The Fulfillment of the Prophets-
In Isaiah chapter 53 and verse one Isaiah says, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)
The Bible says “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. (Rom. 10:7)
The word of God which increases faith includes the Law of Moses and the prophecies of old that Jesus Christ fulfilled.
Many scoffers and agnostics who don’t believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah would tell you that Jesus purposely fulfilled these prophecies in order to make that claim.
However, we’re going to go through many of these prophecies that were fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus which neither He nor His disciples had any say so as to their fulfillment.
All the holy prophets prophesied of the coming Messiah, God manifest in the flesh.
Even in the Garden of Eden in Genesis the third chapter verse 15, Satan was told by God that the seed of woman would bruise his head.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)
Now, woman does not have seed but man has seed. However, there was a time in history (the only time) when a woman conceived seed without the aid of man because God put the seed in her.
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)
In Deuteronomy chapter 18 and verse 15, Moses promised that a prophet like unto himself would God raise up among them and all who would not hear him would be cut off.
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;” (Deut. 18:15)
So God and all His prophets prophesied of the coming Messiah, God manifest in the flesh. To obtain faith, which is part of the fruit of the spirit, to obtain salvation, before we can receive the Holy Ghost, we must receive a heart belief that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is that Messiah.
Before the Lord carried me through this I believed that Jesus was the son of God. I believed that Jesus was the Messiah.
I had been saved for quite some time, but once I saw the Scriptures containing the prophecies in the Old Testament and their exact fulfillment in Jesus Christ in the New Testament, it seemed like something dropped from my head into my heart and I began to have a greater faith in what Jesus is able to do.
We read the Scriptures in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse six that “he who cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.”
So in order to help us believe that “He is”, we are going look at a few of the many Scriptures in the Old Testament which prophesy of the Messiah and were fulfilled in the New Testament by Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah chapter nine and verse six we read,
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Here is the prophecy of the coming of the Son of God. Not just a prophet, not just a teacher, not just a good man, but the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.
We can read the fulfillment almost 732 years later in Matthew chapter one and verse 21,
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)
America has been a nation for over 200 years and for many of us, when we look at her accomplishments, growth, population, and advancements, it seems like a very long time. However, compared to the 732 years between the prophecy of Isaiah and the birth of Christ it is only a drop in the bucket.
So we can imagine that the expanse of time between this prophecy and the fulfillment must have seemed like an eternity to the children of Israel. However, God’s timing is perfect.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,” (Gal. 4:4)
God spoke it, God declared it, and it came to pass.
In Isaiah chapter seven and verse 14 we read of the prophecy of the virgin birth,
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
The prophet said a virgin would conceive. Some scoffers and agnostics say that the word translated “virgin” in the prophecy really just means “young woman”, but God said it was going to be a sign. A young woman having a child is not a sign, but in this verse it says there’s going to be a sign.
A virgin would conceive and bear a child calling his name Immanuel, which means “God with us”. The Messiah was to be born of a virgin.
We see the fulfillment in Matthew chapter one and verse 18,
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 1:18)
Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. The Bible says, “before they came together.” Jesus had nothing to do with it. God’s prophecy was fulfilled.
The exact place of His birth was prophesied. In Micah chapter five and verse two the Bible says,
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Here the prophet speaking of the Messiah says that His goings have been “from everlasting”, in other words with “no beginning and no ending.”
If Joseph Smith had known this portion of Scripture, it’s possible that he never would have been deceived by an angel of light. Joseph Smith wrote in the book of Mormon that Jesus was born in Jerusalem, the city of David, which contradicts the Old Testament prophecy. God never contradicts Himself.
“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:6)
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8)
If Joseph Smith had known the Word of God, he would have known that not any angel, no matter how holy he appeared to be, would contradict the word of God. Here it is specifically prophesied that in Bethlehem Ephratah Christ would be born.
We read the fulfillment in Luke chapter two verses 11 and 15,
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.” (Luke 2:15)
Jesus, if He were only a man, would have no control as to the place of His birth.
Even the traitor’s price that was paid for Him just before His betrayal and crucifixion was prophesied of almost 485 years before Christ. In Zechariah chapter 11 and verse 12,
“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” (Zech. 11:12)
We read the fulfillment in Matthew chapter 26 and verse 15,
“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” (Matt. 26:15)
Not 29 and not 31, but 30 pieces of silver. This is the exact fulfillment of God’s word. God knows the ending from the beginning. When God says it’s going to happen, then it is going to happen.
Jesus was the only one to fulfill these Scriptures; therefore Jesus Christ alone is the only begotten Son of God.
The manner of His death and the way in which he was killed by crucifixion was prophesied of approximately 1800 years before Christ in Psalms chapter 22 and verse 16,
“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16)
There is something very remarkable about this prophecy. At the time of this prophecy, the manner of execution among Jews was stoning to death, not piercing the hands and feet. This came almost 1800 years later when the Roman Empire began the crucifixions in which the hands and feet of those executed were impaled upon a cross.
God knew exactly how it was going to happen.
We see the fulfillment of this prophecy in John chapter 20 and verse 25,
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
Here we read of Thomas referring to the “print of the nails” made when they pierced His hands and feet in order to nail Jesus to the cross.
One particular fact of the shameful treatment that Jesus Christ received during His crucifixion was prophesied nearly 1000 years earlier in Psalm 22 and verse 18,
“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:18)
Again we see that this was a prophecy that Jesus had no control over because He was hanging on the cross at the time it happened. We read the fulfillment in Mark chapter 15 and verse 24,
“And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” (Mark 15:24)
This New Testament Scripture is almost verbatim word for word the fulfillment of that Old Testament prophecy. These are details concerning His death prophesied of over 1000 years before His birth.
These things have never happened to any other individual in History except for Jesus of Nazareth. He is the Messiah. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God.
In the Book of Psalms we read of one very unusual fact concerning the Messiah that was to come,
“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:20)
In John chapter 19 and verse 33 we read something very remarkable happening to fulfill this prophecy,
“But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” (John 19:33-34)
When an individual was crucified, it wasn’t the nailing of his hands and feet that caused death. As long as the individual could pull up with his arms and push up with his feet in order to take a breath, he would remain alive.
It was only when that individual was no longer able to raise themselves up in order to breathe due to exhaustion and pain that they then suffocated to death. Crucifixion was a slow and torturous death.
Since Jesus and the two thieves with Him were crucified on the eve of a Sabbath and Holy Day, the Romans were willing to show the Jews a favor and end the crucifixion before sundown.
They came to the thief that was crucified to the right of Jesus and they broke his legs. They came to the one crucified to the left of Jesus and they broke his legs. The Roman soldiers saw that Jesus was dead already, but instead of breaking His legs they thrust a spear into His side to make sure that He was dead.
It wasn’t a matter of the soldier trying to fulfill a prophecy. He didn’t even realize what he was doing. It was God’s sovereign hand moving at that time in order that His word would be fulfilled in Christ.
God was determined to fulfill His prophecies concerning the Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth and nothing was going to hinder it. There would be no gainsayer that could say Jesus didn’t fulfill this little prophecy or that little prophecy. Jesus fulfilled them all.
Every single prophecy prophesied of concerning the first coming of Christ was fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God.
Tomorrow- He is: The Fulfillment of the Law
All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices