Jesus fulfilled Old Testament Prophecies

It’s important to understand that the  description of the crucifixion in the  ancient Hebrew writings takes place  before crucifixion was even implemented  as a method of torture and death by the  Romans. When David wrote Psalm 22,  crucifixion hadn’t even been invented  yet, hadn’t even been thought of. It would  have been considered inhumane in the  ancient Middle East. And yet the Roman  government decides this is one way, when  you’ve conquered a country, to subjugate  these people and keep them under  authority. Crucify as many as you have to,  terrorize the population into submission. 

The actual term “crucifixion” is not used  in the Old Testament. However, there are  several ancient references that clearly  indicate it was the means of capital  punishment by which the Messiah would  die. As a result, the fulfillment of  Messianic prophecy hinged upon a  specific historical chronology. 

The Messiah has to come during the  period of the Roman Empire. It’s only in  that narrow window of time when the  Roman Empire rules the world that  crucifixion is the means of execution  and Jesus comes at the right time, dies  the right way, in fulfillment of those  prophecies. David literally looks down  through the halls of history, down  through the quarter of time and a  thousand years in the distance sees the  Savior suffering and dying and describes  it for us in Psalm 22.

Biblical scholars  have long studied the correlation  between the writings of David, Zechariah  and Isaiah and the Gospel accounts of  Christ’s death. When these Old and New Testament scriptures are compared  side-by-side, the prophetic implications  of the Passion of Christ are fully  realized.

The band of evil men has encircled me. They have pierced my hands and my feet (Psalm 22:16)

And  they nailed Jesus to a cross (Mark 15:24)

To  intensify the pain of crucifixion, Roman  soldiers attached victims to the cross  by driving spikes 5 to 7 inches long  through the hands or wrists and feet. Like David, the Prophet Zechariah  foretold the wounds created by this  torture centuries before the nails ever  pierced Christ’s body.

They will look at me, the one they have pierced, and mourn  for him as one who mourns for an only  child. (Zechariah 12:10)

At nine o’clock on Friday morning, the  cross was raised at Golgotha.  Pilate had a notice attached above  Christ’s head proclaiming the charge  against him in three languages – “Jesus of  Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. During the next six hours, at least 12  specific prophecies were fulfilled.

He poured out his life unto death and  was numbered with the transgressors. (Isa 53:12)

They  crucified two thieves with him, one on  his right and one on his left. (Mark 15:27)

All who see  me mock me, they hurl insults, shaking  their heads “He trusts in the Lord. Let  the Lord rescue him.” (Psalm 22:7-8)

Those who passed by  hurled insults at him, shaking their  heads and saying “He trusts in God. Let  God rescue him now if he wants him.” (Matt 27:39-43)

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

When they had  crucified Him, they divided up his  clothes by casting lots.  (Matt 27:35)

That was again typical of Romans. You  strip the guy’s clothes off and put him  on the cross and so any of the clothing  that was yet considered of any value at  all, they would gamble for. So here are  the soldiers gambling at the foot of the  cross to see who gets the robe of Jesus  and that’s predicted in Psalm 22 a  thousand years before the time of Christ,  that they have encircled me, that they’re  taunting me and in all of that, all of  the prophecies of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53  are fulfilled in minor detail in the  death of Jesus Christ.

At noon, the sixth hour by Jewish  reckoning, the divine judgment of God  echoed over Jerusalem through the forces  of the natural world. 

“In that day”  declares the Lord “I will make the sun go  down at noon and darken the earth in  broad daylight.” (Amos 8:9)

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, darkness came over all the land. (Matt 27:45)

As the skies darken and the temperature  dropped. Jesus, nearly dead from loss of  blood, summoned his last reserve the  strength to call out to God as Messianic  prophecy again came to fruition.

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

About the  ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud  voice “My God, my God, why have you  forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46)

Back in those days the Psalms were not numbered. And so the way you  knew what you referred to then was to  recite the first line. What is Psalm  22? It’s a messianic Psalm. It has predictions about the coming of the  Messiah and he was in effect there in  the cross applying that to himself  saying “Psalm 22 is coming true in me  today.”

My strength is dried up and my tongue  sticks to the roof of my mouth. They gave  me vinegar for my thirst. (Psalms 22:15, 69:21)

Later Jesus said “I am thirsty.” A jar of  wine vinegar was there so they soaked a  sponge in it and lifted it up to his  lips. (John 19:28-29) 

After sipping the bitter wine, Jesus  uttered his final words again in  fulfillment of prophecy.

Into your hands I commit my spirit. Redeem me O Lord, the God of truth. (Psalm 31:5)

Jesus called out with a loud voice “Father into your hands I commit my  spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed  his last. (Luke 23:46)

Thousands of men were crucified but  there is only one man who was God who  was crucified. He was taking the sin that  we should have taken upon ourselves upon  himself at that moment, bearing the full  sin of the world. At that moment, the earth shook and rocks  split. When the Centurion and those with  him, who were guarding Jesus, saw all that  had happened, they were terrified and  exclaimed “Surely he was the Son of God.”  

I think that we have to look at the  Passion of the Christ through the lens  of these prophecies. This is more than  just a story about someone who comes and  dies and claims to be the Son of God and  the Messiah. It is a fulfillment of these  prophecies against all mathematical odds,  in a miraculous way that validates the  claim of Jesus Christ to be who he  claimed to be. God, in a sense, created a  fingerprint. He said “I’m gonna provide  predictions. Whoever fulfills these  predictions you will know he is the  Messiah who has come to save Israel and  the world.” These are very specific  details that are given in the Old  Testament that are fulfilled in the New  Testament. Because I think when you see  the prophecy and then you see the exact  fulfillment in the New Testament, it  all fits together perfectly.  

Messianic prophecy and New Testament  accounts of The Passion of Jesus Christ. In these sacred texts offered centuries  apart, prediction and fulfillment have  converged to reveal a message for the  ages. There is a passage in the Old  Testament where God speaks and says “I  can declare the end from the beginning. I  can predict the future. There is no god  like me in all the world.” Christianity is  the only religion that is based on a  hundred prophecies clearly being  fulfilled in the life of the founder. It’s obvious that these prophecies were  intended for us to see the fulfillment  in the person of Jesus Christ. That’s why  they were given in the first place. 

For  2,000 years,  these prophecies have withstood the  critical scrutiny of historians and  scholars to forge a compelling case that  a carpenter from Nazareth was indeed the  promised Messiah. That the full  significance of these predictions  extends beyond Christ’s suffering and  death.

You will not abandon me to the grave nor  will you let your Holy One see decay. And  after the suffering of his soul, he will  see the light of life. (Psalm 16:10)

On the first day of the week, very early  in the morning, the women took the spices  they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone had been rolled  away. As they entered, they saw a young  man dressed in a white robe. “Do not be  afraid” he said “You are looking for Jesus  of Nazareth who was crucified. He’s risen,  he is not here. Go tell his disciples  he’s going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him just as he told  you.” (Luke 24:1-6)

Jesus was raised on the third day  according to the Scriptures. He appeared  to Peter, then to the twelve after that  he appeared to more than 500. The  resurrection of Jesus Christ is the  crowning moment of the passion story and  the prelude to a host of prophecies yet  to be fulfilled.