolutely sure that He is the Saviour of the world.

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