In a proceeding article, I looked at how the New Testament mirrors the Old. But more than that, the are many, many Old Testament prophecies which relate to the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, the Saviour of the Jews. In fact, theologians agreed that there are over 360 Old Testament prophecies which foretold Jesus/Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah (Mashiach ben David).
Let us look at a few of these numerous prophecies, in particular relating to the Jewish Messiah:
|Prophecy||Old Testament||New Testament|
|The Place of Jesus’ Birth||“And you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you being least among the thousands of Judah, out of you He shall come forth to Me, to become Ruler in Israel, He whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2||“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men came from the east to Jerusalem… ” Matthew 2:1|
|He will be Born of a Virgin||“So, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14||“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was this way (for His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph) before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18|
|Jesus’s Flight to Egypt||“When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called My son out of Egypt.” Hosea 11:1||“And he arose and took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt.” Matthew 2:14|
|Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee||“Yet there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish, as in the former time. He degraded the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, so afterwards He will glorify the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; they who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them the light has shined.” Isaiah 9:1-2||“But when Jesus heard that John was thrown into prison, He went back into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and lived in Capernaum, which is on the seacoast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations! The people who sat in darkness saw a great Light; and Light has sprung up to those who sat in the region and shadow of death.” Matthew 4:12-16|
|Christ as The Prophet||“Jehovah your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, One like me. To Him you shall listen… ” Deuteronomy 18:15||“Then seeing the miracle that Jesus did, those men said, This is truly the Prophet, the One coming into the world.” John 6:14|
|Jesus, Rejected by fellow Jews||” He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as it were a hiding of faces from Him, He being despised, and we esteemed Him not.” Isaiah 53:3||“He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11|
|A Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem||“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your King comes to you. He is righteous and victorious, meek and riding on an ass, even on a colt, the son of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9||“… took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And they cried, Hosanna! “Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord!” And finding an ass colt, Jesus sat on it; as it is written….” John 12:13-14|
|Jesus, Betrayed by a Familiar Friend||“Even a man, my friend, in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9||“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. And he said to them, What will you give me, and I will betray Him to you? And they appointed to him thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” Matthew 26:14-16|
|Jesus, Sold for a Price of Thirty Pieces of Silver||“And I said to them, If it is good, give My price; and if not, let it go. So they weighed My price thirty pieces of silver.” Zechariah 11:12||“And he said to them, What will you give me, and I will betray Him to you? And they appointed to him thirty pieces of silver.” Matthew 26:15|
|Jesus, Accused by False Witnesses||“Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies; for false witnesses have risen up against me, and he that breathes out cruelty.” Psalm 27:12||” But they found none; yea, though many false witnesses came, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came up and said, This one said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.” Matthew 26:60-61|
|Jesus was Silent Before the Accusers||“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7||“And standing up, the high priest said to Him, Do you answer nothing? What is it that these witness against you? But Jesus was silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, I adjure you by the living God that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:62-63|
|Jesus was Beaten and Spat On||“I gave My back to the strikers, and My cheeks to pluckers; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6||“Then they spat in His face and beat Him with the fist. And others struck Him with the palms of their hands… ” Matthew 26:67|
|Jesus was Hated Without Reason||“They who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they who would destroy me are mighty, my lying enemies. Then I restored what I did not take away.” Psalm 69:4||“He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no other did, they would not have had sin. But now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father. But that the Word might be fulfilled that is written in their Law, “They hated Me without a cause.” John 15:23-25|
|Jesus was our Substitution||“Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5||“And evening coming on, they brought to Him many who had been possessed with demons. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He took on Himself our weaknesses and bore our sicknesses.”” Matthew 8:16-17|
|Jesus, Crucified by Sinners||“Therefore I will divide to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul to death; and He was counted among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12||“And with Him they crucified two thieves, the one off the right, and one off the left.” Mark 15:27|
|Jesus, Mocked and Insulted||“All who see Me mock me; they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying, He trusted on Jehovah; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him!” Psalm 22:7-8||“And humiliating Him with his guardsmen, and mocking Him by putting luxurious clothing around Him, Herod sent Him again to Pilate…. And the people stood watching. And also the rulers with them, scoffing, saying, He saved others, let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” Luke 23:11, 35|
|Jesus was Pierced||“… and You have brought Me into the dust of death. For dogs have circled around Me; the band of spoilers have hemmed Me in, piercers of My hands and My feet.” Psalm 22:16||“Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here and behold My hands; and reach your hand here and thrust it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27|
|Jesus fed Gall and Vinegar to drink||“They also gave Me gall for my food; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:21||“they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall to drink. And when He had tasted, He would not drink.” Matthew 27:34|
|Jesus’s Side is Pierced||“And I will pour on the house of David, and on the people of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of prayers. And they shall look on Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be bitter over Him, as the bitterness over the first-born.” Zechariah 12:10||“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance, and instantly there came out blood and water.” John 19:34|
|Soldiers Cast Lots for His Coat||“They divide My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing.” Psalm 22:18||“And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots on them, as, to what each should take….” Mark 15:24|
|Not One Bone Shall be Broken in His body||“He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:20||“But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance, and instantly there came out blood and water. And he who saw bore record, and his record is true. And he knows that he speaks true, so that you might believe. For these things were done so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”John 19:33-36|
|Jesus, Buried With the Rich||“And He put His grave with the wicked, and with a rich one in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” Isaiah 53:9||“When the evening had come, a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, came, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple. He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it in his new tomb, which he had cut out of the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and departed.”Matthew 27:57-60|
|The Resurrection of Jesus||“For You will not leave My soul in hell; You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10||“And as they spoke this, Jesus Himself stood in their midst, and said to them, Peace to you! But they were terrified and filled with fear, for they thought they saw a spirit. And He said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that I am He! Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see Me have. And when He had spoken this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe for joy, and wondered, He said to them, Have you any food here? And they handed to Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. And He took it and ate before them. And He said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms about Me. And He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures. And He said to them, So it is written, and so it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…” Luke 24:36-46|
|The Ascension of Jesus||“You have gone up on high; You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts for men, yes, for the rebellious also, that You might dwell among them, O Jehovah God.” Psalm 68:18||“And it happened as He blessed them, He withdrew from them and was carried up into Heaven.” Luke 24:51|
We can see here the accuracy of the Old Testament prophecies and how they came to pass. Naysayers often try to discredit the New Testament by saying that the writers were influenced by the Old Testament in what they wrote and that Jesus went out of His way to fulfill prophecy. Yet, when we read even this short list of prophecies, we soon realise that Jesus as a man could have no possible control over where or when he was born, or over what happened after his death.
Personally, I have found great succour and comfort in the almost never quoted verses of Isaiah 53:1-2 MKJV which read “Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of Jehovah revealed? For He comes up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor majesty that we should see Him, nor an appearance that we should desire Him.” Here we have what I believe is the only physical description of Jesus in the Bible. The GNB puts it this way, interpreting the last verse: “He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of him. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing that would draw us to him.”
It is fairly obvious why the writers of the New Testament choose to ignore these verses, and rightly so. Yet, to me, these verses cast Jesus in the physical nature of a humble man, a “common” man. Jesus was not about appearances, but of character and substance. First Peter 5:5 says “…. Put on humility. For God resists proud ones, but He gives grace to the humble.” It looks like Jesus did just that, not only in character, but in appearance and stature too!
The article is based on and around a compilation of verses from the Power of Hope website.