What are the prophecies that proved Jesus was the Christ?
The coming of the Messiah was foretold in the Old Testament and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. What are the prophecies that proved Jesus was the Christ?
The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament Scriptures. In order for this to be true, the man who would be the Messiah would have to fulfill all of the prophecies of the Scripture concerning the Christ. Jesus does. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) The Scripture contains detailed prophecies about the birth, life and death of the Messiah and Jesus is the fulfillment of them all.
Micah prophesied that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, 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) Though Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, they were forced to travel to Bethlehem to register for a census. It was there that Jesus was born. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…” (Matthew 2:1)
Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be born to a virgin, something only divinely possible. “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 Gospels record the divine parentage of Jesus Christ: “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.” (Matthew 1:18)
The Messiah would be a Prophet, revealing the Word of God to His people. “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18) The people recognized Christ to be this prophet. “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, of a truth this is the Prophet.” (John 7:40)
The Messiah would enter Jerusalem triumphant. The Scripture even foretold how He would arrive. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9) Jesus arrived in Jerusalem triumphant riding on a donkey colt. “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, (John 12:12-14) We celebrate this arrival even now as Palm Sunday.
His earthly triumph was not to last, the Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would be rejected by the Jews. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3) While some Jews did recognize Him as the Christ, the chief priests rejected Him. “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:” (John 12:37)
The betrayal of the Christ was prophesied in the Psalms. “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalms 41:9) Judas was Jesus’ disciple and betrayer. He shared Jesus’ Last Supper, where Jesus served His communion of bread and wine. Jesus knew His betrayal was coming and knew His betrayer shared His communion. “But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.” (Luke 22:21)
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be tried and condemned to death. “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8) Matthew records the fulfillment of the prophecy by Jesus: “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:” (Matthew 27:1)
Jesus stood silent before accusers, as Isaiah said that He would. (Isaiah 53:7) “And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.” (Mark 15:3) He was struck and spat on, as Isaiah said He would be. (Isaiah 50:6) “Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,” (Matthew 26:67)
When He was led away, the Roman soldiers mocked Him. (Psalms 22:7-8) He was sentenced to be crucified as the Psalms foretold. (Psalms 22:16) “And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27:31) He was nailed to a cross next to two criminals. While the people laughed at Him, He prayed for them, fulfilling the prophecies made by Isaiah. (Isaiah 53:12, Matthew 27:38, Luke 23:34)
The Psalms told that the soldiers would cast lots for garments and they did. (Psalms 22:18) “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, they parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (Matthew 27:35) Exodus told that His bones would not be broken, even though it was standard to break the legs of a person being crucified. (Exodus 12:46) “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” (John 19:36)
He died as a sacrifice for sin, though He was sinless. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, John 1:29) God raised Him from the dead three days after His death, as the Psalms foretold. (Psalms 16:10, Acts 2:24) Our Lord Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of God, as David prophesied. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalms 110:1, Mark 16:19)
It is beyond chance that parallels like those between the prophecies and the fulfillment in Christ could happen coincidentally. Prophets told of the coming Messiah ages before He came in the person of Jesus Christ, yet the details of the prophecies were even fulfilled. Many of the details were beyond the control of Jesus and His disciples and couldn’t have been staged by Him to fulfill the prophecies. The only remaining conclusion is the Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament.
(All Scripture is KJV)