During the final moments of a person’s life, there is little that he can do to control the events that will take place. Some might say that Jesus was controlling the circumstances surrounding Him as He planned His own death by crucifixion. Is it possible that in order to be thought of as the Messiah that Jesus had carefully determined each step of His death so that they would appear to be a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies?
How could a person control the exact words that someone would say about him while he was hanging on a cross? Of course, the supposition that Jesus had anything to do with how the events of His death transpired, is pure foolishness. It is obvious that once Jesus was arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before He was crucified; He would have no further control over anything that would happen from that moment.
Or did He?
Clearly, as David wrote this incredible detail, describing the specific words which would be spoken, at the precise moment of the Messiah’s humiliation and death; he did so by the supernatural insight given to him by the Holy Spirit. The amazing details of this prophecy from Psalm 22:8, describing the events that would happen in the life and death of the Messiah; are placed here to give us credible evidence that Jesus is the one and only person who could be identified as the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
The people who witness the crucifixion of the Messiah will say, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him…”
Psalms 22:8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 27:43 “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
A Determined Purpose
We should understand that Jesus was in control of everything that happened during His mission to die for the sins of the world. All of these events were planned by Him, before the universe was created. Jesus knew every step that should be taken, every word that would be spoken. This is how He was able to record such stunning details in the prophecies which are the subject of this book.
We see an example of the intimate knowledge that Jesus had in all of the events, which surrounded the offering of His life as our sacrifice; in John Chapter 18.
John 18:1-6 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden (Gethsemane), which He and His disciples entered. 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
When the soldiers come to arrest Jesus, He asks them; whom they are seeking. When they say, “Jesus of Nazareth,” He calls Himself by the eternal name for God: “I am (He).” As Jesus speaks these words, the power of God flows out from Him, causing the soldiers to fall backwards onto the ground.
I would have loved to have seen this event and the look on the soldiers faces when it happened.
Jesus was in control of everything that took place. Two of the compelling proofs for the identity of Jesus, are demonstrated internally in the record of the New Testament account of His life. He knew what would happen to Himself and to others. He knew that He was fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.
1. Jesus knew what would happen
Matthew 12:14-15 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him 15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there.
Matthew 12:25 But Jesus knew their thoughts…
John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John 16:19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’?
2. Jesus knew that He was fulfilling prophecy
Mark 8:31 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.. (NLT)
Matthew 8:16-17 That evening many demon- possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 1This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases. (NLT)
See: Jesus, Prophet, Priest, and King
Jesus not only knew about the events that would transpire in His life, and the life of others; He knew their thoughts and the specific timing of events that would fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. Jesus called Himself by the name: Son of Man, which is the title given to the Messiah by the prophet Daniel in chapter 7.
Daniel 7:13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven!
By the narrative of the New Testament, we can see that Jesus believed Himself to be the Eternal God, and the fulfillment of all the Hebrew scriptures concerning the Messiah. Though He proved by His words and deeds that He is God Himself; Jesus maintained vigilant watch over His specific task to remain a servant unto the Father and complete our salvation.
David reminds us in this prophecy that the Messiah would trust Himself fully to God during all the events that were determined for His life and death.
Jesus was fully committed to the Father as a servant, to secure our salvation. Long before He took the body of a human being at Bethlehem, Jesus knew that His life was going to be an offering for the sins of all people, for all time. As Jesus began His public ministry at the age of 30, He was fully committed in accomplishing everything that was necessary to ensure that our salvation was an absolute certainty.
Although Jesus had the power to call legions of angels down from heaven to rescue Him from the terrors of His arrest, false accusations, torture, and death; He stayed the course in bearing all our punishment. Jesus did this to ensure that our sins were fully paid and we could all live with Him forever in the glorious and perfect kingdom He would establish at the end of this present world. Had Jesus not completed the gauntlet of death that was before Him, none of us would have any hope of heaven and the opportunity to see the glorious face of the eternal God.
Matthew 26:53-54 “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
“How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled which must happen thus?”
Is the study and understanding of these hundreds of Old Testament prophecies, important? Jesus said that the entire plan of salvation—for all people—depends on our comprehension of these prophetic words. Jesus fulfilled all seventeen prophecies from Psalm 22.
In spite of the fact that the prophecies of Psalm 22 were written nearly one thousand years before Jesus was born, they speak in graphic detail of the Messiah; as He is tortured and crucified. At the time that David described the Messiah as pierced in His hands and feet, crucifixion had yet to be invented. How could David write with such precise detail—exactly what the Messiah would experience and accomplish for us by being placed on the cross; when this form of execution did not exist when David wrote his Psalm of the Cross? The answer is that David didn’t know. He was writing as the Holy Spirit revealed these things to his mind. The purpose of these words that David penned for us nearly 3,000 years ago, was to give us a credible and accurate basis for trusting in the word of God. Prophecy confirms the fact that the words of the Bible are God’s words, although they are recorded by men.
2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. (NLT)
The Lord spoke of events as though He has been there and seen them; to demonstrate that He is transcendent of time and space and knows all things. God has such great power that He is able to speak to faithful men, exactly what He wants to communicate, through the scriptures of the Bible. He did this so that every generation could read the words of God, believe them, and be saved.
I have often felt as I was writing this book, on many occasions in the middle of night; as I write now at 3:52 a.m., that the Holy Spirit was speaking to my mind; what I should write. Not that I have been chosen by God for this purpose or that my words are the words of God, but that I was given this incredible opportunity to share with you, all that God has placed into my heart and on my mind; concerning the importance and application of these prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
As you read about what Jesus has done and learn for yourself how He fulfilled all that has been written about the Messiah, you have the opportunity to tell others about Him and how He has changed the world. This is how God chose to communicate the Good News of salvation that He has accomplished for all of us; through Jesus death and resurrection. God communicates truth to faithful men and women, who take His word and share it with others.
As Jesus fulfilled this prophecy of the Old Testament, as a servant to the Father, for us; we also make ourselves servants to Him in carrying this message to the world.