The tabloids always carry end of the year predictions. Usually beginning just after Christmas you can read what will happen in the coming 2 months. At least, that is the claim. Truthfully any claims that do happen to come true are so vague that anyone could have created them. When something does come true the medium is given a lot of glory and a complete pass on all of other prophecies that did not come to pass. It’s a racket – you know it and so do I.
The Bible is different for at least two key reasons. It is these reasons that give confidence to my faith and help me to live the Christian life. Now let me say at the beginning that this discussion of the prophecies of the Bible will not do justice to the topic. There are too many prophecies to focus upon. But if someone has a specific prophecy of interest I will gladly talk about it. Just let me know.
I Am A Christian Because of Specific Prophecies
God’s word claims to be inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). With that claim comes a mighty authority that Scripture does not hide from. Unlike prophecies from modern soothsayers an ancient mediums like Nostradamus, the Holy Scriptures are quiet specific in their nature. Consider a couple of examples.
Jesus Would Rise from the Dead
This is perhaps one of the most stunning claims ever made. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 16:10 that the Holy One of God would not see decay in the grave. A thousand years before Christ, a stunning claim was made that he would come forth from the dead. Then, Jesus himself added to the prophecy when he said that he would suffer and on the third day rise from the grave (Luke 24:46). There is really no way to be more specific than that. It is clear and cannot be misunderstood. In fact the statement was so well known that the Jews were afraid the disciples would come and steal his body away (Matthew 27:62-66).
The fulfillment is stunning but true. He was quickly buried on Friday to avoid a conflict with the Sabbath day and then arose on the first day of the week (Sunday) as he said he would.
Now some skeptics might charge that all of this was just made up. It was added to the Bible to make it look good and convincing. To those we would ask a simple question: Why? What value is there in a counterfeit faith? What could the disciples hope to achieve?
More to the point, and absolutely destructive to the skeptics claim, is the secular history of the apostles after the resurrection. All of them except John died a horrible death at the hands of executioners. Why would they die for something they knew to be fake. We might accept that one deranged man might believe so intently that he could deceive himself but 13 (12 apostles +Paul)?
The fulfillment of this prophecy is further proven by Paul’s near taunting of the people of Corinth whom he challenged to interview living eyewitnesses of the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-11, esp. vs. 6).
Jesus’ Bones Were Not Broken
Psalm 34:20 says not one of his (Jesus) bones would be broken. John 20:31 both confirms that his bones were not broken and links the lack of fractures to the prophecy of Psalm 34. This is especially remarkable when we think that the two crucified with Jesus both suffered the deliberate braking of their legs as was the custom of the day.
Again, this is a specific prophecy a thousand years before the coming of Christ!
I Am A Christian Because of Fulfilled Prophecies
It is not enough to make claims. Prophecies must have been fulfilled every time without a single miss. That is the claim of the church. In the Old Testament, God’s people were warned of false prophets and were expected to execute those who prophesied falsely (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20; Jeremiah 29:21, 22; Zechariah 13:3). In other words, the stakes were high for a false prophet.
As one peruses the pages of Scripture you must be impressed with the detail and accuracy of prophecies. Of course, when you consider that God is behind ever prophecy made and you further consider that God created all that is, it becomes a little easier to accept the prophecies.
Above we have listed just two or three of the specific prophecies concerning Jesus. There are many many more. Christians rejoice because those prophecies verify the truth of Scripture and the promises of God.