This begins a look at all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah and their fulfillment in the New Testament, clearly showing a relationship between the two testaments, and that they are not antagonistic toward one another, but the old leads to the new and the new looks back to the old.
I have heard it said often, and I have repeated it without verifying it, that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament.
I want to do what Luke 24 says Jesus did with the men on the road to Emmaus,
“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24.27).
We also want to see what Jesus meant when He said this to the eleven disciples,
“Then 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 the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me'” (Luke 24.44).
Luke 18 shows one of those things that He said,
“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished'” (Luke 18.31).
Also, Matthew 5 recorded Jesus saying this,
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt 5.17, 18).
Sometimes a prophecy is not clear, and even in the first century they debated these things,
“Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, ‘Truly this is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?’ So there was a division among the people because of Him” (John 7.40–43).
Why is this important?
- It shows that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ promised in the Old Testament.
- It shows that the Bible is accurate.
- It sheds light on many New Testament passages.
- It leads to salvation and the strengthening of our faith, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Ti 3.14–17). “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3.24).
- It provides evidence of Jesus for our increasingly secular and skeptical society.
- It shows that God did not do things haphazardly, but followed a plan: “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him” (Eph 1.4, 7, 10). “…and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord…” (Eph 3.9–11). “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1Pe 1.20). “…which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1.2–4). “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Rom 16.25–27). “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled…whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities'” (Acts 3.18, 21–26).
- It shows other promises that we either cannot see fulfilled or are yet to be fulfilled, do happen or will happen. For example, God promises forgiveness based on certain conditions. We cannot see forgiveness take place, but we know that it has because God speaks the truth. Another example is the Second Coming. We have not seen it happen, yet, we can know that it will happen just as much as the prophecies of His first coming came to pass.
- This will also help us to see that Jesus is the point of prophecy and of the Old Testament, hence of the New Testament. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10.4). “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3.24). “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into” (1Pe 1.10–12). “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy'” (Rev 19.10).
I believe that as we examine the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, we will see something similar to what was said about the promises and prophecies the Lord made about Israel and the Land of Canaan,
“Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Josh 21.45).
Likewise, let us see if all the prophecies of the Messiah have come to pass, if not, let us see whether they are yet to be fulfilled, such as concerning the Second Coming of the Messiah.
Finally, from the pages of the New Testament itself, we know that the Jews of the first century expected the Messiah to show up, perhaps in their generation,
“Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.’ Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?’ He said: ‘I am “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD,” as the prophet Isaiah said.’ Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, ‘Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'” (John 1.19–25).
“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ)” (John 1.40, 41).
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph'” (John 1.45).
“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things'” (John 4.25).
“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ (John 4.29).
“Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world’ (John 4.42).
“But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from” (John 7.26, 27).
“And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?'” (John 7.31).
“Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?'” (John 7.41, 42).
“Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly'” (John 10.24).
“She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world'” (John 11.27).
“The people answered Him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this Son of Man?'” (John 12.34).
I am going to include:
This work is still in the making, and I will update it weekly as I research this issue more. You can also see the ongoing list by going to: http://theoldtestamentandthenewtestament.com/messianic-prophecies-and-their-fulfillment/