In Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell lists 61 categories of fulfilled prophecies concerning the first coming of Christ.
(Vol I, pp. 144-166) Here are a few of these Old Testament Scriptures and their New Testament fulfillment.
Also see: Messianic Prophecies at Shalach.org
|Go To Bible Gateway||Go To Blue Letter Bible||Go To Bible Gateway||Go To Blue Letter Bible|
|NIV & Other Versions||Includes Commentary||NIV & Other Versions||Includes Commentary|
|Genesis 3:15||Further Study||Galatians 4:4||Further Study|
|Isaiah 7:14||Further Study||Matthew 1:18-25||Further Study|
|Jeremiah 23:5||Further Study||Luke 3:23||Further Study|
|Micah 5:2||Further Study||Matthew 2:1||Further Study|
|Psalm 22:16||Further Study||Luke 23:33||Further Study|
You may ask, "Why study prophecy?" Actually, there are many good reasons to study prophecy. Here are some of them:
A large percentage of the Bible is prophecy. Nearly one third of the Bible has prophetic themes, and, since we consider all of the Bible as God's inspired Word, it must be important to include prophecy in our diet of Bible study. Some people say, "I just don't care about prophecy." That means that they don't care about nearly one third of the Bible!
Fulfilled prophecy is one of the most powerful proofs that the Bible truly is the Word of God. Since all of the prophecies that should have been fulfilled in the first coming of Christ were fulfilled to the finest detail, we can be sure that the Bible itself is God's revelation to man since no human writer could be 100% accurate. 2 Peter 1:21 says "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."(NIV)
There were over 300 Old Testament prophecies about Messiah that were fulfilled by the life of Jesus Christ. Josh McDowell separates these into 61 different categories, and, following the argument of an older writer, Peter Stoner (Science Speaks), he says that if you just took 8 of these prophecies, the odds of a person coincidentally fulfilling all eight of these would be one in 10 to the 17th power. Since we can't easily picture what that means, he gave this illustration: Suppose you took the state of Texas and spread silver dollars two feet deep across the whole state, then marked just one of them and buried it somewhere in the state. Then, if you chose one person, blindfolded him, and told him to pick just one silver dollar, his chances of getting the marked one on his first try would be one in 10 to the 17th power! (Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, pp. 144, 167)
Those who know and believe prophecy are the ones who will be aware of what God is doing and will get in step with His purposes. Of course it is difficult to know the details before the fulfillment. It was people like us who recognized that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the coming of Messiah. They didn't understand all the details. Their discussions about Messiah were probably just like ours today. They wondered what kind of person He would be. Those who were waiting for Messiah could not have written the details of His life ahead of time. They might have said that it looks like He will be born in Bethlehem, but there are some indications that He would come from Egypt or Nazareth. How does that fit? Now we see how all of these were true. That is how it is for us. We may not be able to visualize the details, but we should be aware of things going on that could be the fulfillment of prophecy.
Perhaps the best reasons for studying prophecy is the effect it should have on us. For those of us who have already accepted Christ as Savior, it should cause us to live a pure life (2 Peter 3:11) since we expect Christ to come for us at any time. It should also cause us to be diligent in winning other people to Christ while we still have the time to do so (2 Corinthians 5:8-11).