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Christmas Thoughts: Who was this Jesus?
By: Jay Antonic

Understanding Jesus Christ in Old Testament Prophecy

The introduction to the Jewish New Testament lists 52 prophecies fulfilled in Christ's birth, life and death as stated in 81 passages in the Old Testament (pp. xxv-xxix). Although some prophecies were clear, many of the prophecies could not be understood at the time they were written, even by the prophets themselves (see Daniel 12:8-9). They came to be understood only in hindsight by the apostles and writers of the Gospels through the inspiration of God's Spirit.

Among other things, the Old Testament prophets predicted:

• He would come from the line of King David (Isaiah 11:1-5; Matthew 1:1, 6).

• He would be preceded by one who would announce His coming (Isaiah 40:3, 5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3).

• He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-20).

• His birth would occur in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1).

• He would be rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11).

• He would be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9; John 13:18-30).

• The price for His betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15).

• A potter's field would be purchased with His betrayal money (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:3-10).

• He would be slain as the silent Passover Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12; John 19:14-16).

• He would be condemned and executed like a criminal (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 22:36-37; Matthew 27:28).

• His hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16; Luke 23:33; 24:38-40).

• No bone in His body would be broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33-36).

• Exactly what His dying words on the cross would be (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34).

• His garments would be claimed by others by the casting of lots (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24).

• He would be buried with the wealthy (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60).

Jesus Himself could not have controlled how all of these prophecies were fulfilled. No one can control the circumstances of His own birth, who his ancestors are and where he is born. Nor could He control the actions of others in betraying Him, putting Him to death and laying His body in the unused tomb of a wealthy man.

Yet these remarkable details were given through a variety of prophets from several hundred years up to a thousand years in advance. Even details of Christ's death by crucifixion were predicted by King David many hundreds of years before the practice of crucifixion became common as a method of execution.

Why this precise accuracy in foretelling Christ's birth, life and death? God was providing irrefutable evidence for all who would carefully read and consider these facts that His prophecies can be trusted.

Therefore we have every reason to conclude that, just as the details of Christ's birth, life and death came to pass exactly as predicted, so will the prophecies related to His second coming. We should expect them to be fulfilled precisely as they are revealed in God's Word.

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Christmas Thoughts: Who was this Jesus?
By: Jay Antonic
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