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Some of our teens recently shared with us the way in which many of their friends view the Bible. Even though their friends are religious people, they don’t believe the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God. They see it more as a book of stories with some moral guidelines, much like Aesop’s Fables. They see the Bible as outdated and irrelevant. Or at the very least, they believe the Bible is open to individual interpretation. I think we would all agree that these viewpoints are not only held by young people. These are the same viewpoints we all run into, held by our kind neighbors, helpful co-workers, and sweet friends. How can we teach the Truth to people who don’t see the Word as authoritative? We must first prove that the Bible really is the inspired, infallible Word of God. One way we can accomplish this is by pointing out the fulfilled prophecies.
Anyone can prophesy, but having those prophecies come to pass is what sets apart God’s Word from Nostradamus or Joseph Smith or Jeane Dixon. You may have heard the illustration shared by Professor Peter Stoner in his book, Science Speaks. Using the principles of probability, the mathematician researched the odds of many of the biblical prophecies being fulfilled. To help the reader understand the magnitude of the odds, he suggested imagining a pile of silver dollars the size of Texas, with only one silver dollar in that massive pile having a black checkmark on it. Now imagine sending a blind man into the pile to find that one marked silver dollar. The odds that the first coin he would pick up would be the marked silver dollar are the same odds of eight prophecies being accidentally fulfilled during the life of Jesus. Stoner goes on to note how staggering the odds would be for 16 prophecies being fulfilled during the lifetime of Jesus, and yet 108 prophecies were actually fulfilled during His lifetime!
There are biblical prophecies concerning cities, events, and other individuals, but for this study we’ll focus solely on some prophecies concerning Jesus. For more information regarding prophecies in the Bible, check out the many great articles at Apologetics Press (http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&topic=101) or Christian Courier (https://www.christiancourier.com/topics/prophecy).
Below are 15 prophecies (there are many more!) concerning the Messiah and also their fulfillments. In the front of your Bible, write:
Messianic Prophecies- Deut. 18:15-19
For the sake of space, I will list the verses in chart form. For each Old Testament passage, write “Messianic prophecy” in the margin of your Bible next to the verses. For each New Testament passage, write “Fulfillment of prophecy” in the margin next to the verses. In the verses themselves, you may choose to underline or circle the specific thing prophesied that I mention for each one. Don’t forget to write the next verse at the end of each passage.
PROPHECY FULFILLMENT WHAT WAS PROPHESIED
1. Deut. 18:15-19 John 1:45 Raising up of a Prophet
2. Psa. 2:7 Ac. 13:33 & The Begotten Son
Heb. 1:5; 5:5
3. Psa. 22:1 Matt. 27:46 Jesus’ words on the cross
4. Psa. 22:7-8 Matt. 27:39-44 The mocking crowd
5. Psa. 22:16 John 20:25,27 Pierced hands and feet
6. Psa. 22:18 John 19:23,24 Divided garments & casting lots
7. Psa. 34:20 John 19:33 No bones broken
8. Psa. 68:18 Ac. 1:9-11 & The ascension
9. Psa. 69:4 John 15:23-25 Jesus was hated without cause
10. Psa. 69:21 Matt. 27:34 Gall to drink
11. Isa. 53:7 Luke 23:9 & Jesus silent before His accusers
12. Isa. 53:12 Mark 15:27,28 Crucified with robbers/ transgressors
13. Isa. 7:14 Matt. 1:23 Virgin birth
14. Mic. 5:2 Matt. 2:5,6 & Born in Bethlehem
15. Zech. 9:9 Matt. 21:1-5 Triumphal entry on a donkey
As we conclude this study, remember the words of Jesus who explained the purpose of the prophecies: “Now He said to them, ‘These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me and the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…” (Luke 24:44-45).