“We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:1-3
The Bible tells us that long before the world began, God had planned that the crucifixion of Jesus would be the method and payment for sin – the only payment that would reconcile sinners to a holy and loving God. 1 Peter 1:19-20 says, “It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.”
God provided us with a roadmap throughout history. He spoke of things that mankind should watch for so that the Messiah would be recognized and believed. These signs or prophecies were given to us in the Old Testament. The Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His life, death, and resurrection. Only God could foreknow and accomplish all that was written about Jesus Christ.
For example, the Bible prophecies that the Messiah would come from the house of David: From Jeremiah 23:5-6 we know He is from the line of King David: “For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name:‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.” Reaffirming that Jesus is from the line of King David, we have this prophecy from 2 Samuel 7:12-13, which was actually spoken by Samuel to King David: “For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever.”
Another Bible prophecy is that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 says, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus, as we read in Matthew 2:1-6.
A third prophecy is that the Messiah would be presented with gifts: The Old Testament declared that Gentiles from around the world would come to the Messiah, bearing gifts that actually included gold and frankincense (Psalm 72:10-15; Isaiah 60:1-6). When the Magi from the east visited Jesus, they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor Him.
Could this be by chance? Could 300 predictions about one person who was to be born hundreds or thousands of years in the future just happen to come out right? Just think of it in mathematical terms: One person fulfilling eight prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies, yet all those prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus.
- You can find Jesus on every page of the Old Testament: agree or disagree and why?
- Genesis 49:10-12 prophesies a ruler from the line of Judah who will bring about a kingdom of prosperity. Isaiah 9:6 speaks of the birth of a child who will be named “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Micah 5:2 refers to a ruler who will come from Bethlehem. What does that matter to believers today?