Where does the Old Testament prophesy the coming of Christ?
Many Old Testament scriptures refer to the coming Messiah and have been specifically fulfilled in Jesus. The exact number varies based on how one determines what constitutes a reference, with some scholars counting more than 400. A few of the more obvious predictions are shared here.
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Isaiah 7:14 refers to a child who will be born of a virgin and will be called Immanuel, a name meaning "God with us." The verse reads, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 9:6 likewise predicts: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Micah 5:2 predicted the exact location of the birth of Jesus: "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days." There were two towns called Bethlehem during this time. The foretelling of Bethlehem Ephrathah in Judah is highly significant.
Zechariah 9:9 specifically speaks of the Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a young donkey and being hailed as a king. This took place on what we call Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey the Sunday before His crucifixion (John 12:14-15).
There is a clear prophecy of the clothing of Jesus being given away by casting lots, an ancient game of chance. Psalm 22:16-18 shares, "For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." Matthew 27:35 notes, "And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots."
Isaiah 53 speaks of the suffering servant. Specifically, the verses talk of someone who would be "despised and rejected by men […] he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:3-7). We see the truth of these verses most clearly in the work of the Cross.
Psalm 41:9 predicted, "Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me." Jesus would later be betrayed by Judas Iscariot in this way: "After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.' The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, 'Lord, who is it?' Jesus answered, 'It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.' So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, 'What you are going to do, do quickly.'" (John 13:21-27).
Fulfilling one or two of the hundreds of predictions in the Old Testament could be dismissed as insignificant, but Jesus fulfilled each of the numerous predictions exactly. Jesus and only Jesus is the prophesied Messiah who ultimately proved Himself as the Christ by His resurrection from the dead.
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