“Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).

This is the central verse of an amazing prophecy that details the suffering and death of Jesus Christ 1,000 years before his birth. In fact, we see here descriptive details of crucifixion, which was a form of capital punishment that didn’t even exist at the time this prophecy was written.

These are just a couple of examples from over 300 predictions in the Jewish scriptures about the coming Messiah — a Savior who would come as a once-and-for-all sacrifice for mankind and then return again as a conquering Lord. These predictions were written by multiple authors over hundreds of years. What are the odds that one man could accidentally or purposefully fulfill such a wide variety of predictions written hundreds of years before his birth?

Someone once said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. When we read the Old Testament prophecies in light of Jesus Christ, how much clearer can it get? The odds are too overwhelming!

The fact that all of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah and his first coming came true in such detail should give us pause to contemplate what’s going to happen in the future; there are prophecies concerning the Messiah that still await fulfillment. Christ himself brought our attention to his dual coming when he read from a prophecy found in Isaiah 61:1-2 (recorded in Luke 4:17-21):

Everyone in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, knew this famous scripture from the prophet Isaiah. They also would have known that Jesus left off the final clause of the scripture when he closed the scroll. He did this because the first part of the prophecy found in Isaiah 61:1-2 deals with the first coming of the Messiah and the presentation of his signs to Israel. However, the last portion of that prophecy includes the following, which Jesus purposefully omitted: “and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.” This deals with Christ’s second coming!

If you still doubt that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, look to all he has done and the miracles he performed.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son” (Zechariah 12:10).

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

As you review these ancient scriptures, contemplate the odds—then contemplate the future.

  1. American Scientific Affiliation, H. Harold Hartzler, Ph.D., Secretary-Treasurer, Goshen College, Ind. (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible, 1944, Foreword).