Awaiting the Savior part 3

Christmas Day will be here within a week, the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Praise God! Philippians 2:6-8 lays out the true sacrifice behind this birthday as it challenges us to copy the mindset of Jesus, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

Jesus gave up much when He took on flesh and humbled Himself by coming into this world as a baby, living among us, and of course, ultimately dying on our behalf so that we may be reunited with God. While His death and resurrection are not technically what we celebrate on Christmas - that is, not more than we should celebrate it any other day - we are taking a look today at the Old Testament prophecies predicting the events leading up to Jesus’ death. 

This is part 3 in the Messianic Prophecy series. Check out part 1 and part 2, if you missed them.  Even though this may be a busy week, don’t forget to pick at least one of the prophecies to study further. The FREE pdf guide, “10 Steps to Approaching God’s Word with Confidence” is still available. 

I can’t help but notice immediately that the number of prophecies we have about the events leading up to the death of Christ outnumber the ones about His birth or time on earth. While all are significant, clearly this is a main event. We cannot mistake that God had planned all along that Christ would be the sacrifice that would set us free from our sin. God, in His infinite mercy, sent His Son to suffer on our behalf. This truth, as often as we repeat it, should never become old or common-place in our mind but always stay fresh in our hearts, causing gratitude to fill us and leading us to a life of worship. 

Here is our last set of Messianic prophecies, fulfilled by Christ during His time on earth.


Prophecy: Jesus was betrayed and the money used to buy a potter’s field.

“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” Psalm 41:9

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

Fulfillment:

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'” Luke 22:47-48

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” Matthew 26:14-16

“Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: '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


Prophecy: Jesus was falsely accused.

“Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.” Psalm 35:11

Fulfillment: 

“Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 'We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.''” Mark 14:57-58


Prophecy: Jesus was silent before his accusers.

“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 its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Fulfillment:

“So again Pilate asked him, 'Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.' But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.” Mark 15:4-5


Prophecy: Jesus was spat upon and beaten.

“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.” Isaiah 50:6

Fulfillment:

“Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him.” Matthew 26:67


Prophecy: Jesus was hated without a cause.

“Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.” Psalm 35:19

“Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.” Psalm 69:4

Fulfillment:

“If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’” John 15:24-25


Prophecy: Jesus was crucified with criminals 

“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.” Isaiah 53:12

Fulfillment:

“Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.” Matthew 27:38

“They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.” Mark 15:27


Prophecy: Jesus was given vinegar to drink.

“They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” Psalm 69:21

Fulfillment:

"There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it." Matthew 27:34


Prophecy: Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced.

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

 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Zechariah 12:10

Fulfilment:

“So the other disciples told [Thomas], 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.' A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'” John 20:25-27


Prophecy: Jesus was mocked and ridiculed. 

“All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 'He trusts in the Lord,' they say, 'let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'” Psalm 22:7-8

Fulfillment:

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


Prophecy: Soldiers gambled for Jesus’ clothes.

“They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” Psalm 22:18

fulfillment:

Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34

“When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.” Matthew 27:35-36


Prophecy: Jesus’ bones were not broken.

“It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.” Exodus 12:46 (about the passover lamb, which is a symbol of Christ)

“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:20

Fulfillment:

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: 'Not one of his bones will be broken.'” John 19:33-36


Prophecy: Jesus was forsaken by God.

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

Fulfillment:

“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' (which means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?').” Matthew 27:46


Prophecy: Jesus prayed for his enemies.

“In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.” Psalm 109:4

Fulfillment: 

“Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34


We serve an amazing God, and a most loving and sacrificing Savior! Praises be to Him!

I leave you with the first verse of the old hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Merry Christmas!