Impossibilities

When we read the New Testament narrative of Jesus, we are struck by the impossibility of this story. There are many aspects of Jesus life and ministry that were not expected by Israel, nor the world: The idea that God would visit the earth in the form of human being. The thought that the natural laws of the universe could be suspended by the voice of a man. How could anyone speak to a raging sea and calm it?[1] The possibility that a person could shout to a tomb and command the dead to return to life.[2] It’s a good thing that Jesus said the name of Lazarus when He commanded Him to rise; otherwise the dead from all over the planet would have risen.

These accounts are not mere myth or allegory; these are the stories from where truth originates.

The idea that the coming Messiah would suffer and die for the sins of the world, was an impossibility in the mind of the Jew. The Savior that they were anticipating, would conquer the Roman government and set all Israel free to be a strong and sovereign nation once again. The problem with this Jewish concept of a conquering Messiah is that the ancient scriptures of the Hebrew prophets did not describe the first arrival of the Messiah in this manner. Isaiah wrote that the leadership of Israel would see Him “stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.” Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would suffer and die.

This fact of Jesus’ death, was an insurmountable obstacle for the Pharisees. They did not believe that He was the Messiah because He was not a conquering king. If a writer was seeking to contrive a story that would draw a vast number of people into a new religion, this would not be that story. The descriptions and accounts of Jesus of Nazareth were not attractive to the Jews, nor were they desirable to the world.

Heroes and conquerors are the basis of every successful novel. The four gospels are the account of a poor man with no home or possessions. He is hated from the moment of His birth. Although His mother claims that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, she is scandalized by the insinuation that the child she carries, came as the result of an adulterous affair.

Every confrontation that Jesus had with the leaders of Israel infuriated them. Jesus condemned the religious activities of the entire institution of the Sanhedrin. He stood in opposition to the manner in which they observed the Sabbath. He condemned the men who were responsible for the laws of Israel as a “brood of vipers.” Jesus described an end to all the sacrifices of the old system. He claimed that His arrival and ministry would fulfill every law of Moses and all the prophecies written for the Messiah.[3]

When Jesus was arrested, and charged with crimes that condemned Him to death by crucifixion, all of His followers scattered. The men who claimed that they would die for Jesus, now publicly declared that they never knew Him. He was placed in a borrowed tomb, left for dead and thought to be a heretic and disrupter of the peace.

This is not a story that would start a new religion. This was not an account that would attract the world. The primary character was hated and rejected by a majority of people, and then executed.

These accounts, by their extraordinary descriptions, lend themselves to the credibility of their content. The narrative of Jesus Christ is so exceptional that no other account in the history of the world can match it. It is for this reason that it has survived scrutiny and criticism for over 2,000 years and remains the Greatest Story Every Told.

Finally, everything that Jesus said and did while He was here on earth, was predicted by the ancient Hebrew prophets. Those who assert that the New Testament accounts of Jesus are a myth; that such a man never existed, make these statements—uniformed. The story of Jesus did not start at Bethlehem; it began more than 6,000 years ago in the first book of the Bible. Genesis, chapter 3, describes the sin of Adam and his fall. Immediately after this took place, God quickly stepped in and promised a Savior who would redeem the errors of Adam. The first prophecy of the Bible is a promise from God to send a Messiah, a Redeemer, who would repair that damage done by Adam’s sin.

The entire purpose of the Old Testament is to follow one story, whereby God is bringing a single line of descendants into the world that will lead to the Savior that He promised. Alongside the stories of men and women who represent the qualities and attributes that this coming Savior will exhibit, there are unique men who wrote specific and detailed prophecies that describe what the Savior will do and what He will say. There are, in excess of some 400 of these prophecies, written over a period of 6,000 years, which Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament.

If the New Testament narrative of Jesus is a myth then why do we find that these 400 prophecies, dating as far back as 4,000 years before Jesus was born, find their perfect and complete fulfillment in Jesus life, death, and resurrection?

In order to believe that the accounts of Jesus are impossible and never happened, we would also have to concede that all the prophecies of the Hebrews—which described these very events, are also lies. The problem with this conclusion is that the evidence presented to us, leads the reader to believe the opposite. This book presents evidence that proves that Jesus fulfilled every one of the Prophecies that were written specifically for the Messiah.

In order to believe that the entire Bible is a lie, we would have to ignore the fact that many prophecies of the Bible, predicted the four major world empires that are recorded in history, long before they existed. We would need to forget that literary historians and archeological scholars have found that the accounts of the Bible are incredibly accurate in every description they have recorded. We would need to disregard the fact that Jesus fulfilled every prophecy written of the Messiah, with precision.

The manner in which Jesus presented Himself, was not the traditional way that men would seek to influence people and win over their enemies.

If the writers of the New Testament wanted to create a religion that the world would follow, they first must persuade the leaders of Israel. When Jesus confronts the Pharisees, we see just the opposite. Jesus intentionally stood in opposition to the things that these men had said, claiming that His authority was greater.[4] Jesus said that He and God were one and the same. In response to this declaration, the leaders of Israel picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy. The leaders of Israel viewed Jesus of Nazareth as an ordinary man, while He claimed to be the eternal God.[5]

This theme of impossible circumstances is repeated throughout this book. It is because of the extraordinary life that Jesus presented to the world, that we must examine Him.


In this section of the chapter: “Impossibilities,” we will examine a few of the extraordinary circumstances of Jesus story. What we find is that the entire purpose of His presence here on earth, was to show us things that we have never seen before in the chronicles of mankind.

If God exists, and He desires that we might know Him, it is logical that He would present us with facts and circumstances about Himself that are incomparable and unprecedented. This is precisely what we find.

First, we will examine some of the evidence that will help in identifying who Jesus really is. The Pharisees were quite intrigued by Jesus. They detested His opposition to their authority, while they admired and stood in awe of the words that He spoke. In their mind, Jesus exhibited characteristics that were unique amongst any other man they had seen before.

It is possible that some of the Pharisees may have wanted to test Jesus and see if He really was the Messiah. A few of these men may have believed that by placing Jesus on the cross, this would give Him an opportunity to prove His identity. We see this possibility alluded to by the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of Israel, in Matthew chapter 27:42

…If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross…

These leaders of Israel did not believe that Isaiah’s prophecies in chapter 53 were applicable to Jesus. For this reason they incorrectly identified Him and caused His death. Unknown at that time, they themselves were fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah; to turn the Messiah over to be crucified.

… Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4c

Fulfilled by Jesus

Matthew 27:39-43 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”

Relevance:

On the afternoon that Jesus was crucified, there were two criminals on either side of Him, who were also dying. These men had made such a mess of their lives, that they were about to pay for their crimes. This was not true of Jesus. The testimony of all those who had known Him intimately for many years is that He had never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15 (Paul) For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

1 Peter 1:19 (Peter) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

There is not a single reference in the Bible where Jesus is said to have committed a sin. When Pilate came face to face with Jesus, his observation and judgment was: I find no fault in Him.

Luke 23:4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

In order for anyone to accuse Jesus of sin, their accusations would have to be contrived. It is said that when the Jews were seeking to convict Jesus of crimes serious enough to put Him to death, they went looking for false testimony of His guilt.

Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

In order to place blame on Jesus which would necessitate His death, people had to lie about Him.

Many of those who observed the accusations against Jesus, believed Him to be guilty, by the false testimony of those who sought His death. They were led to believe that Jesus had committed crimes worthy of death because the religious leaders of Israel had said that He was guilty. Today, people make the same fatal error in their evaluation of Jesus. They accept the testimony of others about who Jesus is, rather than doing the important work of investigation for themselves.

Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah would be put to death, those who observed His punishment would believe that He was being punished by God for His own evil deeds.

…Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

Let us consider the impossibility of this prophecy.

First, that the Messiah would be accused of sin and put to death was an unthinkable consideration for most Jews of that day. According to the Hebrew scriptures, the Messiah would be without sin: Genesis 3:15, Exodus 12:3-5, Isaiah 7:14.

Second, He would be the Eternal God who made the heavens and the earth. Since God is eternal, it is impossible that He could die; therefore, the Messiah could not die.

These were two points of stumbling for the Jews concerning Jesus at the time that He arrived in Jerusalem, and they are still insurmountable problems for the Jews today.

First, that He claimed to be God.
Second, if He is God, then how could He die?

Many Jews today reject Jesus as the Messiah because He was put to death for crimes which He was convicted of by the Sanhedrin of Israel. Equally important in the mind of the Jew of today is the fact that—if Jesus was truly the promised Messiah, how is it that He could die; for the scriptures describe Messiah as living forever? Still, others reject Jesus because they do not believe that the Messiah will be God at all, but simply a normal human being who has been sent by God.

The facts are: the Hebrew scriptures teach both: The Messiah will be God, and the Messiah will be put to death.

It is true that God cannot die because He is eternal. What is not often considered is that God will be dwelling in the body of a man as He comes to earth as the Messiah. When the Messiah dies, it will be the body of a man that will perish, not the eternal Spirit of God. When the Messiah is raised from the dead on the third day, He will live in the resurrected body of a man forever. It was the power of the Eternal Spirit of God that had been dwelling within the body of Jesus, which raised His human body back to life and gave Him the right to defeat death, forever.

Out of eternity

Nearly 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah wrote that the Messiah would come out of eternity as God and be born as a human being, in Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2a “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

Notice the specifics of this prophecy:

1. Context; Messiah will be the ruler of Israel.
2. He will be Born in Bethlehem
3. He had already existed in eternity (everlasting).

Matthew writes the fulfillment of this prediction of Micah, stating that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, during the days of Herod.

Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

Joseph and Mary live in Jerusalem, not Bethlehem

Consider the difficulty of this prophecy. In order to place Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem so that Jesus could fulfill Micah’s prophecy, God ordained a worldwide census by the Roman government. Joseph was required to go back to the place of his ancestors’ birth to register for this census. While in Bethlehem, Jesus would be born, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2:

“…Yet out of you Bethlehem shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel…”

Luke records this event in chapter 2 of his gospel:

Luke 2:1-5 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

So that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, all the citizens of the Roman empire were required to obey God’s will. The Lord moved Caesar Agustus to order the census, showing His great power over all kings and governments. Throughout the Bible, we see many examples where the Lord is described as able to move people where He wants them to go and place into their hearts, a desire to do His will.[6]

Resurrected from the dead

Jesus said that He would be Resurrected three days after His death.

John 2:18-22 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

A fact which is indisputable regarding the life of Jesus Christ is that—He rose again three days after He was crucified.

Everything that Jesus said and did was for the express purpose of fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies that describe the Messiah. When Jesus began His public ministry, He knew that He was going to be crucified for the sins of the world, and three days later, He would rise from the dead. Jesus told the leaders in Israel that this would happen so that once He had risen, they would remember that He had predicted His own resurrection.

One of the stunning proofs for Jesus as the Messiah is His ability to predict future events, like the prophet Moses. The most important event that He foretold was His resurrection from the dead, on the third day, according to the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

After Jesus was raised from the dead, those who had heard Him predict His resurrection, recalled that He had spoken these words. The four Gospels are the written testimony of the events and the words of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament. The purpose of the four Gospels is to display a public record that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies described in this book.

Forty times, in the four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, state that Jesus was fulfilling a prophecy from the Old Testament.[7]

Matthew 27:62-63 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ ”

True to His word, exactly three days later, Jesus rose on the first day of the week, after the Sabbath.

Matthew 28:1-6 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

The impossibilities of prophecy

The men who wrote the text of the Bible, did not understand this principle when they penned the Old Testament. They recorded the words that they were instructed to write and quite often, they themselves, did not know what they meant.

This salvation was something the prophets wanted to know more about. They prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you, even though they had many questions as to what it all could mean. They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They wondered when and to whom all this would happen. 1 Peter 1:10-12 (NLT 1986)

Both Matthew and Luke record the statements of Jesus which affirm that He spoke certain predictions during the period of His ministry. If Jesus had said things which did not occur, He would not only be classified as a “false prophet,” and should be ignored; none of the words that He said during His time here on earth could be relied upon.

The following are the fourteen predictions that Jesus spoke while He was present on the earth—which have all been fulfilled. The testimony that Jesus spoke all of these things, before the events took place, is confirmed to by those who describe their fulfillments in the New Testament.

Prediction 1: The words of Jesus would last forever, an attribute that can be ascribed only to God.

Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

For Jesus to utter these words before those who heard Him, it is certain that He intended they understand that He was claiming to be the Eternal God. Jesus was not simply saying that the words that He was speaking would be talked about forever. He was stating that every word He spoke about future events would come to pass exactly as all of the other prophecies which are spoken in the Old Testament would come to pass. In essence, Jesus was asserting that His words were equal to the words of God and would not fail. In fulfillment of His prophecies, not a single word that Jesus spoke has failed to be fulfilled precisely as He said.

Prediction 2: Mary of Bethany and her great act of Love

Matthew 26:11-13 “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

The event that Jesus is describing was Mary of Bethany, anointing His feet with costly aromatic oil.

Jesus predicted that because of this incredible act of love that Mary bestowed upon Him, wherever the Good News of Jesus Christ is spoken, people all over the world will hear what Mary has done. The fact that this event has been recorded in the narrative of the New Testament and you are reading it today, is a testimony to the truth of what Jesus said.

Prediction 3: Jesus will be betrayed by one of His closest friends.

Matthew 26:21-25 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?” He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

Although Judas was one of Jesus’ closest friends and had the opportunity to know Him, intimately and who He really is, Judas chose to betray the Lord. The fact that Jesus knew that Judas’ would betray Him before it happened, as well as the precise details for how this would take place, is truly amazing. At the last supper, in the upper room where the disciples had gathered to have a night of fellowship with Jesus, the place of honor at Jesus’ right hand was given to Judas. Even at the very end of His ministry, Jesus was reaching out to Judas to love Him and persuade Him by His gentle grace, to not do what was in his heart. Jesus’ efforts to rescue Judas from himself were not successful. Not because the Lord could not save Judas, but because Judas was not willing.

Luke 22:47-48 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Prediction 4: On the night that Jesus would be arrested, all His disciples will abandon Him.

Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ ”

This prophecy was fulfilled immediately after the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane, on the night before He was crucified. This event so traumatized the disciples that they scattered and were in great fear of their lives.

The incident that Jesus speaks of was fulfilled in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 26:56.

Matthew 26:56 “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

The prophecy that Jesus is quoting from in the Old Testament is detailed in the chapter: Strike the Shepherd.

Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.”

Prediction 5: Peter will deny three times that he knows Jesus.

Matthew 26:33-34 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Peter sincerely believed that he really loved Jesus with all of his heart. He felt that even under the most difficult of circumstances, he would remain faithful to his Lord. When the moment of testing arrived, Peter failed miserably, and he immediately felt the sting of personal disappointment that we all feel when we deny the Lord in our life.

Jesus did not inform Peter in advance of his denial to discourage or disparage him. Jesus wanted Peter to understand that what we often confess with our mouths is not always lived out in our lives. Our sincerity is often hindered by our fears, insecurities, and inability to do what we say we are going to do.

When Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, He was putting His reputation as a prophet on public display. If what Jesus predicted did not come to pass, He would be forever labeled as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22), making it impossible that He could be the promised Messiah. The facts remain that Jesus knew exactly what He was saying, and the reality of those words rang true in Peter’s ears the very moment he realized that he had done precisely what Jesus had predicted.

Matthew 26:69-75 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Luke records the intimate details of that moment when Peter realized that Jesus knew, beforehand, what would happen. Incredibly, Jesus told Peter that He would deny Him, not once, but on three separate occasions.

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Prediction 6: Jesus prophesied that the elders and chief priests would cause Him to suffer many things, kill Him and that He would be raised on the third day.

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Long before Jesus was born in Bethlehem as a tiny baby, He walked the halls of heaven and ruled the universe with absolute power and authority. When He came to earth and began His public ministry at the age of thirty, He was following a carefully scripted plan for His life that was prepared for Him before the foundation of the earth.

The reason that Jesus told His disciples that He would go back to Jerusalem and be arrested, beaten and crucified, was so that after these things happened, they would remember that the Lord had predicted each event. More importantly, these men would record the fulfillment of what Jesus had predicted and tell this story to all of us, as they are written in the record of the New Testament. The fact that Jesus knew what would happen and was able to tell us before the events took place, is a sure confirmation of His claim to be God and the fact that He is the promised Messiah.

Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. (NIV)

Mark 16:6 And he said to them, Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (ESV)

Prediction 7: Jesus tells His disciples that He will be killed at Jerusalem.

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Knowing what He was going to suffer, before the events took place, it is hard to imagine how Jesus was able to allow evil men to torture Him in the manner that they did. At no time was anyone in control of the events of Jesus’ death other than He. Jesus boldly declared that He had the power to lay His life down, and He had the power to take it back again in Resurrection.

John 10:18 “No one takes (MY life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

The Lord intentionally chose crucifixion as the way that the Messiah would die. It was because of crucifixion’s visual horror that Jesus chose this method, as He gave His life before the whole world. It is apparent that God wanted to display His great wrath against sin, as well as the tremendous cost that was involved to make eternal life possible. If our sins were of no great consequence, it is for certain that the Father would never have allowed His only Son to die by such graphic and horrific means. Today, when a man is convicted of a capital crime, He may be put to death by lethal injection. The condemned simply falls asleep peacefully and never wakes again. Jesus was dying for the sins of the whole world; therefore, His death had to be a visually-vicious method that would fully impact us as to the seriousness of our sins and the great cost that was necessary to remove those sins.

See the chapter: Crucified

Jesus told His disciples that He would go up to Jerusalem; and while there, He would suffer many things…and be killed. Everything that Jesus said came to pass exactly as He predicted.

Luke 23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary (at Jerusalem), there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

Prediction 8: Jesus predicted that He would die by Crucifixion.

Matthew 26:1-2 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

When God predicts a future event in the Old Testament, He does so with precision and accuracy. In John Chapter 10, Jesus repeatedly makes the claim that He is God, and that the words He speaks are the words of the Living God (John 20:29, 10:30, 33).

It should therefore come as no surprise that when we observe Jesus speaking of a future event which describes His own death, we find that He fulfilled each one of His predictions exactly as God has fulfilled His word throughout history. Jesus knew that He was going to die by crucifixion, and there are at least three Old Testament prophecies that confirm this.

Deuteronomy 21:23
Psalm 22:16
Zechariah 12:10

Many, many, other Old Testament prophecies speak of the death of the Messiah. Within these descriptions of His death, it can be understood that the form of execution described by these prophecies—will be by Crucifixion.

Mark 15:25-27 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.

Prediction 9: Jesus said that He would die on Passover.

Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Passover was the first of seven feasts that Israel was to observe. During this feast, the participants remembered the time in their history, when God passed over their sins because they had placed the blood of a Lamb on the doorposts of their home. Jesus became the Passover Lamb by dying on the exact day that Passover was observed. His blood, when placed on the door of our heart, causes the judgement of God for our sins to pass over us and declare us not guilty.

Jesus died during Passover on purpose. He was fulfilling the type and meaning of this feast that God had established in the Old Testament. Jesus continued to fulfill the feasts of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost, also on the specific days, and in the precise ways, that each of these feasts should be fulfilled.

For more information, please see the chapter: The Seven Feasts

John 19:14-16 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

Prediction 10: Jesus said that He would be Resurrected three days after His death.

John 2:18-22 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

A fact that is indisputable regarding the life of Jesus Christ is that He rose again three days after He was crucified.[8] See also, the chapter: Key Points

Everything that Jesus said and did was for the express purpose of fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.[9] When Jesus began His public ministry, He knew that He was going to be crucified for the sins of the world and that three days later, He would raise Himself from the dead. Jesus told the Jews that this would take place so that once He had risen, they would remember that He had predicted that this would happen.

One of the stunning proofs for Jesus as the Messiah, is the certainty that He is a “Prophet like Moses.” Jesus has the ability to predict future events. The events that He foretold are the direct fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures which state that the Messiah would rise from the dead on the third day. See the chapter: The Resurrection

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

After Jesus rose from the dead, those who had heard Him predict His resurrection, recalled that He had said these things before He was arrested and crucified. The written testimony of the words that Jesus spoke are recorded for us in the New Testament. The purpose of the four Gospels is to display a public record of the events in the Life of Jesus Christ that took place after He fulfilled His prophecy to raise Himself from the dead, just as the Hebrew scriptures had predicted.

Even the scribes and Pharisees who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, heard Him predict His resurrection.

Matthew 27:62-63 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ ”
True to His word, exactly three days later, Jesus rose on the first day of the week after the Sabbath.

Matthew 28:1-6 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Prediction 11: The Coming Of The Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. The Bible teaches that the Living God, is One God—who has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For a detailed study on this subject, see the chapter: A Trinity

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to all human beings who Jesus Christ is and the purpose for His coming into the world. Once Jesus took the body of a man, He could no longer be everywhere present at the same time, as long as He remained on earth in the form of a man. It was the task of the Holy Spirit to continue the work that Jesus began, after He returned to Heaven.

Jesus told the disciples to “wait” for this promise of the Holy Spirit, at Jerusalem.

Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The coming of the Holy Spirit marked the birth and beginning of Jesus’ church. This event and the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy of the Holy Spirit, are recorded for us in the Book of Acts.

Acts 2:1-4 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Prediction 12: Jesus predicts the encirclement of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. These events would happen within one generation of those who heard this prophecy.

Luke 19:43-44 “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Matthew 24:34 “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”

The context of Jesus’ revelation of Jerusalem’s destruction, to the disciples—in Luke 19:29-21:24, is spoken directly after Palm Sunday, 32 A.D. Jesus is describing the judgment that will come upon Israel for her rejection of Him as the Messiah. The fulfillment of this prophecy occurred within one 40-year generation, in 70 A.D.[10] Titus brought his army against Jerusalem, sacked the city and destroyed the Temple, burning it to the ground. Literally, not one stone was left upon another, just as Jesus had predicted.

Matthew Chapter 24 is essentially the same account that Luke records, as Jesus is seen at the Temple with the disciples when He tells them that not one stone shall be left upon another. This occurred during Titus’ siege of Jerusalem, just as Jesus had predicted.

Matthew 24:1-2 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Prediction 13: During the taking of Jerusalem, the Jews will be scattered over the face of the earth.

Luke 21:24 And they (those in Jerusalem and Judea, vs 20-21) will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Jewish historian, Josephus, describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the murder of 1.1 million Jews, as well as another 97,000 Jews who were taken as captives of war. Thousands of other citizens of Jerusalem were sold as slaves, with many more being dispersed all over the world. This entire event is recorded by Josephus in the “Book of Wars,” Book 5, Chapter 22, Sections 1-3.*[11]

Authors note: The recording of events from 70 A.D. By a non-biblical source, by Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, is a substantial source of authentication for the New Testament accounts—concerning the predictions of Jesus.

Jesus warned His disciples ahead of time to flee Jerusalem before the siege began in 66 A.D. He told them to watch for this sign:

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled… There will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24).

How the first siege of Jerusalem began in 66 A.D.

Flavius Josephus writes that the entire difficulty began at Caesarea in 66 B.C., when local Greek citizens set about offering birds as sacrifices in front of a local synagogue.[12] Though the Jewish authorities protested vehemently, the Roman army garrison located nearby did nothing to stop the Greeks. One of the clerks from the Jewish Temple, Eliezar ben Hanania, ordered the cessation of normal prayers and sacrifices that had been conducted for the Roman emperor at the Jewish Temple. In response, the Romans dispatched troops under order from the Roman governor, Gessius Florus, to seize 17 talents of gold from the Temple treasury of the Jews—claiming that the gold was for the Emperor. As the local population of Jews learned of the stolen gold from their beloved Temple treasury, in an effort to ridicule the Roman governor in his alleged poverty, the people began to pass around a woven basket to take up a collection for Gessius Florus.[13] This open contempt of his authority, caused Florus to dispatch soldiers to Jerusalem on the following day, to arrest many of the leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem. Several men were scourged and crucified according to the accounts written by Josephus. [14]

This atrocity against the Jews resulted in many Jewish soldiers from Judea—launching an attack against the Roman Garrison in Jerusalem.

An officer of the Roman army, Cestius Gallus, gathered an assembly of troops from the Syrian legion of 12th Fulminata, for a total of 30,000 soldiers, to suppress the uprising of the Jews. When Gallus reached Cesarea and Jaffa, according to Josephus, he murdered 8,400 Jews.[15]

This conflict between the Jews and the Roman authority, continued to escalate until 70 A. D., when the entire city of Jerusalem and the Temple itself were destroyed.

Those who believed Jesus’ Prophecy escaped

The Jews who had believed in Jesus as their Messiah, evacuated Jerusalem after its first siege in 66 A.D., ahead of the final Roman siege in 70 A.D. Just as Jesus had predicted, there was a massive slaughter of those who remained in Jerusalem and did not believe the words of His prophecy. [16]

The Roman army general, Titus, who later became the Emperor of the Roman Empire, came with his second in command, Tiberius Julius Alexander. Titus brought his army to the western side of Jerusalem: three legions of soldier from 5th Macedonica, 12th Fulminata, and 15th Apollinaris. On the east side of Jerusalem, Titus brought 10th Fretenis, near the Mount of Olives.[17]

The strategy of Titus was simple: cut off the food and water supplies to Jerusalem and starve the people into submission.

Many people died of starvation during this siege of Titus, as the food supplies of the Jews inside the city of Jerusalem were depleted. Some people resorted to eating the flesh of their dead in order to survive. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 11:9, “Let those that are left eat each other’s flesh.”

During Passover, Titus allowed the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for worship, to enter the city to celebrate Passover, but then refused to allow them to depart. A few attacks by the Jews on the Roman soldiers killed some of Titus’ men. In an insightful move by Titus, he dispatched his men to bring the Jewish historian Josephus, back to Jerusalem in order to convince the Jews to surrender peacefully. Instead, the Jews put an arrow into Josephus, viewing him as a traitor for seeking the surrender of Jerusalem to the Romans.[18]

In one of the attacks by the Jews, Titus was nearly killed.

About the middle of May, 70 A.D., Titus ordered the construction of a siege wall all around the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the newly built third wall with a battering ram. The Antonia Fortress of Herod was taken just north of the Temple Mount. As fighting ensued inside Jerusalem, the Jews were forced into the Temple, as a second attempt at negotiating a cease fire failed.[19]

One of the Roman soldiers threw a burning spear into the wall of the Temple, setting it on fire. Titus did not plan to destroy the temple, but we should remember that Jesus had predicted that “not one stone would be left upon another,” when He pronounced judgement on the Jews for their rejection of Him as the Messiah. Titus had planned to take the Temple and turn it into a Roman temple, dedicated to the Roman emperor. Instead, the fire spread throughout the Temple building and quickly destroyed the entire structure.[20]

According to 2 Chronicles, 3:8, the gold that lined the entire inner room of the Holy of Holies was about 23 tons. At $1,500.00 per ounce (2013), this would place the value of the gold inside the Holy place at 1 Billion, 104 million dollars.[21]

As the fire accelerated into an intense heat, the Priests trapped inside the Holy Place were burned alive. The gold that lined the entire inner room of the Holy Place melted and ran into the cracks of the foundation stones. In their greed, the Roman soldiers, seeing the melted gold now cooled and laying between the stones of the temple, pried up one stone after another until the Temple was obliterated. In this way, the literal words of Jesus that not one stone shall be left upon another, was fulfilled.

On “Tisha B’Av, August 9th of 70 A.D., the Temple was destroyed. By September 7th, 70 A.D., Jerusalem was completely under control of the Romans. In a certain act of divine providence, the first temple was also destroyed by the Babylonians on the same day as the second Temple, August 9th of 586 B.C.[22]

Although this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., by the Roman siege on Jerusalem and the burning of the temple, there appears to also be a later fulfillment of this same prophecy. During the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation, the antichrist will come against Jerusalem to destroy the Jews, and they will also flee the city for what will certainly be—the rock city of Petra in Jordan.

Prediction 14: From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the land of Israel will be ruled and overrun by the Gentiles.

“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

Jesus warned the citizens of Israel that their denial of Him as their Messiah would leave their land desolate. Titus’ siege upon Jerusalem did in fact leave the city in ruins and allowed for the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Jesus said, this all happened because you did not know the time of your visitation (Luke 19:44).

Jesus’ prediction that Jerusalem would be trampled by the Gentiles, was literally fulfilled at the seizing of Jerusalem by Titus, just as Jesus had said.

Since 70 A.D., Jerusalem has continually remained under Gentile domination—for almost 2,000 years. Not until 1967 did the Jews once again gain authority over Jerusalem. The complete rulership of all the land that God originally gave Israel will not occur until after the Rapture of the church takes place, and the end of the seven-year Tribulation. The Arrival of Jesus to the earth, a second time—with His church, will end the times of the Gentiles.[23]

Antiquity proves that Jesus is a true Prophet of God

The facts of history do not lie. Every event that Jesus described in detail—came to pass precisely as He said they would. These fourteen prophecies and their fulfillments leave us with sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus is a Prophet like Moses.

Acts 3:22-26 For Moses truly said to the fathers, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.”

These are but a few of the hundreds of impossible circumstances that are presented in this book, describing Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This publication is a treatise on the empirical evidence that has been left to us, from both the Bible and secular history. The remaining part of this section is devoted to some of the more extraordinary events that are recorded in the text of the Bible which define the events of Jesus Christ as unparalleled amongst all the events of antiquity.


NOTES:
[1] Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-27
[2] Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:41-44
[3] Then Jesus said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Luke 24:44
But this Man, (Jesus) after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, …For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12,14
[4] Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Luke 21:33
[5] I and My Father are one.”Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” John 10:31-33
[6] Daniel 2:20-21, Daniel 4:34-35, Romans 13:1
[7] Matthew
1. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-2
2. and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Matthew 2:15
3. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” Matthew 2:17-18
4. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:23
5. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Matthew 4:14-16
6. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:18
7. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:17
8. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust.” Matthew 12:21
9. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; Matthew 13:14
10. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:35
11. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” Matthew 21:4-5
12. and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’? ” Matthew 21:16
13. Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? ” Matthew 21:42
14. How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” Matthew 26:54-56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. Matthew 26:56
16. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, Matthew 27:9
17. Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Matthew 27:35
Mark
1. and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
2. But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: Mark 2:25
3. “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” Mark 13:4
4. I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Mark 14:49
5. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” Mark 15:28
Luke
1. Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, Luke 1:1
2. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” Luke 1:20
3. He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21
4. “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke 21:20-22
5. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Luke 21:24
6. for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:16
7. Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Luke 24:44
John
1. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. John 3:29
2. that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” John 12:38
3. “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ John 13:18
4. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.’ John 15:25
5. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. John 17:12
6. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13
7. that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” John 18:9
8. Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. John 18:31-32
9. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things. John 19:24
10. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” John 19:28
11. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” John 19:36
[8] Proven by the eyewitness accounts of the New Testament, kept in confidence of these facts, by the Christian church—for over 2,000 years—without any credible impeachment of this event, ever. The fact that the church grew exponentially in the first 100 years, is significant of the true event of Jesus resurrection. Jesus continues to drastically change the lives of every person who comes into a new relationship with Him, as a further—practical demonstration of His resurrection as a reality of history.
[9] On seventeen occasion, the writers of the gospels confirm that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies of the Messiah—written in the Hebrew scriptures.
Matthew 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Matthew 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 4:14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
Matthew 8:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”
Matthew 12:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
Matthew 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
Matthew 21:4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
Matthew 26:56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” ¶ Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
Matthew 27:35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”
John 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
John 15:25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.’
John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
John 18:9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”
John 18:32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”Therefore the soldiers did these things.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
[10] Numbers 32:14, the generation of those who complained against the Lord in the desert is describes as being 40 years.
[11] Josephus, the “Book of Wars”, Book 5, chapter 22, sections 1-3
[12] Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews II.14.5
[13] Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 14, Section 6.
[14] Flavius Josephus, “The Wars of the Jews”, Book 2, Chapter 14, Section 9.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Levick, Barbara (1999). Vespasian. London: Routledge, pp. 116–119. ISBN 0-415-16618-7
[17] Ibid.
[18] Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.. Book VI. Chapter 1.1.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] According to the New Living Translation by Thomas Nelson, Open Bible Commentary, Page 580.
[22] Flavius Josephus. The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem. BOOK VI. Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.. Book VI. Chapter 1.1.
[23] “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).