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Messiah’s birth

As earlier noted, Isaiah predicted not only that the Messiah, the “Anointed One,” to come would be born as a child but that His birth would be of a virgin.

For to us a child [the Messiah] is born, to us a son [of man and of God] is given... (Isa. 9:6a),


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son [the Messiah], and will call him Immanuel [God with us] (Isa. 7:14).

Jesus’ birth

Luke clearly records the events prior to the miraculous birth of Jesus:

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary. ...  [T]he angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. ...  The Holy Spirit will come upon 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 1:26,27,30-33,35).

Just before Mary was to give birth, a decree went out that an enrollment (either a census or a taxation) was to be made, and everyone had to go to his home town to register.  This is why Joseph, a Jew of the lineage of King David, went with the expectant Mary (also a Jewish descendant of David) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the town of David (Luke 2:1-5).  While there, Jesus was born into the world in a lowly, meek manner (2:6,7)—in a stable.

Matthew concurred that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit prior to Mary and Joseph’s having sexual contact (Matt. 1:18bc).  Matthew also recorded that an angel came to Joseph in a dream, explaining to him that a miraculous conception had taken place, that Mary would give birth to a son, and that the son was to be named Jesus, since He would “save the people from their sins” (1:20,21).  Jesus also was called “Immanuel” or “God with us” (1:23b).  (Yeshua, Hebrew for “Jesus,” means “Yahweh [God] saves” or, simply, “salvation.”)  Thus, Isaiah’s prophecies (Isa. 9:6a, 7:14) were fulfilled.

Messiah’s birthplace

God, through the prophet Micah, stated that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, a town just a few miles from Jerusalem.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one [the Messiah] who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2).

In addition, this passage contains evidence that the Messiah existed in “ancient times” or, that is, from days of eternity.  Thus, He (the “son of man”) was coexistent with God the Father, the “Ancient of Days” (Dan. 7:13).

Jesus’ birthplace, the Magi, and Herod’s anxiety

Matthew recorded where Jesus was born:  “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea...” (Matt. 2:1a).  Some time (up to two years) later, “Magi” (traditionally, “Wise Men”) came to Jerusalem from the East and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (2:1b,2).  The Magi probably were from Babylon, due to the large Jewish population there from their Babylonian captivity.  They were well aware of the prophecy, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel” (Num. 24:17cd); and they had come to find the predicted Messiah.  (I believe “star” has a double meaning, being a referral both to Jesus and to the divinely-placed phenomenon in the sky which led the Magi to Him.)

When King Herod heard of their arrival, he asked the chief priests and teachers of the Hebrew law where the Messiah (Christ) was to be born, and they replied, “In Bethlehem in Judea,” after which they made reference to Micah’s prophecy (Matt. 2:3-6—see the previous section, “Messiah’s birthplace”).  Herod was afraid that he might be replaced if, truly, the “King of the Jews” had been born.  He “...was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him” (2:3); the people nervously anticipated what Herod would do: order that all male boys in Bethlehem and vicinity, two years and under, be killed (2:16).

Upon an angel’s advice, however, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt to avoid danger (Matt. 2:13,14).  There they stayed until Herod’s death; then they returned to Israel (2:15a), thus fulfilling a prophecy by Hosea, “...and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1b).  In this case, “son” had a dual meaning: Israel (delivered by Moses from bondage to Egypt) and Jesus.

Messiah’s lineage

King David was the son of Jesse, who in turn was a descendant of Judah (who was the fourth son of Jacob) through Judah’s son, Perez (Gen. 46:12; Ruth 4:18-21).  These are prophecies that the Messiah would be a descendant of Judah:

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he [the Messiah] comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his (Gen. 49:10);

a descendant of Jesse:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. ...  In that day the Root of Jesse [the Messiah] will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him [see Isa. 2:3a; Zech. 14:16a; Mal. 1:11], and his place of rest will be glorious (Isa. 11:1,10);

and a descendant of David:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King [the Messiah] who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jer. 23:5).

Jesus’ lineage

Luke has recorded the blood ancestry of Jesus through His mother, Mary (Luke 3:23-38); while Matthew records His genealogy through Mary’s husband, Joseph (Matt. 1:1-17).  One thing to note here is that Jewish heredity was established through the male line; therefore, Mary’s name is not mentioned in the genealogy recorded by Luke.  Rather, it says that Jesus “...was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli...” (Luke 3:23b).  Actually, Heli was Mary’s father and Joseph’s father-in-law.  (Joseph’s father was named Jacob—Matt. 1:15c,16a).

Even though Joseph and Jesus did not share a common blood ancestry back to David (since Jesus had no mortal father), the lineage of Joseph is listed for the sake of prophecy and completeness.  In this lineage, it can be seen that Jesus (through His step-father, Joseph) was in the line of Judah (Matt. 1:3a), Jesse (1:5c), and David (1:6).

Jesus’ natural blood line was through his mother, Mary.  Through her, Jesus also was a descendant of Judah (Luke 3:33e), Jesse (3:32a), and David (3:31e).

Messiah’s donkey and colt

In Jacob’s prophecy that the ruler of nations would come through his son, Judah (Gen. 49:10), he added another prophecy about this Messiah:

He [the Messiah] will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch... (Gen. 49:11a).

Similarly, the prophet Zechariah linked the Messiah’s coming with a donkey and a colt:

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king [the Messiah] comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zech. 9:9).

Jesus’ donkey and colt

Just before Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He instructed two of his disciples,

Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her.  Untie them and bring them to me. ...  The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them (Matt. 21:1,2,6,7).

This fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:4,5).

Although no gospel account states that Jesus, after completing His ride into Jerusalem, tethered the donkey to a vine and the colt to a branch, I have no doubt that He did (thereby fulfilling Jacob’s prophecy—Gen. 49:11a).  Interestingly, Jesus later referred to Himself as the “true vine” (John 15:1a), and there are Old Testament references to the Messiah (Jesus) as a “Branch” (Isa. 11:1b; Zech. 6:12a).

Psalm 22

Much of Psalm 22 is prophetic of the humiliation and suffering that the Messiah (Jesus) would have to (and actually did) endure.  Its author, King David, described many of the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion in great detail about 1,000 years before they happened and about 700 years before crucifixion was even invented.  Coincidentally, David was experiencing hard times at the time he wrote this; so most of Psalm 22 was a foreshadowing of what would happen to David’s own descendant, Jesus.

Following is a collection of Bible references and/or explanations relating to the abuse Jesus sustained and the crucifixion He underwent.  In each case, the first reference is the prophecy from Psalm 22, and what follows is the actual fulfillment in the New Testament.

1) prophecy“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1).

fulfillment:  “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, [or Eli, Eli,] lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt. 27:46).  (Incidentally, Eloi is “My God” in Aramaic.  However, Eli, in Hebrew, not only means “My God” but also is short for “Eliyahu” (Elijah); so, since some thought Jesus was crying out for Elijah (27:47), He must have been speaking Hebrew, not Aramaic.)

2) prophecy“All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads...” (Psalm 22:7).

fulfillment:  “They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him.  ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ they said” (Matt. 27:29bc).

“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads...” (Matt. 27:39).

3) prophecy“He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him” (Psalm 22:8).

fulfillment:  “He trusts in God.  Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (Matt. 27:43).

4) prophecy“Yet you brought me out of the womb...” (Psalm 22:9a).

fulfillment:  “...[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son” (Luke 2:7a).

5) prophecy“From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God” (Psalm 22:10).

fulfillment:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary], 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).

6) prophecy“I am [or my life blood is] poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me” (Psalm 22:14).

fulfillment:  Jesus’ life blood was shed in several ways while He was alive: sweating drops of blood (Luke 22:44b), being beaten (22:63), being scourged (Mark 15:15b), wearing a crown of thorns (15:17b), and being nailed to a cross (15:25).  Moreover, “ of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:34).

Being crucified and hanging on a cross for about six hours would have caused many of the bones in Jesus’ body (especially in his arms and shoulders) to be disjointed and dislocated—but not broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33,36).

Jesus was in complete submission with no spirit of retaliation in Him, similar to how the children of Israel felt when some of their soldiers were defeated by the men of the city, Ai:  “At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water” (Josh. 7:5c).

7) prophecy“My strength is dried up like a potsherd [piece of broken pottery], and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15).

fulfillment:  Water pours out of a broken vessel.  Similarly, the strength in Jesus’ broken body (1 Cor. 11:24) was drained away by the flogging and hanging on the cross until He finally said, “It is finished” and gave up His Spirit (John 19:30).  Then His dead body was laid in a tomb (19:42).

Due to such extreme hypovolemia (diminished blood supply) from being flogged and crucified, Jesus’ body and mouth would have experienced severe dehydration.  Understandably, Jesus uttered, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).

8) prophecy“Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).

fulfillment:  At that time, Gentiles (non-Jews), who generally did not accept the true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were considered as “dogs” (Matt. 15:26,27).  Prior to the flogging and the crucifixion, Jesus was turned over to the Roman Gentiles by evil Jewish authorities (Matt. 20:19a, 26:47-50; Acts 4:27).

The following statement was made by “doubting Thomas,” one of Jesus’ twelve disciples:  “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were,...I will not believe” (John 20:25b).  At that time, “...Jesus came and stood among them....  Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. ...  Stop doubting and believe’” (20:26b,27).

Crucifixion was the only kind of torture where nails were driven into the wrists (upper hands) and feet.  In fact, the pain resulting from the crushing of the median nerves in the wrists and the plantar nerves in the feet is so indescribably bad that a word had to be invented to describe it: excruciating, which comes from the Latin ex crucio or “out of the cross.”  Can you imagine?  Jesus suffered this intense pain—and a great deal more—for us.

9) prophecy“I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me” (Psalm 22:17).

fulfillment:  Bones out of joint from crucifixion would press up into the skin from underneath.  Also, the victim’s rib cage was in an expanded state due to being pulled upward by the arms.  Their outlines could thereby be seen and the bones counted.

“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him.  They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ [Messiah] of God, the Chosen One.’” (Luke 23:35).

10) prophecy“They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (Psalm 22:18).

fulfillment:  “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining.  This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

‘Let’s not tear it,’ they said to one another.  ‘Let’s decide by lot who will get it.’ ...  So this is what the soldiers did” (John 19:23,24).

Isaiah 53

About 700 years before the time of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah made numerous prophecies in Isaiah 53.  Mostly, they concern the humble, suffering Messiah.  Again, in each pair following, the first reference is taken from Isaiah 53, and the second contains the fulfillments by Jesus.

1) prophecy“Who has believed our [the prophets’] message [good news of the Messiah] and to whom has the arm of the Lord [Messiah and His miracles] been revealed” (Isa. 53:1)?

fulfillment:  Most of the people in Jesus’ day, to whom He revealed His power through many great miracles, failed to acknowledge Him as the Messiah (described by the ancient prophets) Who finally had come (John 10:24-26, 12:37).  However, thousands did believe (Luke 12:1a; Acts 4:4).

2) prophecy“He [the Messiah] grew up before him [God the Father] like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2).

fulfillment:  Jesus grew up as a responsive, agreeable child who was devoted to His heavenly Father’s affairs (Luke 2:49), obedient to His parents (2:51a), and endowed with wisdom, the grace of God, and strength; and He was in good favor with God and people (2:40,47,52)—the ideal boy.  This was all true even though He had been born into the corrupted, sinful human race; in essence, He was (and is) the “living water” for the “dry ground” of humanity (John 7:37,38)

People generally are more likely to be attracted to people with good looks.  Nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus possessed a strikingly attractive outward appearance; yet people by the thousands were drawn to Him (Luke 12:1a).  It was Jesus’ immensely appealing attributes of kindness, concern, compassion, and wisdom—not to mention His awesome miracles—that drew people to Him (Matt. 4:23-25, 9:35,36; Mark 1:22, 8:1-9a; Luke 20:26,39; John 6:1-14).  Jesus did not require great looks for people to want to be near Him; they sensed He possessed something which transcended the natural.

3) prophecy“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (Isa. 53:3,4).

fulfillment:  The Pharisees (members of a religious and political party who insisted on strict observance of Hebrew ritual laws) and the chief priests knew that Jesus was speaking against them in his parables, and they despised and wanted to get rid of Him (Matt. 21:45,46, Luke 19:47; John 8:58,59a).  He was the “stone the builders rejected” (Mark 12:10), as predicted by a psalmist (Psalm 118:22).  Because they despised Him, they failed to heed His teachings and recognize Whom He truly was: the long-awaited Messiah.

Jesus experienced more sorrow, grief, and suffering than any other man.  He wept over Jerusalem a few days before He was killed, because He wanted to bring the people lasting peace but knew they would reject Him and be severely punished for doing so (Luke 19:41-44).  Before He raised Lazarus from the dead, He wept because the sister (Mary) and friends of Lazarus were grieved (John 11:33-35).  (He also may have been grieved at their disbelief that He could raise Lazarus from the dead prior to His doing so.)

The night He was arrested, He was “...deeply distressed and troubled,” and His soul was “...overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:33b,34a).  He was in such anguish, anticipating the physical and spiritual agony He would experience on the cross the next day, that “...his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

Jesus freed people of the demons possessing them and healed their sicknesses (Matt. 8:16; Mark 1:23-26,40-42; Luke 4:38-41; John 9:1,6,7).  Yet, rather than be esteemed and praised by the people for being the greatest public servant who ever lived, the people had Him whipped and hung on a cross, causing the most intense suffering imaginable.  Being deceived as they were, they incorrectly supposed that He was receiving just punishment for His own wrongdoing.  In reality, Jesus was sinless and took the punishment that they deserved (and we deserve).  “God made him [the Messiah, Jesus] who had no sin to be sin [or a sin offering] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

4) prophecy“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed [or bruised] for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds [or stripes] we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:5,6).

fulfillment:  In three ways Jesus was pierced: by the thorns of a crown (Matt. 27:29a), nails (Luke 24:40; John 20:25b,27), and a spear (John 19:34).  His spirit and body were crushed and bruised (Luke 22:63) for our disobedience and rebellion.

Those who accept the gift of Jesus’ suffering and death as a substitute for the spiritual death they deserve will, now and forever, experience peace of mind and harmony with God.  Also, we actually can receive physical healing if we fully realize that Jesus voluntarily took the abuse on His own body due us.  Truly, “ his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24b).  Ask God for a healing and believe it will happen; and, if it is in God’s perfect Will, you will receive it (gradually for some, instantly for others)!

“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).  Sheep are not only about the most helpless of all animals when they wander away from the fold but also the most stupid in finding their way back once they have found something else to distract them.  Similarly, people pursue their own interests (instead of God’s), make their own plans (instead of sticking to His), and gratify their own selfish wants and lusts (instead of considering the welfare of others and the feelings of God).  However, sheep that stray too far get eaten by wolves.  Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree [wooden cross], so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness...” (1 Pet. 2:24a).  To reconcile man back to God again, our Messiah had to take what we deserve, all at once, in our place.

5) prophecy“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.  By oppression and judgment, he was taken away.  And who can speak of his descendants [generation]?  For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken” [or, “Yet who of his generation considered that he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the blow was due?”] (Isa. 53:7,8).

fulfillment:  “[T]he men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. ...  Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest....  The high priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer?  What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?’  But Jesus remained silent” (Matt. 26:50b,57,62,63a).  “When Herod saw Jesus,...he hoped to see him perform some miracle.  He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer” (Luke 23:8,9).  “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate...had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified” (Mark 15:15).  “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7b).

Jesus called the people of His day, including His own disciples, an “...unbelieving and perverse generation...” (Matt. 17:17a).  Even after witnessing His exceptional miracles they still doubted His great Power and, even more, failed to realize that He was the Messiah who had come to die after accepting upon Himself the chastisement and the wrath of God which, in fact, we all deserve.  “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

6) prophecy“He was assigned [appointed] a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth” (Isa. 53:9).

fulfillment:  “They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left” (Mark 15:27).  Jesus was hung alongside lawbreakers and was, therefore, appointed to be buried with them—even though “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22).

However, a prominent man, Joseph of Arimathea, who was wealthy enough to have his own tomb, intervened and asked to have Jesus’ body (Mark 15:43).  After wrapping the body in linen cloth, he placed it in the tomb (15:46a).  Therefore, Jesus received the rich burial that He deserved.

7) prophecy“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand” (Isa. 53:10).

fulfillment:  It was “ God’s set purpose and foreknowledge...” that Jesus was handed over to be tortured and killed (Acts 2:23a).  This was so that God’s eternal Plan of salvation for us, who are guilty of acts against Him, could be carried out.

Notwithstanding His suffering and death, “...Christ indeed has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20).  All people will be raised from the dead, but “...each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (15:23).  Finally, those who have rejected God (Rev. 20:13) will be raised “ shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2b).

Those who belong to Jesus are His spiritual “offspring,” whom He will see when He comes to raise them up; and they all will be together forever (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Ths. 4:16,17).  What is more, Jesus (the “hand” of the Father) will operate the affairs of the earth directly until it conforms to the Will of the Father.  Jesus “...must reign [for 1,000 years] until he has put all his enemies under his feet. ...  When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:25,28).

8) prophecy“After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:11).

fulfillment:  Just prior to Jesus’ physical death, the wrath of God the Father was laid upon Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).  Obviously, this involved more than extreme physical distress.  In fact, it resulted in unimaginable suffering of His soul, because in those few moments, God the Father (with whom Jesus had been united for eternity past) turned away from Jesus, causing Him to say, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34b).

Of course, He came back to life (Matt. 28:6ab) and finally was able to begin to experience the joy for which He had endured the cross in the first place (Heb. 12:2b).  Another prophecy—“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One [the Messiah] see decay” (Psalm 16:9,10)—also was fulfilled upon the resurrection of Jesus’ body from the grave (Matt. 28:6ab; 1 Cor. 15:20).

Jesus was and is more righteous than any other person.  He has a perfect record in following the Father’s Plan of the ages, in which Jesus has full knowledge and a central purpose; and He justified (made “not guilty”) all who believe in Him and in what He did (Rom. 3:23,24).  The Father’s wrath—which Jesus took upon Himself in the place of all who would believe in Him—was a necessary consequence of the sins and iniquities committed by everybody for all time (1 John 2:2).

9) prophecy“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12).

fulfillment:  Jesus is greater than any person to ever live; in fact, He has the word “great” associated with Him:  He is our “great high priest” in heaven (Heb. 4:14a), He is our “great Shepherd” (13:20), and He has given us “...great and precious promises...” (2 Pet. 1:4a).

At Jesus’ Second Advent to earth, everything will be under His control.  He will assign to those “strong” children of God (who have overcome the world, trusted in, believed in, followed, and even died for Him, in the face of immense opposition) portions of the world to rule with fairness and justice (Rom. 8:17; Rev. 3:21, 20:4).

Only Jesus is worthy to receive such power and glory (and to share it with His fellow brothers and sisters in God, whom He will transform to be like Him—Phil. 3:20,21).  This is because He humbly and willingly gave up his earthly life—hanging between men on either side of Him who deserved their punishment while He did not (Luke 23:39-41)—for people “...from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9b).  And He made (and continues to make) intercession to the Father for those who transgress(ed) against Him (Luke 23:34a; Heb. 7:25, 9:24b).

alternate interpretation of Isaiah 53

Many Jews (who, generally, have not accepted Jesus as Messiah) believe that all the prophecies of Isaiah 53 were fulfilled in the Holocaust of six million European Jews by the Nazis under Adolph Hitler.  In virtually every verse, a reference is made to “he,” “him,” or “his,” which they see as representative of this enormous, unfortunate group of Jewish victims.

I disagree.  For one thing, He is referred to as a “man” (Isa. 53:3a) with a single “life” (53:10b) rather than “lives.”  But, besides that, why would God lay upon this afflicted group of Jews the iniquities and transgressions of the rest of the Jewish people (53:6b,8d,11c)?  How and when did this company of people—so horribly, brutally, and inexcusably murdered—“...see the light of life and be satisfied” (53:11a)?  And how, by their “knowledge,” could they “justify many” (53:11b)?  Finally, how did they make “...intercession for the transgressors” (53:12f)?  In my opinion, there can be no mistaking the one described in Isaiah 53 as the Messiah, Jesus.

more prophecies fulfilled

I previously have shown how numerous Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus.  Two more, by Job, also were fulfilled by Jesus:  1) “Men open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me.  God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked” (Job 16:10,11); and 2) “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.  Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility” (17:1,2).  Two other prophecies, by Isaiah, were fulfilled by Jesus as well:  1) “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting” (Isa. 50:6); and 2) “...his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness...” (52:14b).

Next is a list of a few other prophecies, concerning or relating to Jesus, which also were fulfilled and registered in books of the New Testament.  There are other fulfilled prophecies besides these; this is only a partial list:

Some Fulfillments of Messianic
Prophecies by Jesus Christ

Messianic Prophecy Fulfillment by Jesus Christ
Psalm 41:9 John 13:18,26,27
Psalm 69:4ab John 15:24bc,25
Psalm 69:8 John 7:5
Psalm 69:21 Matt. 24:34; John 19:28,29
Psalm 78:2 Matt. 13:34,35
Psalm 107:29,30 Matt. 14:24,32,34; John 6:21
Psalm 109:6 Matt. 26:14-16,59
Psalm 109:8 Matt. 27:5; Acts 1:20b-26
Psalm 110:4b Heb. 5:6
Psalm 118:22 Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7
Psalm 119:105 John 1:1,9,14, 8:12, 9:5
Psalm 146:7a John 8:1-11
Psalm 146:7b Mark 6:30-44, 8:1-9a
Psalm 146:7c Matt. 17:14-18; Mark 1:21-25;
Luke 9:37-42; John 11:38-44
Psalm 146:8a Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52;
Luke 18:35-43; John 9:1-7
Psalm 146:8b Luke 13:10-13
Psalm 146:8c 1 Pet. 2:24a
Isa. 9:1,2 Matt. 4:12-16
Isa. 42:1-4 Matt. 12:15-21
Isa. 49:26c Luke 2:11; John 4:42b;
Acts 13:23; Phil. 3:20b
*Isa. 60:6b *Matt. 2:11b
Isa. 61:1,2a Luke 4:18,19,21
Hosea 11:1b Matt. 2:14,15
Micah 7:6 Matt. 10:34-36
Zech. 13:7 Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27
Mal. 3:1a Matt. 11:7-10; Luke 7:24-27

* Isaiah 60:6b is prophetic of gifts (gold and frankincense) the Messiah, Jesus, would receive when He came into the world (Matt. 2:11b), as well as gifts He will receive as the earth’s King ruling in Jerusalem when people from every nation come to worship Him throughout the Millennium (Isa. 2:3a; Zech. 14:16a; Mal. 1:11).  Gold, frankincense, and myrrh (given to Jesus at His First Coming) were representative (and prophetic) of Jesus’ three primary titles, respectively: King (Rev. 19:16), High Priest (Heb. 4:14,15), and Savior (Titus 2:13).  According to Bible scholar Chuck Missler,

Gold speaks of His kingship; frankincense was a spice used in the priestly duties; and myrrh was an embalming ointment signifying His death.

In the Millennium, He will also receive the gifts of gold and frankincense [Isa. 60:6b]; but no myrrh.  His death was once and for all. (2)

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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D.  Most rights reserved.