Why Are the Prophecies About Jesus Before He Was Born Significant to Me?

Dr. Craig von BuseckBy Dr. Craig von Buseck11 Minutes

It has been said, Jesus is in the Old Testament concealed and in the New Testament revealed. Many theologians and scholars believe there are more than 300 prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. We see evidence of the Trinity in the very first chapter of Genesis:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion…” (Genesis 1:26, ESV, italics and emphasis added)

It is significant that this statement uses the plural words ‘us’ and ‘our’ in response to the Hebrew name of God, ‘Elohiym’, which is a plural word. The same plural word for God is used in Genesis 3:22, “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold the man has become like one of Us…”

The first specific mention of a ‘Savior’ or ‘Messiah’ came in God’s promise to Adam and Eve just after they disobeyed and brought sin into the world.

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15, NLT)

The Jesus Film Project website tells the story of Peter Stoner, Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena College. With 600 students from the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Stoner looked at eight specific prophecies about Christ from the Old Testament – all of them fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament. The possibility of anyone fulfilling those eight prophecies was 1 in 10 to the 17th power. Stoner tried to explain what that means in Science Speaks:

“Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.” 1

Amazing Fulfillment

Here are only a few of the prophecies of Jesus – the One who died for the sins of all mankind on the cross – from the Old Testament and their fulfillment in Scripture.

  1. David’s descendants will have an eternal kingdom.


“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12–13).


“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1)

You will remember that Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem, the City of David, to be counted in the census of Caesar Augustus – which is why Jesus was born there.

  1. A virgin will give birth, and he will be called Immanuel (God with us).


“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).


“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

If Jesus’ parents were both human, He could not be without sin, but since the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man – and therefore, He alone could live the sinless life required to die for the sins of all mankind.

  1. Jesus would be despised and rejected.


“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3).


“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff” (Luke 4:28–29).

  1. Jerusalem will rejoice as the Messiah comes to her upon a donkey.


“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey…” (Zechariah 9:9).


And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written… (John 12:14)

  1. He will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.


“I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:12–13).


“They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me” (Matthew 27:9–10).

  1. Christ’s hands and feet will be pierced.


“Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).


“These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken,’ and, as another scripture says, ‘They will look on the one they have pierced'” (John 19:36–37).

  1. The Messiah will usher in a New Covenant.


“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah'” (Jeremiah 31:31).


“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

The completion of these Old Testament prophecies of a messiah to save the world from its sin is one of the greatest miracles of all time – and they could only be fulfilled by Jesus. He is our only hope for salvation, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NASB) When someone asks the question, “Why can’t I get to God through other religions,” the answer is this:

  1. Mankind is sinful.
  2. No one with sin can achieve salvation.
  3. There must be a bridge between sinful man and a holy, or perfect God.
  4. Mankind is helpless to gain salvation through any kind of good work.
  5. Mankind needs a Savior.
  6. God loved the people of this world so much, that he sent Jesus to live as a man so that He could die on the cross to pay the debt for man’s sin.
  7. The only thing you have to ‘do’ to receive this gift of salvation is to believe that Jesus is God and that He died for you.

It is this personal, loving God, who desires to be in your life – to care for, guide, protect, and empower – that makes the Bible different from any other religious book. Jesus is not only the God of all the world, but He desires to be a personal God in your life as well. Would you like to know how to invite Jesus into your life?

Pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank you for sending your Son to die in my place. I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that you raised Him from the dead. Come into my life and make me new. Help me to live for you. Thank you for your love, in Jesus name, amen.

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