This post continues the series we began earlier this week. Why do we believe that an ancient book has real relevance for today? Last time, we took a look at the witness of eyewitness credibility. Today…
The witness of fulfilled prophecy
There are dozens and dozens of prophecies made about Jesus in the Old Testament: where He would be born; how He would be rejected; how He would die. All these prophecies were made hundreds of years before Jesus ever came to earth.
Some say these prophecies were fulfilled by chance, but the odds against that happening would be huge. It would take more faith to believe in that chance happening than in the fact that Jesus is God and these prophecies are divinely inspired.
Consider just 8 prophecies about the events surrounding the death of Jesus.
1. Betrayed by a friend. Prophecy: Psalm 41:9. Fulfillment: Matthew 10:4.
2. Silent before accusers. Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7. Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12.
3. Beaten and spit upon. Prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 Fulfillment: Matthew 26:67.
4. Hands and feet pierced. Prophecy: Psalm 22:16. Fulfillment: Luke 23:33.
5. Crucified with thieves. Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12. Fulfillment: Matthew 27:38.
6. Gambled for His clothes. Prophecy: Psalm 22:18. Fulfillment: John 19:23, 24.
7. Pierced side. Prophecy: Zechariah 12:10. Fulfillment: John 19:34.
8. Buried in a rich man’s tomb. Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9. Fulfillment: Matthew 28.
Peter Stoner was chairman of the science division of Westmont College. He wrote a book called “Science Speaks.” Stoner said that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, “We find that the chance that any [one] man might have… fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017.” That would be 1 chance out of 100 quadrillion.
Take 100 quadrillion silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They would cover the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars with a red dot. Stir them up. All over the state. Blindfold a man. Tell him he can go wherever he wants. But on one try, he has to find the one silver dollar with the red dot. He would have a 1 out of 100 quadrillion chance – the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man. And that’s just 8 fulfilled prophecies. Conclusion: There is a design, a purpose, and a guiding hand behind the Bible.