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How Many Prophecies Did Jesus Fulfill?

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January 31st, 2015

How many prophecies did Jesus fulfill?

The Bible is full of Messianic prophecies. Mathematician Peter Stoner counted the probability of one person fulfilling even a small number of them. And he concluded, the chance of a single man fulfilling “just” 48 of the prophecies found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) would be 1 in 10×157! In other words, that is 1 followed by 157 zeros! How many prophecies did Jesus fulfill? Let’s find out.

Almost Seven Times that Many

What if He was Messiah prophesied? After all, Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) fulfilled not just the 48 specifically Messianic prophecies. In fact, He fulfilled more than 324 individual prophecies that related to the Messiah! The first calculation was amazing enough for me. So, the probability of one man fulfilling 324 prophecies must be a number beyond comprehension for anyone! 

To the Jewish People, this is more than a matter of random interest. That is to say, the Messiah has been prophesied in Scripture with great specificity. Although sometimes these prophesies are hidden, allegorical or poetic. And it begins with Genesis 3:15.

15 Messianic Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled 

Here is a list of important Messianic prophecies that Yeshua fulfilled. Additionally, see their corresponding New Testament references:

  1. Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem.
    See
    Micah 5:2; fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 7:42; Luke 2:4-7
  2. Messiah is to be preceded by a Messenger.
    See
    Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; fulfilled in Matthew 3:1-3; 11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17
  3. Messiah is to enter Jerusalem on a donkey.
    See
    Zechariah 9:9; fulfilled in Luke 35-37; Matthew 21:6-11
  4. Messiah is to be betrayed by a friend.
    See
    Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14; fulfilled in Matthew 10:4; 26:49-50; John 13:21
  5. Messiah is to be sold for 30 pieces of silver.
    See
    Zechariah 11:12; fulfilled in Matthew 26:15; 27:3
  6. The money for which Messiah is sold is to be thrown “to the potter” in God’s house.
    See
    Zechariah 11:13; fulfilled in Matthew 27:5-7
  7. Messiah is to be born of a virgin.
    See
    Isaiah 7:14; fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-2:1; Luke 1:26-35
  8. Messiah is to be hated without cause.
    See
    Isaiah 49:7; Psalm 69:5; fulfilled in John 15:24-25
  9. Messiah is to be silent before His accusers.
    See Isaiah 53:7; fulfilled in Matthew 27:12
  10. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion, by having His hands and feet pierced.
    See
    Psalm 22:16; fulfilled in John 19:28
  11. Messiah is to be given vinegar to quench His thirst.
    See
    Psalm 69:22; fulfilled in Matthew 27:34
  12. Messiah is to be executed without having a bone broken.
    See
    Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:21; fulfilled in John 19:33-36
  13. Messiah is to be buried with the rich when dead.
    See Isaiah 53:9; fulfilled in Matthew 27:57-60
  14. Messiah is to be raised from the dead.
    See
    Isaiah 53:9-10; Psalm 2:7; 16:10; fulfilled in Matthew 28:1-20; Acts 2:23-36;13;33-37; 1 Corinthians 11:4-6
  15. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion as a thief.
    See Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 53:5, 12; fulfilled in Luke 23:33; John 20:25; Matthew 27:38; Mark 5:27, 28

The Possibility of Jesus Fulfilling every Prophecy

As mentioned in the beginning, mathematician Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight of these prophecies. This lead him to conclude that the chance of the prophesied Messiah fulfilling all eight is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. 

In order to comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates:

…we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man and tell him that he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one?” 

“Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing just eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote in their own wisdom… This means that the fulfillment of just eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those [eight] prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10^17 of being absolute.”

Fulfilling Prophecies and the Jewish Scriptures

Many learned Jewish men and women have come to faith in the last 40 years simply by reading their Tanakh (Old Testament). Initially, they were reading through the prophesies to debate with those that chose to follow Yeshua. As a result, it was a very shocking and horrifying discovery to them. In studying the Messianic Scriptures, they found the prophesied Messiah! 

Yeshua said to them, “This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds, so that they could understand the Scriptures, telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day; and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)

Finding Jesus in the Messianic Prophecies

Some people, like Sharon Allen, were Orthodox and did not surrender easily to the authority of the Scriptures. But she sought the help of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis and Leaders to help her find alternate understandings of the Scriptures. Yet, to no avail. The authority of the text spoke undeniably for the Messiahship of Yeshua.

Then, some have been survivors of the Holocaust. In result of this, they could barely believe in the God of Israel any longer. But there was just one thing they were sure of. Which is, Christ and Christianity were against the Jews. Consequently, in their mind, they could never forgive Christians.

This was the story of Rose Price. Her life experiences made her lose her faith. Nevertheless, she came to know the love of God through her Messiah – the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua Himself!

Evidence of Jesus Fulling Prophecies from Other Sources

I encourage you to study the prophecies and ponder the mathematical probability of one person fulfilling them. In addition, be intellectually honest and open to truth. Pray. And ask the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, if Yeshua is the prophesied Messiah of Israel.

Then He will answer you and lead you into all truth.We’ve seen a few important examples of who the Prophets said the Messiah would be. We know who Yeshua Himself said He was and is. Nevertheless, does other evidence exist? How can we be sure He is the Messiah and this isn’t a giant hoax?

Let’s Examine a Few Historical Facts on the Messiah Prophesied:

  1. The historian Josephus wrote about Jesus and His crucifixion in his work, Testimonium Flavianum:
    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day.”
  2. A Roman official sealed Yeshua’s grave to prevent anyone from stealing His body and creating a resurrection hoax.
  3. The world’s best soldiers were guarding the tomb. And their officials would put them to death if they fell asleep on watch. Yet, the tomb was found empty and His wrappings were stacked neatly inside.
  4. Many people saw Him alive after His death.

Ten Statements Jesus made about Himself:

  1. Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
  2. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:8)
  3. “…the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2:10, Luke 5:24)
  4. You are right in saying I am [the Son of God].” (Luke 22:70)
  5. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)
  6. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my words, he will never see death.” (John 8:51)
  7. No one takes (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my father.” (John 10:18)
  8. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
  9. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
  10. I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Messianic Prophesies in the New Testament

Just the letter to Romans gives us pretty remarkable insight. For example, in Romans 3:23, we read that not one person is righteous. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Which means, everyone is a sinner. In other words, no one can make it into Heaven by their own means. Therefore, we need help. And that help comes only from Yeshua.

Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, or separation from God. Which means, when you sin, you earn death and distance from God. But a few chapters later, in Romans 10:13 we read, all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved!

Change of Life in Prophesied Messiah

If you want to enter into a relationship with Yeshua (Jesus), simply pray this prayer:

God, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for the sins I have committed. And I know my sins put distance between us, and I know I cannot save myself. Only Your Son, Yeshua, can save me and eliminate the distance between us. I believe He is Your Son, who died for my sins and rose from the dead. I receive Him as my Savior and accept Your offer of forgiveness and everlasting life. Thank you, Father. In the Name of Yeshua I pray. Amen.

In John 7:17, Yeshua said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own.” Thus, He offered Himself as a gift to anyone who trusts Him. (John 20:24-31) So, we pray you come to trust Him soon! Please let us know how we can help you in your search for truth.

Transforming Lives in Israel through Messianic Prophecy, etc.

Are you looking for a way to help Israel discover how many prophecies Jesus fulfilled, to the end that many are saved? FIRM has a simple way to start putting kingdom investment into impacting lives in Israel.

The Tribe is a passionate and faithful group of monthly donors on a mission to transform lives in Israel through the love of Jesus. Join the Tribe today: firmisrael.org/thetribe

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Bibliography: 

Stoner, Peter W. Science Speaks. Chicago: Moody Press, 1963, pp 100-107

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Jonathan Bernis
A Jewish Believer in Yeshua (Jesus), Jonathan Bernis is President & CEO of Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI). Jonathan has worked on the forefront of world evangelism since 1984, taking the Good News of Israel’s Messiah to the far reaches of the earth, to the Jewish People, and also to the Nations.
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