Understanding Easter Part 3

Prophesies – Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

As we lead up to Easter, let’s look a bit at the life of Jesus. The Old Testament part of the Bible was written before Jesus was born.  It was written over a period of about 1000 years with the last piece being written about 400 years before Jesus was born. The Old Testament contains over 350 prophesies about the coming Messiah, and Jesus’ life fulfills them. I will list just a few in this article, you can  “google” and find many websites listing some or all the prophecies.

Let’s look at some highlights of Jesus’ life:

Jesus was born of a virgin

It’s important that Jesus was born of a virgin because His father is God. This is how Jesus could be born into a human body but not have the sin nature that every human child inherits from their human father through Adam.

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem

Identifying the birth place of the messiah is a powerful pointer that is difficult to fake.

Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

Matthew 2:1-2
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

Jesus’ family fled to Egypt to avoid the murder attempt by King Herod

More pointers, rooted in historical events which are difficult to include in a premeditated deception.

Hosea 11:1
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.

Matthew 2:13-15
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Jeremiah 31:15
Thus says the Lord: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”

Matthew 2:16-18
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children,Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”

Jesus was betrayed by a friend

Jesus was betrayed by one of His inner circle, one of His 12 disciples, Judas. One of the many pointers that work together to paint a picture that would be very difficult for someone to manipulate.

Psalm 41:9
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.

John 13:18
“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me[b] has lifted up his heel against Me.’

John 13: 26
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

Jesus was rejected by the people

Jesus even after healing many and performing many miracles, was rejected by the people. This was foretold and adds another pointer, something that was outside His control.

Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Matthew 27:21-23
The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

Jesus was nailed to a cross and died

The death and suffering of the Messiah was prophesied. Read Psalm 22 to see this. Jesus had to die to pay the price for sin on our behalf. We were lost, slaves to sin with no way to get out of it. Jesus an innocent and sin free, exchanged His innocence for our guilt, He died in our place and made a way from us to be reunited with God.

Psalm 22:16
For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;

John 20:24-27
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Psalm 34:20
He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

John 19:31-36
Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.  But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

Jesus rose from the dead

The resurrection of Jesus shows us His authority and power. God proved Jesus’ claims by raising Him from the dead.

Psalm 16:10
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 13:33-35
God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’

Acts 1:1-3
The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:1-7
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

I encourage you to investigate the prophesies about Jesus and His life, death and resurrection.

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