Jesus fulfill the messianic prophecies?
1) why, where, and when
me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least
believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves."
but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders."
4.1 Why believe Jesus is the one?
the billions of people born since the Old Testament prophecies were given,
relatively few have claimed to be the Messiah. But among those who profess
to be the rightful holder of this office, why should we believe Jesus to
be the Christ, the promised Messiah? Why not
someone else? Why not Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite,
or Sun Myung Moon? These latter characters may not seem like the most likely
of candidates, but knowing how to identify the true Messiah remains a very
Old Testament looks forward to the Messiah's coming and the kingdom he was
to establish. Because of the pre-eminent importance of the Messiah and of
his mission, God revealed numerous unique qualifications through his
prophets that allow for the Messiah's positive identification. The messianic
prophecies qualify what the Messiah's gender will be, his lineage, place
of arrival, year of appearance, how he would be received, the characteristics
of his life and death, his resurrection, his kinship to God, his destruction
of the wicked, and his reign into eternity.
first characteristic we can glean from prophecy is that the Messiah will
be a male. Obviously this narrows down the possible candidates from everyone
to about half the population. We can further narrow down the possible candidates
as we take each prophecy into account concerning the Messiah's birth, death,
there are also prophecies which tell what his demeanor will be, and how
and what he will teach. Those particular prophecies may arguably be within
the power of a person to self-fulfill. Because of this, we will set some
of those aside and mainly focus on the prophetic fulfillments which the
Messiah would have had little or no possibility of fraudulently manufacturing.
Where will the Messiah arrive?
(all quotation emphases mine):
you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans
of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from old, from ancient times.
Micah 5:2 NIV
So Joseph also
went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem
the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David...
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born... Luke
4.3 What will be the Messiah's lineage?
Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your
father's household and go to the land I will show you... and all the peoples
on earth will be blessed through you."
Genesis 12:1-3 NIV
God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will
call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting
covenant for his descendants after him." Genesis 17:19 NIV
scepter will not depart from Judah, ...until he comes to whom it
belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. Genesis 49:10 NIV
see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out
of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:17a
Now Jesus himself
was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son,
so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat,...
the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse,... the son of Judah,
the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,...
Luke 3:23, 31-34 NIV
4.4 When will the Messiah arrive?
'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression,
to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting
righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and
rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will
be seven 'sevens', and sixty-two 'sevens'. It will be rebuilt with streets
and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens', the
Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the
ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
Daniel 9:24-26a NIV
first question one might ask about this prophecy is, "What
is a seven?" This can be traced back as early as the
book of Leviticus. In Leviticus (25:2-5), the Lord decrees that land is
to be farmed for six years and then "the land itself must observe a sabbath
to the Lord". Every seventh year closed a sabbatical cycle in which the
land was to be left unfarmed. This is illustrative of the seven being used
here by Daniel (years are also the contextual units of time he opens the
first paragraph of this prophecy states that within the seventy sevens (70
x 7 = 490 years) God would accomplish six different tasks. But the second
paragraph explicitly states that in seven plus sixty-two sevens ((7 + 62)
x 7 = 483 years) after a decree is issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem,
the Anointed One would come and afterwards be cut off, or killed. At the
time Daniel recorded this, the Israelites were still in captivity to Babylon.
when was the decree finally given and what happened 483 years later?
-- INTERPRETATION #1
decree was most likely issued by Artaxerxes. Artaxerxes issued two decrees
which could place the death of the Anointed One in either AD 30 or 33. Dr.
D. James Kennedy explains the older of several different schools of thought
...We find that the
69 weeks [sevens] end in AD 26 with the Messiah being 'cut off' in AD
30. The traditional view which places the appearing of the Messiah at
AD 26 would seem to be the most rational and clear understanding of this
Old Testament passage.
It is very noteworthy,
therefore, that it places the appearing of the promised Savior and
King of the Jews at the same time as the baptism of Jesus. How do
I know this? Luke makes it very clear that Jesus was baptized by John
and publicly proclaimed to be the promised Messiah on the 'fifteenth year
of the reign of Tiberius Caesar' (Luke 3:1). Tiberius Caesar began his
rule in AD 11 and therefore the fifteenth year of his reign would be AD
clearly dates the baptism of Christ and His anointing by the Holy Spirit
at the same time as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy. It also
places Christ's death on the cross in AD 30, the very time when Daniel
prophesied that the Messiah would be 'cut off, but not for himself'. 1
the six tasks that Daniel prophesied God would accomplish find their fulfillment
- finish transgression:
the redemption and forgiveness which we needed because of our sin was
finally accomplished by Jesus' death on the cross,
- put an end to
sin: thanks to Jesus and his redemption of us, sin no longer has to
have dominion over us (though sin will continue to exist for us to contend
with until Christ's return),
- atone for wickedness:
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross paid for our sins and reconciled us to God,
- bring in everlasting
righteousness: Jesus' perfect and everlasting righteousness is now
made available to us - without which no one can see the kingdom of God,
- seal up the vision
and the prophecy: because Christ fulfilled all of the above prophecies,
they are now sealed, and...
- anoint the most
holy: God poured out his Holy Spirit upon his son Jesus the Christ.
-- INTERPRETATION #2
other schools of thought concerning these seventy seven's or weeks of Daniel
are probably indistinguishable to non-Christians or those unfamiliar with
this issue. One includes the belief that the last seven of the 490 years
is not contiguous to the first 483 years and is specially set aside for
the time immediately preceding Christ's return (the prophetic fulfillments
of God's six tasks then being more fully realized).
other idea is that it was the pagan king Cyrus who issued the decree from
which Daniel's timetable is to be calculated. Though Cyrus' decree slightly
precedes Artaxerxes' (but proponents would argue for the same date as Artaxerxes),
a rather compelling argument might be made from Isaiah chapters 44:26 through
of your preferred interpretation of Daniel, any of these leave us with the
fact that Jesus' appearance coincided with the prophesied time of the Messiah's
arrival. Anyone hoping to claim messiahship had to arrive at that time.
No one showing up years before or years after can claim to be the Messiah;
certainly no one today can, nor can anyone in the future.
lastly prophecied that after the Messiah's death, the city and the sanctuary
(temple) would be destroyed. This is exactly what the Roman army carried
out on Jerusalem in AD 70 - a total annihilation of the city's people, temple,
and structures. <continued>
NEXT: Does Jesus fulfill the messianic
prophecies? - part two
What do we know about Jesus from
Isn't one interpretation
just as good as the next?
When were the biblical