May 2022 | It Is Finished

Prophecies Surrounding the Death of Jesus
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Prophecies Surrounding the Death of Jesus

Dr. Kris A. Jackson

“Search the scriptures…which testify of me” (John 5:39). The Holy Spirit “shall testify of me” (John 15:26). The “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). The coming of Messiah, Jesus, was at the heart of Old Testament prophecy. And fulfillment of that advent is at the heart of all New Testament history. Prophecy looks forward to Christ, B.C. while history looks backward to Christ, A.D. Jesus fulfilled all biblical predictions made concerning him. He told his disciples that “all thingsmust be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). In the Old Testament Christ is concealed, in the New Testament Christ is revealed. In the Old he is hidden, in the New he is heralded.

In my state of Missouri, at the Mississippi River’s edge in metropolitan St. Louis stand the Gateway Arch, a 630-foot-tall monument to the early westward expansion of America. All roads lead to the Gateway. Interstate-55 from Memphis to the south, and from Chicago to the north. Interstate 64 arrives from Indianapolis to the east and Interstate 70 from Kansas City, west, as well as Interstate 44 coming in diagonally from Tulsa. All converge at the foot of the Arch, just as every sermon, song, psalm, page, promise and prophecy land the worshiper at the foot of the Gateway to Glory, the cross of Calvary. Between allegories, types, shadows and scriptures, there are hundreds of biblical road signs that point the believer to Christ. 

Scholars have calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling the prophecies. Dr. Edersheim found 456 prophecies about Christ, another book shares 100 fulfillments, while there are 48 crystal clear prophecies that point to Jesus, defining his hometown, birthplace, tribe, age and so forth. Everything revealed about Adam in Scripture is mirrored in Last Adam as Jesus redeemed what was lost in the first man. So, there are prophecies implied metaphorically and typologically through Adam, Melchizedek, Joseph, a prophet like unto Moses, King David, and other figures, as well as those which point directly to the coming Messiah. Many have preached Jesus from every book of the Bible. It has been calculated that for one man to fulfill 48 of these prophecies the odds would be 10 to the 17th power, or a figure followed by 17 zeroes. According to Edersheim’s model the odds would be 10 to the 157th power, or the number followed by 157 zeroes. We can basically say that fulfilling the prophecies of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus are mathematically impossible, yet our faithful God has made it happen. Salvation is a matter of faith, but it is faith built on infallible proofs.

Prophecy validates the Gospel message

Let’s look at a few of those proofs. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come…” (Genesis 49:10) We know the birthplace of the Bread of Life was Bethlehem, “House of Bread”, according to Micah 5:2, and certified by the Scribes in Matthew 2:6. Matthew also posted prophecies regarding Jesus being virgin born (Matthew 1:23), looking back at the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy, that he would spend time in Egypt as a child (Matthew 2:15), would be raised in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23), being called by the prophets a Nazarene, and many other fulfillments. The prophecies are too numerous to mention or give addresses to in this article, which is confined to Crucifixion prophecies.

Christ’s mode of death foretold

Paul noted that Christ “has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). This is a direct quote from Moses in Deuteronomy 21:23 which prophesied the actual mode of Jesus’ death.David predicted the painful piercing – “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16). The Apostle John noted that no bones were broken in Jesus’ execution, exactly as David prophesied in Psalm 22:17 and 34:20 and as was typified in the Passover lamb in Exodus 12:46.

Major and minor prophets share major news

Daniel conveyed the very day in which Messiah would enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and then be “cut off” later that week (Daniel 9:24-26). Using Daniel’s own words Sir Robert Anderson computed the exact date of Jesus’ presentation to Israel, which can be Googled by any reader. Every prophecy student of Jesus’ day should have been waiting with anticipation for His Triumphal Entry because He entered Jerusalem Passover week to die as our Substitute just as the prophets said. 

Over 500 years before Christ, Zechariah predicted that Jesus would be struck with blows to his face – “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…” (Zechariah 13:7) New Living Translation says, “strike down the Shepherd”. The disciples fled from Gethsemane (Matthew 26:56). Isaiah spoke in agreement– “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). Jesus was pummeled by fists and struck down by the load of the cross (Matthew 26:67). Zechariah also spoke of wounds in Jesus’ hands and that they would be inflicted in the house of his friends (Zechariah 13:6).

800 years before John the Baptist cried, “Behold, the Lamb of God” as Jesus entered the Jordan waters, Isaiah had already predicted that a suffering Messiah would be brought “as a lamb before the slaughter” and that he would not open His mouth before the rulers that ordered His killing (Isaiah 53:7). Every lamb slain from the “skins for sins” draped over Adam and Eve’s shoulders to the sin, trespass, burnt, wave and peace offerings of the Law and the atoning blood brought into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur were prophetic pictures that were fulfilled in the death of Jesus of Nazareth.

David sang songs of the Cross

David’s psalms were often prophetic in their lyrics. Psalm 22:1 prerecords Jesus’ cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”. The words echo in Matthew 27:46. And the final cry, “Father, into your hands commend I my spirit” (Luke 23:46) was voiced a thousand years earlier in Psalm 31:5. Other details such as soldiers gambling for His clothing was prophesied in Psalm 22:18, “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture”, which was fulfilled in John 19:24. Messiah would be given sour wine for his thirst (Psalm 69:21) which was fulfilled with Jesus’ cry from the cross, “I thirst” (John 19:28). Amos predicted, “I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day” (Amos 8:9), which happened at Calvary as the sin became dark from the sixth to ninth hours as the Father turned His face from the sin laid upon the Victim on the cross (Mark 15:33). 

He was wounded  for our transgressions

Isaiah was the most graphic of the prop hets in foret elling the scourging, whipping, and pier cing of Jesus – “…his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).The sacrificial lamb was beaten to a bloody pulp. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Isaiah predicted two Messiahs – Messiah Ben Joseph who would suffer for sins and Messiah Ben David who would reign over Israel in power. The priests and people were blinded to the fact that Jesus would fulfill both messianic types. He would be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12), hung on a cross between two thieves, and would then make his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death (Isaiah 53:9), which Jesus fulfilled when He was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, which interestingly was the name of the prototype, Joseph, or Joseph of Ramtha, whose bones would come out of his Egyptian grave to be carried back to the Promise Land, representative of Jesus coming out of Joseph’s grave on the third day. 

Typology is also veiled prophecy

Not intending here to move on to prophetic fulfillments regarding the resurrection, but on the Day of Pentecost Peter preached eloquently tying Old Testament scriptures to the raising again of Jesus, Lord and Christ, the chief verse being Psalm 16:10 – “For you will not leave my soul in hell; neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption”. And there are many other types, the two birds in the hand of the priest, one dies, one lives. Or the brazen and golden altars picturing Christ’s redemptive work both on earth and in heaven. At the brazen altar Jesus dies for us, at the golden altar Jesus live for us. At the first altar the blood is shed, at the second the blood is pled.

Adam and Christ are types and antetypes. Adam was a gardener and Jesus was discovered in another garden as the Gardener (John 20:15). In gardens seeds die and are planted to create new blossoming life. It makes sense then that Jesus was entombed or planted in a garden from whence He sprung up in resurrection life. It would require a library of volumes to show all the amazing parallels between the priests and feasts and all the Levitical offerings that point directly, prophetically to Jesus. The Passover story itself has numerous parallels, the lamb must be a firstborn, a male, without spot, disemboweled with the “whole purtenance thereof” wrapped around the lamb’s head like the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head. Everyone was to eat of its flesh just as we are commanded to partake of Christ’s Body through the communion bread and wine. Why a male? Because it was Adam the male’s sin that brought judgment on the whole lineage. If death came through Adam, then life must similarly come through Jesus Christ.

Blood was sprinkled, smeared, splashed, and poured out at the Old Covenant altar, just as was Jesus’ blood on the wooden cross. We could go on and on, but if these few prophetic fulfillments are not enough to turn your mind and heart toward God’s sacrificial love then what good would it do to prove fulfillments “one to the 157th power”? Nature could never have brought about these fulfillments, nor could Jesus have preplanned his life to meet the conditions and qualifications. A baby cannot pick its birthplace, sex, race, or hometown! A unseen master Hand controlled every step from the Garden of Eden with the first sinner to the Garden from whence Jesus rose again. The fulfilling of prophecy is one of the greatest subjects in the Bible and it is all for the glory of God.

Christ our Passover is slain for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).Let us keep the feast. Let us behold the Lamb. Let us live the life. Let us reach the world!

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