10 Predictive Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus.
Fulfilled prophecy is one of the most powerful and common evidences for the Christian faith. There are Old Testament prophecies that foreshadow New Testament realities, such as Christ being the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:21/1 Corinthians 5:7).
And there are also predictive prophecies that point forward to the coming Messiah. Here are ten of my favorites that uniquely point to Jesus:
1. Pre-existent and Divine: Micah 5:2 predicts that the Messiah—a “ruler”—shall come forth from Bethlehem “whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.” In other words, a future ruler would be everlasting, which means he must pre-exist. Col. 1:17 affirms that Jesus was “before all things.”
2. A Prophet: Deuteronomy 18:18 describes a future prophet whom God would speak through. This prophet was expected to perform miracles like Moses and to lead people to follow God. Jesus was a miracle-working prophet like Moses (Matt. 21:11).
3. Of the Line of Jesse and the House of David: Jesse was the father of David the king of Israel. Jewish commentators expected the Messiah to come from this genealogical line (Is. 11:1-3). The Apostle Paul affirms that Jesus descended from David (Rom. 1:1-3).
4. A Judge: The prophet Isaiah described a coming judge—the Lord—who would save Israel (Is. 33:22). The Messiah was to personally exercise judgment. And as the Apostle Paul explains, Jesus is ultimately that judge (2 Tim. 4:1).
5. King: Some leading rabbinic commentators who addressed Psalms 2:6 have claimed that it spoke first of David and then of the Messiah, both of whom were anointed king by God. Jesus was accused of being such a king, even though his kingdom was different than they expected (Matt. 27:37).
6. Special Presence of the Holy Spirit: The Messiah was expected to have a special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2). In his baptism in the Jordan River, the Spirit of God uniquely descends on Jesus and the Father affirms he is His “beloved Son.”
7. Preceded by Messenger: According to some leading rabbinic commentators, Isaiah 40:3 describes the Messiah—the “Lord”—who would be preceded by a messenger. The Gospel of Mark begins by citing both Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 to indicate John the Baptist is the messenger preparing the way for the Messiah.
8. Ministry of Miracles: The prophet Isaiah predicted that when the Messiah comes, the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the mute shall speak, and the lame shall walk again (Is. 35:5, 6). And this is exactly what Jesus did (Matt. 9:5).
9. He was to Enter the Temple: Malachi predicts that the Messiah will powerfully come to the Temple after God sends His messenger. Matthew describes how Jesus entered the Temple and overturned tables and drove out money-changers (Matt 21:12).
10. He Was to Enter Jerusalem on a Donkey: The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem “mounted on a donkey.” And according to Luke, this is exactly what Jesus did (Luke 19:35-37).
Admittedly, some of these predictive prophecies have greater evidential value than others. And of course, there are many objections raised against the points mentioned here, which my father and I address in the updated Evidence that Demands A Verdict.
Still, when all the predictive prophecies are considered, along with types and foreshadows in the Hebrew Scriptures, a powerful case can be made that Jesus is the expected Messiah.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, the National Spokesman for Summit Ministries, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.