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The Prophecies of Jesus Christ's 1st Coming

Introduction

What's in an address? Did Jesus Christ have an address in history?--a country, race of people, city or town he could be identified to as his, that would identify him for who he was and is for all time? The following excerpts are taken from Josh McDowell's "MORE THAN A CARPENTER.

 

"In the Old Testament there are sixty major messianic prophecies and approximately 270 ramifications that were fulfilled in one person, Jesus Christ. It is helpful to look at all these predictions in Christ as his "address." You've probably never realized how important the details of your name and address are--and yet these details set you apart from the four [now six] billion other people who also inhabit this planet.

AN ADDRESS IN HISTORY
"With even greater detail, God wrote an "address" in history to single out his Son, the Messiah, the Savior of mankind, from anyone who has ever lived in history--past, present, and future. The specifics of this "address" can be found in the Old Testament, a document written over a period of 1,000 years which contains over 300 references to his coming…" Now this gets interesting, especially for any of you students who are into the mathematical science of probability.

"…Using the science of probability, we find the chances of just forty-eight of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person to be only one in ten to the 157th power.

"The task of matching up God's address with one man is further complicated by the fact that all the prophecies of the Messiah were made at least 400 years before he was to appear. Some might disagree and say that these prophecies were written down after the time of Christ and fabricated to coincide with his life. This might seem feasible until you realize that the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, was translated [in its entirety, nothing lacking] around 150-200 B.C. This Greek translation shows that there was at least a two-hundred-year gap between the prophecies being recorded and their fulfillment in Christ."

"Certainly God was writing an "address" in history that only the Messiah could fulfill. There have been approximately forty major claims by men to be the Jewish Messiah. But only one--Jesus Christ--appealed to fulfilled prophecy to substantiate his claims, and only his credentials back up those claims" ("MORE THAN A CARPENTER", by Josh McDowell, pp. 102,103,104).

Two more quotes from Josh McDowell's "MORE THAN A CARPENTER" should help put this study into sharper perspective. It helps to understand what some of these prophecies and Scriptures are really saying and pointing out. Josh does a pretty good job, so I'll let him continue.

"To begin, we need to go way back to Genesis 3:15. Here we have the first messianic prophecy. In all of Scripture, only one Man was "born of the seed of a woman"--all others are born of the seed of a man. Here is one who will come into the world and undo the works of Satan ("bruise his head").

"In Genesis 9 and 10 God narrowed the "address" down further. Noah had three sons, Shem, Japheth, and Ham. Today all of the nations of the world can be traced back to these three men. But in this statement, God effectively eliminated two-thirds of them from the line of Messiahship. The Messiah will come through the lineage of Shem.

"Then, continuing on down to the year 2000 B.C., we find God calling a man named Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. With Abraham, God became still more specific, stating that the Messiah will be one of his descendants (Genesis 12;17;22). All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. When Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, many of Abraham's descendants were eliminated when God selected his second son, Isaac(Genesis 17; 21).

"Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, and then God chose the line of Jacob (Genesis 28; 35:10-12; Numbers 24:17). Jacob had twelve sons, out of whom developed the twelve tribes of Israel. Then God singled out the tribe of Judah for Messiahship and eliminated 11/12ths of the Israelite tribes. And of all the family lines within Judah's tribe, the line of Jesse was the divine choice (Isaiah 11:1-5). One can see the probability building.

"Jesse had eight children and in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and Jeremiah 23:5 God eliminated 7/8ths of Jesse's family line: we read that God's Man will not only be of the seed of a woman, the lineage of Shem, the race of the Jews, the line of Isaac, the line of Jacob, the tribe of Judah, but that he will also be of the house of David…" "…Isaiah 7:14 adds that he will be born of a virgin: a natural birth of unnatural conception, a criterion beyond human planning and control…" (ibid. pp. 104, 105.)

"The precise lineage; the place, time, and manner of birth; people's reactions, the betrayal; the manner of death. These are just a fragment of the hundreds of details that made up the "address" to identify God's Son, the Messiah, the Savior of the world" (ibid. p. 106).

This should help put the material in this study on the prophecies of Jesus Christ's 1st coming into proper perspective and give the various prophecies listed some meaning as to what they stand for and show us. They show us just who Jesus of Nazareth really was and is. So now let's get into the body of the study and read these prophecies for ourselves.

The Prophecies of Jesus Christ’s 1st Coming

Luke 24:12-31. “But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened. Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles [Greek: sixty stadia] from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know him. And he said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’ Then the one whose name was Cleopas [Jesus’ uncle, Mary’s brother] answered and said to him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have you not known the things which happened there in these days?’ And he said to them, ‘What things?’ And they said to him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.’

Then he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. [This Bible study will attempt to give a bare skeletal outline of what Jesus must have revealed to them. Wouldn’t you have liked to have been walking to Emmaus with Jesus and these other two guys?]

Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and he indicated that he would have gone farther. But they constrained him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And he went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as he sat at the table with them, that he took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew him; and he vanished from their sight.”

Jesus Christ is alive! This is the third day from his death, sometime Sunday afternoon. Cleopas was the brother of Jesus’ mother Mary, his uncle. Jesus is going to have some fun with these two. Our Lord and savior has a sense of humor. In verse 27 it says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” This must have been quite an oral Bible study. This article about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s 1st coming will attempt to piece some of those Scriptures together which Jesus must have shown them. As verse 29 indicates he must have met his uncle late Sunday afternoon on the road to Emmaus. When he was sitting and eating with them (and probably other disciples), they finally realized who he was-and then he supernaturally vanished from their sight. Now let’s try to piece together some of the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s 1st coming.

EARLY PROPHECIES OF THE MESSIAH TO COME

Genesis 3:14-15. “So the Lord God said to the serpent [who was inhabited by Satan, obviously]: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head. And you shall bruise his heel.” This phrase “the woman’s seed” is thought by many (rabbi’s and Jewish scholars and Christian scholars alike) to refer directly to the Messiah, and the serpent is referring to Satan whom God is directly addressing in verses 14-15. In crucifixion, the Romans would drive a nail or spike through the two heal bones of the victim, as one recently discovered body of a crucified Jewish person dating to the time of Christ attests to. So we see, the woman’s seed-the Messiah, Christ-is to bruise Satan’s head, while Satan shall bruise the Messiah’s heel. It is said that the one who was to become Jesus Christ, the Logos (John 1:1-11) was set apart for sacrifice for mankind’s redemption from the foundations of the world. Here we see God prophesying of the Messiah’s eventual death, way back in Genesis 3:15.

Turn next to Genesis 49:9-10, where we will see that the Messiah is to come from Judah, the Jews. He is to be a Jew. The Sceptre and the Priesthood (Lawgiver) will depart from Judah after the Messiah’s 1st coming. The Jewish line of kings ended in Daniel’s time, although the royal house of David still existed, and as Zechariah 12:10 indicates, the house of David still exists, and will be yet again in Jerusalem at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming (read Zechariah 12.) And the Levitical Priesthood vanished in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the temple. The last part of the verse will be fulfilled at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming, as prophesied in Ezekiel 36:1-36, the re-gathering of Israel-all 12 tribes. Genesis 49:9-10. “Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.

Genesis 22:15-18. Abraham had just passed the supreme test of his life (verses 1-14). Verse 18 is thought by many to refer directly to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would come so that all nations of the earth could be blessed with salvation, eternal life (John 3:16). Secondarily, the millennial nation of Israel will be the Lord’s servant nation, blessing the world under the direct guidance and leadership of the Messiah (Zechariah 14:9). Genesis 22:15-18, “Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.’”

Malachi 3:1, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

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