Did Yeshua Fulfill the Messianic Expectation as Prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures?
I remember reading some astonishing facts published by mathematician Peter Stoner about the probabilities of any one person fulfilling even a small number of the biblical prophecies concerning the Messiah—they were mind boggling. The chance of one single man fulfilling only 48 Messianic prophecies found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) would be 1 in 10^157*—to understand, that would be like the chance of finding, on the very first attempt, one specific electron out of all of the electrons in all the known mass of the entire universe! *1 followed by 157 zeros.
Yeshua however, fulfilled not just 48 Messianic prophecies—He fulfilled more than 324 individual prophecies that the Prophets wrote concerning the Messiah! Math not being my gift, the first calculation was amazing enough for me. To extrapolate the mathematical probability of the 324 prophecies being fulfilled by any ONE MAN must be a number beyond comprehension for anyone! Although I already “knew that I knew that I knew” that Yeshua was the Messiah of Israel, this little mathematical study was another powerful confirmation.
To the Jewish People, this is more than a matter of random interest. The Messiah has been prophesied in Scripture with great specificity, though sometimes hidden and sometimes allegorical and poetic—beginning with Genesis 3:15 . . .
The following is a list of important Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Yeshua with their corresponding New Testament references:
List of Messianic Prophecies:
1. Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2; fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 7:42; Luke 2:4-7
2. Messiah is to be preceded by a Messenger
Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; fulfilled in Matthew 3:1-3; 11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17
3. Messiah is to enter Jerusalem on a donkey
Zechariah 9:9; fulfilled in Luke 35-37; Matthew 21:6-11
4. Messiah is to be betrayed by a friend
Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14; fulfilled in Matthew 10:4; 26:49-50; John 13:21
5. Messiah is to be sold for 30 pieces of silver
Zechariah 11:12; fulfilled in Matthew 26:15; 27:3
6. The money for which Messiah is sold is to be thrown “to the potter” in God’s house
Zechariah 11:13; fulfilled in Matthew 27:5-7
7. Messiah is to be born of a virgin
Isaiah 7:14; fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-2:1; Luke 1:26-35
8. Messiah is to be hated without cause
Isaiah 49:7; Psalm 69:5; fulfilled in John 15:24-25
9. Messiah is to be silent before His accusers
Isaiah 53:7; fulfilled in Matthew 27:12
10. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion, by having His hands and feet pierced
Psalm 22:16; fulfilled in John 19:28
11. Messiah is to be given vinegar to quench His thirst
Psalm 69:22; fulfilled in Matthew 27:34
12. Messiah is to be executed without having a bone broken
Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:21; fulfilled in John 19:33-36
13. Messiah is to be buried with the rich when dead
Isaiah 53:9; fulfilled in Matthew 27:57-60
14. Messiah is to be raised from the dead
Isaiah 53:9-10; Psalm 2:7; 16:10; fulfilled in Matthew 28:1-20; Acts 2:23-36;13;33-37; 1 Corinthians 11:4-6
15. Messiah is to be executed by crucifixion as a thief
Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 53:5, 12; fulfilled in Luke 23:33; John 20:25; Matthew 27:38; Mark 5:27, 28
In his book, Science Speaks, mathematician Peter Stoner says that by applying the modern science of probability to just eight of these prophecies, “. . . We find that the chance that any man might have lived to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10^17.” That would be one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates:
“ . . . we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man and tell him that he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing just eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote in their own wisdom.”
“Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 10^17 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ [Mashiach]. “This means that the fulfillment of just eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those [eight] prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10^17 of being absolute.”
1Stoner, Peter W. Science Speaks. Chicago: Moody Press, 1963, pp 100-107
Yeshua said to them, “This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah of Moshe, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds, so that they could understand the Tenakh, telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day; and in his name repentance leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to people from all nations, starting with Yerushalyim.” Luke 24:44-47 CJB
Many learned Jewish men and women have come to faith in the last 40 years simply by reading their Tenakh. Some were reading through to equip themselves to dispute a child that had come to believe in Yeshua (Jesus), which was a very shocking and horrifying concept to them. In studying the Messianic prophecies, they found Mashiach! Some, like Sharon Allen, were Orthodox and did not surrender easily to the authority of the Scriptures, but sought the help of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis and Leaders to help her find alternate understandings of the Scriptures to no avail. The authority of the text spoke undeniably for the Messiahship of Yeshua.
Study the prophecies yourself and ponder the mathematical probability of just one person fulfilling even a few of these specific prophecies. Even more importantly, be intellectually honest and open to truth. Pray. Ask the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob if Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel. He will answer you and lead you into all truth.
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