The Old Testament has anywhere from 200-400 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. Although scholars differ on the number, the sheer unlikeliness that one person could fulfill all of these prophecies point to the fact that Jesus is indeed the true Messiah. The prophecies about Jesus, which can be found throughout the Old Testament, vary widely from his birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. This article, which will focus on some of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, will be a great resource to hold onto when you find yourself preaching through books of the Old Testament. Helping your congregation see how Jesus fulfilled prophecies will help to strengthen their faith and encourage their hearts.
On This Page
- The Road to Emmaus
- The First Prophecy – The First Gospel
- Prophecies on the Birth of Jesus
- Prophecies on the Life of Jesus
- Prophecies on the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
The road to Emmaus is perhaps one of the most well-known roads in the Bible. On that road, we know that two disciples were returning from Jerusalem to Emmaus following the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus showed up, incognito, and inquired as to what the disciples were talking about. Cleopas, one of the disciples expressed that all hope was lost because Jesus (the one they were talking to) was crucified. Upon hearing this, Jesus responded by taking the disciples through the Old Testament prophecies concerning himself which is found in Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke recorded the response of the two disciples in Luke 24:32, “Did not our hearts burn within us while [Jesus] talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” What was it that Jesus said to them regarding himself from the Old Testament that caused their hearts to burn inside? What were some of the prophecies that Jesus could have referenced concerning himself? Jesus could have taken the disciples back to Genesis to explain the first prophecy made concerning himself.
THE FIRST PROPHECY – THE FIRST GOSPEL
The first prophecy about Jesus in the Bible is found in Genesis 3:15. This prophecy was given after the serpent laid out a full assault on God’s character by deceiving Eve concerning God’s commands. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, God showed up in the garden looking for his image-bearers. When he found them, Adam immediately blamed Eve, and Eve immediately blamed the serpent. The LORD God turned immediately to the serpent and without giving him a chance to respond, cast a rightful judgment on him.
He then spoke the words about the struggle that would exist between the serpent and the man, but that the ultimate victory would belong with Eve’s offspring, Jesus. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Jesus fulfilled this when he offered his life on the cross and rose from the dead obtaining the ultimate triumph over the enemy.
PROPHECIES ON THE BIRTH OF JESUS
When Jesus was sharing with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he could have been sharing prophecies surrounding his birth. Jesus could not have forced these prophecies to happen. These were God-ordained prophecies that spoke to God’s ability to work out the smallest of details from where Jesus was born, to the unique circumstances of his birth, to the actions of his parents when he was born. Here are several Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled with Jesus’ birth:
- Genesis 22:18 – All the nations would be blessed through Abraham’s offspring
- Numbers 24:17 – Jesus would be from the line of Jacob
- Isaiah 11:1 – Jesus would be from the line of Jesse
- Jeremiah 23:5-6 – Jesus would be from the line of David
- Micah 5:2 – Jesus would be born in Bethlehem
- Isaiah 7:14 – Jesus would be born from a virgin
- Isaiah 9:6-7 – A child would be born and the government would be on his shoulders
- Psalm 72:10 – Jesus would be worshipped and given gifts at his birth
- Jeremiah 31:15 – King Herod would murder children in an attempt to kill Jesus
- Hosea 11:1 – Joseph would be warned to take Jesus to Egypt for a time to protect him.
PROPHECIES ON THE LIFE OF JESUS
Jesus could have also pointed the disciples on the road to Emmaus to these passages that spoke to what Jesus’ life looked like. He could have reminded them of the actions he took, the words he spoke, the actions others took around him, and more. Here are prophecies that Jesus fulfilled concerning his life and ministry.
- Psalm 40:6-8 – Jesus would be the perfect sacrifice
- Psalm 78:1-2 – Jesus would teach using parables
- 1 Samuel 2:35 – God would raise up a faithful priest
- 2 Samuel 7:12-13 – Jesus’ Kingdom would be eternal
- Isaiah 6:9-10 – Those who heard Jesus’ parables would not understand
- Isaiah 9:1-2 – The ministry of Jesus would begin in Galilee
- Isaiah 40:3-4 – Jesus’ ministry would be preceded by a voice calling in the desert
- Isaiah 42:1-4 – Jesus’ message of salvation would also extend to the Gentiles
- Isaiah 53:3 – Jesus would be despised and rejected
- Isaiah 61:1 – Jesus would be the anointed on to proclaim good news to the poor
- Zechariah 9:9 – The King would come riding on a donkey
- Zechariah 11:13 – Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver
PROPHECIES ON THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS
The death and resurrection of Jesus are at the foundation of the gospel of Christ. The prophecies that Jesus fulfilled concerning his death and resurrection speak to validate the message he spoke during his years of ministry. These prophecies are one’s that Jesus could have shared with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He would have reminded them of the horrors he faced in his torture, crucifixion, and death. He would have also reminded them of the glorious hope of his resurrection. Here are some of the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled concerning his death and resurrection.
- Exodus 12:21-23 – Jesus would be the Passover Lamb
- Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 – None of Jesus’ bones would be broken
- Leviticus 17:11 – Jesus would die and pour out his blood for the atonement of sins
- Numbers 21:9 – Jesus would be lifted up
- Psalm 16:10 – Jesus would not be abandoned to the dead
- Psalm 22:1 – Jesus would be forsaken
- Psalm 22:8 – Jesus would be mocked
- Psalm 22:15 – Jesus’ mouth would be dry
- Psalm 22:16 – Jesus’ hands and feet would be pierced
- Psalm 22:18 – Lots would be cast for Jesus’ clothes
- Psalm 31:5 – Jesus would commit his spirit to God
- Psalm 68:18 – Jesus would ascend to heaven
- Psalm 69:21 – Jesus’ would be given vinegar for his thirst
Jesus Christ fulfilled so many prophecies concerning his birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. These fulfilled prophecies could not have been manufactured in any way. They could have only been fulfilled by the one who is sovereign over all of creation, God incarnate, Jesus Christ. These fulfilled prophecies help to give trust, hope, security, assurance, faith, encouragement, and joy to all who read and understand them. Let these prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus give you hope and life as you trust in him.