Our trust in the Revelation to accurately predict what events will take place in the future is based on the Prophetic Record of the Scriptures. This is particularly true of the many prophecies found in Scriptures concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These Messianic prophecies were written hundreds of years in advance of Christ’s earthly ministry by differing Biblical authors and were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
The disciples who followed Christ served as witnesses to the fulfillment of these prophecies and documented what they saw in the Four Gospels. When these men were later persecuted, tortured, and killed for their testimony, they did not disavow any of what they wrote but, instead, confirmed their eye-witness account with their own blood. The fact that the disciples suffered martyrdom for what they witnessed, and not just what they believed, speaks to the trustworthiness of their testimony.
Having recognized the above, the following is a short list of the prophecies that are found in the Old Testament and that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament as recorded by the Apostles.
Fulfilled Prophecies Concerning Christ
1. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Mic. 5:2
Fulfilled – So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
2. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be born of a virgin.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isa. 7:14
Fulfilled – This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matt.1:18
3. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be a descendant of David.
“…The Lord declares to you (David) that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
2 Sam. 7:11-13
Fulfilled – In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27
4. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would come out of Egypt. (NOTE: Jesus was taken to Egypt by his parents when he was an infant to escape from King Herod who had given the order to kill every male child under the age of two.)
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hos. 11:1
Fulfilled – When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matt. 2:13-14
5. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would begin his ministry in Galilee.
…In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles… The people living in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of darkness, a light has dawned. Isa. 9:1-2
Fulfilled – When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matt. 4:12-17
6. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zech. 9:9
Fulfilled – As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” … The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
7. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would heal the sick.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. Isa. 53:4
Fulfilled – At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah. Luke 4:40-41
8. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend (Judas).
Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. Ps. 41:9
Fulfilled – Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matt. 26:14-16
9. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be abandoned by his friends at His arrest.
“Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.” Zech. 13:7
Fulfilled – “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled. Mk. 14:48-50
10. Old Testament Prophecy – The Lord would be crucified (pierced).
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
“…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.” Zech. 12:10
Fulfilled – When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Luke 23:33
11. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would bear our sins and die the death of a criminal.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Fulfilled – Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Luke 23:32-33
12. Old Testament Prophecy – Soldiers would gamble for the Messiah’s garments.
They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. Ps. 22:18
Fulfilled – When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” John 19:23-24
13. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death. Isa. 53:9
Fulfilled – As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Matt. 27:57-60
14. Old Testament Prophecy – The Messiah would be resurrected.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. Ps. 16:10
Fulfilled – On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Luke 24:1-6
The Dead Sea Scrolls
All the above prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and are proven to have been written hundreds of years before Christ appeared on earth. The evidence for this is found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are a collection of ancient manuscripts that were created from ancient documents in the decades prior to the time of Christ. These scrolls were hidden in caves by a covenant community of Jews for their safe-keeping and contained over 800 manuscripts, including sections of every book of the Old Testament that contained the above prophecies. These same manuscripts were discovered, in 1947, near the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea Scrolls did not contain any New Testament writing as they were written before the birth of Christ. Incredibly, these manuscripts were found to match our current translations of the Scriptures virtually word for word!
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls proved that the prophecies concerning the life of Jesus Christ, which are found in our modern Bibles, were not written following Christ’s ministry on earth to create a new religion, but were written hundreds of years before He appeared on earth. This amazing archeological find verified both the Scriptures ability to predict the future and the accuracy of our modern translations.
The implication of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which confirmed the prophetic claims of the Bible, is that the events described in the Book of the Revelation will take place just as they are written.