In our first lesson of this series we established that 1.) Jesus was indeed a man of history firmly established by ancient historical manuscripts written by eyewitnesses of his life. We also learned in our second lesson that 2.) Jesus had a mission to save mankind according to His own words and actions. On this Palm Sunday we will look at some of the astounding prophecies that foretold HISTORY which leave no room at all for any other man in history to claim title to “Messiah” but Him alone.
Messiah comes from the Hebrew word mashiach and means “anointed one” or “chosen one.” The Greek equivalent is the word Christos or, in English, Christ. The name “Jesus Christ” is the same as “Jesus the Messiah.”
Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1–11) is the day we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, five days before His crucifixion and one week before His resurrection It is “triumphant” because He was glorified by the cheering crowd for being the true King of the Jews and the promised Messiah foretold by prophets throughout the old testament. In this passage Matthew notes that Jesus fulfilled a 450-500 year old prophecy from the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9), but Jesus fulfilled far more prophecies in regards to being the promised Messiah. In fact the prophet Daniel, in his “Seventy Sevens” prophecy (Daniel 9:20-27), prophesied that the Messiah (the “anointed one”) would be anointed as king, then be “cut off” (killed) and then the “city” and its “sanctuary” (temple) would be destroyed. In Jesus, all of these prophecies were fulfilled in perfect succession. Jesus was anointed as king on Sunday, was cut off at the cross, and Rome built an embankment around Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the temple in A.D. 70. Jesus Himself prophesied this event both to the disciples (Matthew 24:1-2) and once again on that Palm Sunday when He stopped in the midst of His own parade and wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:37-44). Jesus knew that the crowds who cried out “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday would cry out “Crucify” later that week (Matthew 27:22–23). Nonetheless, Jesus continued steadfast on His mission to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus
The Old Testament contains numerous Messianic prophecies written over 2,500 years ago. Every one of these prophecies was fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Below is a
sampling of some of the major ones (in addition to those I have already stated) that I put together from a much greater list:
- The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
- The Messiah will be a descendant of Judah .
- The Messiah will be a descendant of David.
- The Messiah will be born of a virgin.
- The Messiah will be taken to Egypt.
- He will preach good news to the poor, comfort the broken hearted, and announce the year of the Lord’s favor.
- The Messiah will make the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the mute speak.
- The Messiah will be rejected.
- The Messiah will be silent in front of his accusers.
- The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver and they would be thrown in a potters field.
- Messiah would be tortured to death and his hands and feet would be pierced.
The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled only eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. (One in 100 Trillion.) One of the most convincing evidences for the inspiration and validity of the Scriptures is the verified historical fulfillment of hundreds of specific predictions. The historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilled over 300 precise detailed predictions.
Recognizing Truth Psalm 22, Luke 19:41-44, Isaiah 53:1-12
For one who has already made up his or her mind that Jesus is not the Messiah, no amount of evidence will be convincing. But for those who are honest in asking, the evidence speaks for itself. Today’s message all comes back to Jesus’ own prophecy on that hill overlooking Jerusalem where he wept and concluded: “because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” God has revealed Jesus to mankind in so many ways but we must choose to recognize the truth. The people of Jesus’ time, including those who were cheering Him on in that Palm Sunday parade did not truly grasp the scope of what Jesus was about to do for them. Will you?
Of all prophecies Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53:1-12 scream the name “Jesus” the loudest! These prophesises could be about no one else and together they demonstrate just what Jesus went through and what He accomplished to save the lost. On this Palm Sunday, as Jesus stops to look at you—does He weep at the future consequences of your rejection or do you recognize the truth and follow?