"And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation."
Isaias foreshadowed the virgin birth of Jesus
Isaias 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel."
In Micheas 5:2, there is a prophecy that reveals that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messias. The prophecy is effective in a simple way: It eliminates all other cities and towns throughout the world as a place in which the Messias could be born. It narrows the possibilities to one tiny village just south of Jerusalem. And throughout the span of the past twenty seven centuries, from the days of the prophet Micheas up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known throughout the world. And that person is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament books of St. Matthew and St. Luke name the town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. St. Matthew 2:1-6 describes the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of Micheas' prophecy. In recent years, however, some non-believers have attempted to discredit St. Matthew's interpretation of Micheas 5:2 by claiming that the prophecy refers to a person named Bethlehem, not a town name Bethlehem. This claim has been widely circulated on the Internet by a college professor who describes himself as a former Christian minister.The first problem with this claim appears in Micheas 5:1.
In that verse, the prophet establishes that he is speaking of Bethlehem the town, not Bethlehem the person, by setting up a context in which he contrasts the great city of Jerusalem with the humble town of Bethlehem.
A second problem with the claim is that there is also evidence outside of the Bible that shows that Micheas 5:2 was regarded as a Messianic prophecy involving the town of Bethlehem. Here is an excerpt from the Jerusalem Talmud, which is a collection of Judaism-related writings completed about 1600 years ago:"The King Messias... from where does he come forth? From the royal city of Bethlehem in Juda." - Jerusalem Talmud, Berakoth 5a.
Micheas 5:1-2: "Now shalt thou be laid waste, O daughter of the robber: they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel. AND THOU, BETHLEHEM Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity."
The Messias would come from the tribe of Juda
In Genesis 49:10, Jacob is blessing his 12 sons. This blessing was also a prophecy. Jacob told his son Juda that his descendants would be rulers and that one of his descendants will be an ultimate ruler.
Genesis 49:10: "The sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent, and he shall be the expectation of nations."
Catholics acknowledge that this is a reference to Jesus Christ, whose kingdom will have no end. Jesus was born about 2000 years after Jacob died. Jesus' ancestry is traced back to Jacob's son, Juda, in St. Luke 3:23-34 and in St. Matthew 1:1-16.
In Jeremias 23:5, as well as in other Bible prophecies, we are told that the Messias would be a descendant of King David.The New Testament books of St. Matthew and St. Luke trace back Jesus' genealogy to King David. (Some scholars believe that the genealogy in St. Matthew is Jesus' legal line, through his adoptive father, Joseph, and that the genealogy in St. Luke is Jesus' bloodline through Mary).
Jeremias 23:5: "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."
The Messias would be preceded by a messenger
Isaias 40:1-4, 9: "Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God. Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her: for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins. The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain... Get thee up upon a high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings to Sion: lift up thy voice with strength, thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem: lift it up, fear not. Say to the cities of Juda: Behold your God."
He would perform miracles
Bible prophecy: Isaias 35:4-6
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 27-31 AD
Isaias, who lived about 2700 years ago, prophesied that there would come a time when God would arrive and heal the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, the mobility of the lame, and the voice of the mute.Jesus did each of these things in a spiritual sense, in offering truth and salvation, and in a literal sense by performing miracles of healing.I
Isaias 35:4-6: "Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness."
God promised another prophet like Moses
Bible prophecy: Deuteronomy 18:15-18
Prophecy written: As early as 1400 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC to 31 AD
In Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Moses told the Jews that God would raise up another prophet like Moses. After Moses, there was a succession of prophets, including Isaias, Jeremias and Ezekiel, and finally Jesus Christ. Jesus was very much like Moses. Both were delivered from death as infants. Both were prophets. Both performed miracles. Both were leaders. And both were intermediaries between God and man. Moses offered to die, if necessary, if God would forgive the sins of the people that Moses was leading (see Exodus 32:30-33). Jesus did die for our sins, so that people could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. No other prophet is as much like Moses than Jesus.
Deuteronomy 18:15-18: "The Lord thy God will raise up to thee a PROPHET of thy nation and of thy brethren like unto me: him thou shalt hear: As thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the assembly was gathered together, and saidst: Let me not hear any more the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see any more this exceeding great fire, lest I die. And the Lord said to me: They have spoken all things well. I will raise them up a prophet out of the midst of their brethren like to thee: and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him."
The Messias would enter Jerusalem while riding on an ass
Bible prophecy: Zacharias 9:9
Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Zacharias 9:9, the prophet speaks of a future king presenting himself to Jerusalem while riding on a humble ass. This foreshadowed something that happened about 500 years later. As explained in St. Luke 19:35-37, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a ass and presented himself as the Messias, the King.Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic Jew who lived during the 1800s, studied ancient Rabbinical writings, and said that Zacharias 9:9 was often interpreted as being about a Messias. In his book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messias, Edersheim wrote: "The Messianic application of this verse in all its parts has already been repeatedly indicated. We may here add that there are many traditions about this ass on which the Messias is to ride; and so firm was the belief in it, that, according to the Talmud, 'if anyone saw a donkey in his dreams, he will see salvation' (Ber 56 b)."The name 'Jesus', means 'salvation' in Hebrew.
Zacharias 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Jesus proclaims that He is the Messias
Bible prophecy: St. John 4:19-26
Prophecy written: During the first century
Prophecy fulfilled: Since the time of Jesus
In St. Matthew 5:17, St. John 4:25-26, and in other verses, Jesus proclaims that he was the Messias promised by the Old Testament prophets. Jesus remains the first and only person in history to be taken seriously by people throughout the world as being the Messias that so many of the Bible's prophets had prophesied about.St. John 4:19 The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say, that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. 21 Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me, that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, not in Jerusalem, adore the Father. 22 You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. 24 God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith to him: I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ). Therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith to her: I am he, who am speaking with thee.
There would be a son called God
Bible prophecy: Isaias 9:6-7
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Isaias 9:6-7, which was written about 700 years before the time of Jesus, the prophet Isaias speaks of a son who would be called "Mighty God" and "Eternal Father." Isaias also indicates that this son would reign on the throne of King David and that this reign would be everlasting. King David is the great, God-obeying king who reigned from about 1050 BC to about 1010 BC. God had promised King David that the reign from David's throne would be everlasting. Christians acknowledge that this promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is a descendant of King David, and whose reign is everlasting. Today, the teachings of Jesus govern the lives of as many as an estimated 2 billion Christians worldwide. The New Testament also says that Jesus will return in the future and that his kingdom will have no end.
Isaias 9:6-7: "For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
The Messias would be rejected
Bible prophecy: Isaias 53:1-3
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
Isaias the prophet foreshadowed the life and mission of Jesus, who was born about 700 years later. In Isaias 53:3, the prophet said that a servant of God would be rejected and despised. Jesus was indeed rejected by many people living in the land of Israel, and He was later crucified by the Romans, at the insistence of the Pharisees. It has been claimed by some commentators that Isaias actually refers to Israel as a nation and not to an individual Messias. But, there are several commentaries written by rabbis that confirm that the prophecy refers to a Messias and not to a nation. Several examples of these writings are listed in the book, The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaias According to the Jewish Interpreters, edited by S.R. Driver and A.D. Neubauer. Here is an example from that book: "Our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messias, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view." - Rabbi Moshe Alshekh, 16th century.
Isaias 53:1: "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2 And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him: 3 Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not."
Daniel predicted when Christ would be rejected
Bible prophecy: Daniel 9:24-26
Prophecy written: About 530 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
The prophet Daniel was Jewish exile who lived during the time of the Babylonian Captivity, about 500 years before the birth of Jesus. During Daniel's lifetime, the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and had taken many Jews as captives to Babylon. Daniel, while in Babylon, delivered a prophecy of what would happen during the centuries that followed. Here is our summary of Daniel 9:24-26:1. There would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.2. Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt.3. Then an anointed one (Messias) would be "cut off" (an idiom for "rejected" or "killed").4. Then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed again.All of these events later happened, in the same order in which they are described in Daniel 9:24-26:1. After the Medo-Persians had conquered the neo-Babylonian empire about 2500 years ago, they ruled a vast empire that included the land of Israel. About 2400 years ago (about 445 BC), Persian king Artaxerxes gave permission to the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem, which was still in ruins after having been destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.2. The Jews rebuilt the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.3. Then, about 2000 years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messias who had been promised by Old Testament prophets. But, many people rejected Jesus as the Messias and he was crucified by the Romans.4. About 40 years after Jesus was crucified, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. (The Temple has not been rebuilt since then).
Daniel 9:24: "Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the saint of saints may be anointed. Know thou therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straightness of times. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation."
Zacharias foreshadowed the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver
Bible prophecy: Zacharias 11:12-13
Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD
In Zacharias 11:4-17, the prophet speaks of a payment involving 30 pieces of silver and of a good shepherd whose service is brought to an end. This foreshadows an event that happened to Jesus about 500 years later. As explained in St. Matthew 26:15, Judas was paid 30 silver coins for his betrayal of Jesus. Judas told the Romans when and where they could arrest Jesus without being surrounded by a large crowd of Jesus' followers. As explained in St. Matthew 27:5-7, Judas later tossed the money into the Temple (the house of the Lord) and the money was used to buy a potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.
Zacharias 11:12-13: "And I said to them: If it be good in your eyes, bring hither my wages: and if not, be quiet. And they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me: Cast it to the statuary [the Hebrew word also signifies a potter], a handsome price, that I was prized at by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and I cast them into the house of the Lord to the statuary."
Jesus was spat upon and beaten
Bible prophecy: Isaias 50:6
In Isaias 50:6, the prophet writes about a servant of God who endures abuse at the hands of sinful people. This servant offers his back to those who beat him, his face to those who rip out his beard, and himself to those who mock and taunt him. Christians historically have acknowledged this Old Testament prophecy as being fulfilled by Jesus Christ, who lived about 700 years after Isaias. Jesus, as explained in the New Testament, was beaten, mocked and taunted shortly before his crucifixion by the Romans. In St. Matthew 26:67, for example, it says: Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him: and others struck his face with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?
God's servant would be silent before his accusers
In the book of Isaias, chapter 53, Isaias the prophet wrote about a servant of God. Many people believe that this was a prophecy about the life of Jesus Christ, who lived after the time of Isaias. In Isaias 53:7, the prophet said that the servant would be afflicted and accused, and that he would remain silent like a lamb being led to slaughter. As explained in St. Matthew 27:12-14, which was recorded about 700 years after the time of Isaias, this is what happened to Jesus. He was falsely accused but remained silent and did not protest the accusations. Jesus was crucified by the Romans a short time later.
Isaias 53:7: "He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth."
God's servant would die for our sins
In Isaias 53:4-6, prophet described a servant as being punished for the sins of others, and that others would be healed by the wounds of this person. As explained in the New Testament - such as in the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John - Jesus was crucified for our sins, and he was sinless.
Isaias 53:4: "Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Zacharias foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus
In the Old Testament book of Zacharias, chapter 12, the Bible said that there would be a time when people in Jerusalem would lament over the one who was 'pierced', as one mourns for the loss of a first-born son. (First-born sons were often viewed as the main inheritors of a family's legacy).
The Talmud, which offers Judaism-related corrupt commentary about various Old Testament passages, makes a surprisingly Christian-like assessment of the prophecy found in the book of Zacharias:"What is the cause of the mourning (Zacharias 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messias, the son of Joseph, as it is written, 'And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.'" -Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a.
God's servant would be 'numbered with the transgressors'
God's servant would be buried in a rich man's tomb
Isaias 53:9: "And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth."
One of the unique qualities about Jesus Christ as a religious figure is that he prophesied his own death and resurrection. One example is found in St. Matthew 20:17-19. Each of the four Gospels of the New Testament, which were written by his followers and contemporaries, testify that Jesus was resurrected.
Jesus founded His Church on St. Peter,
and it would withstand the gates of hell
In St. Matthew 16:17-18, Jesus told the Apostle St. Peter (Simon) that he would be the rock - the foundation - on which Jesus would build his Church, and that the Church would not be conquered or wiped out by heretics (as expressed by the phrase "gates of hell,"). Within a few decades after the crucifixion of Jesus, St. Peter was able to see firsthand that the early Christians would endure great persecution. The church endured persecution for about three centuries within the Roman Empire, which did not legally recognize Christianity. But the church survived - and thrived - during the days of the Roman Empire, even though the empire itself disintegrated. Of all the religions that ever existed within the Roman Empire, it was the Roman Catholic Church that flourished to become the first religion to spread worldwide.
St. Matthew 16:17-19: "And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
This Bible prophecy, and a few others as well, allude to King David's descendants having an eternal hold on the throne of Israel.
2 Kings 7:16: "And thy house shall be faithful, and thy kingdom for ever before thy face, and thy throne shall be firm for ever."
The Great Commission, and its fulfillment
During the first century of this era, there were evangelists who claimed to be eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus. These people, including St. Paul, and the Apostles, were willing to risk their lives and travel throughout the Roman world, by land and by sea, to evangelize a religion that wasn't legally recognized by the Roman government. They helped spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, and throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. From there, it spread throughout the rest of the world.
St. Matthew 28:16-20: "And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
God's salvation would reach the ends of the earth
In Isaias 49:6, the prophet speaks of a servant of God who would be a light to Gentiles (non-Jews) so that God's salvation could reach the ends of the earth. Christians acknowledge that Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise. The followers of Jesus helped spread Christianity about 2000 years ago. Christianity is unique in how it was spread - through evangelism - and to the extent to which it was spread, becoming the first to be taken to people all over the world.
Isaias 49:6: "And he said: It is a small thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold, I have given thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayst be my salvation even to the farthest part of the earth."
The Bible, which has proven itself to be of divine origin by showing the things that are to come before they yet spring forth, points out the way to eternal life, and that is the Holy Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. It is necessary to become a member of this Church.