The heart monitor flatlined and stayed that way for 25 minutes. Attempts to bring the patient back had failed. But as the surgical team began shifting into mop-up mode, the heartbeat readout suddenly jumped. The patient had rallied from certain death.
This is the classic near-death experience. But as astounding as it is, don’t confuse it with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As Jesus promised in advance, He rose again on the third day after His crucifixion and burial. He wasn’t merely near death, He was dead. The Resurrection divides the timeline of human history and is the centerpiece of God’s plans going back to the Garden of Eden.
Prophetic voices over more than 15 centuries foretold the coming of Jesus. Commentators suggest there are over 300 specific prophecies about Jesus in the Bible. Jesus surely explained some of these. Here are highlights from the biblical prophecies about the baby born in a stable and later revealed in His divine glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords, and Who is coming back again.
Ten Points of Prophecy
Significant events that unveil Jesus as the Promised Messiah
- He will come as a baby, fully God and fully man.
- He will live a sinless, holy life in the world.
- He will be punished in place of sinners.
- He will rise from the grave, conquering hell.
- He will ascend into Heave and intercede for believers.
- He will set His return into motion with signs.
- He will preserve believers to Himself before the terrors start.
- He will cast all sin, evil and darkness to hell.
- He will bring a new Heaven and new earth.
- He will be worshipped in glory forever.
Proving Jesus: Pivotal Prophecies that Christ Fulfilled to Secure our Salvation
The prophecy: Micah 5:2
The meaning: Bethlehem was not a place of nobility or beauty. Yet this humble, poor town was the birthplace of Israel’s King David. It makes sense that the last King would be born there.
The fulfillment: Matthew 2:1–6
The Line of David
The prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5
The meaning: God promised that the Messiah would come from the lineage of King David. David’s line was full of broken people whom God used to bring about His purposes.
The fulfillment: Matthew 1:1–17
Born of a Virgin
The prophecy: Isaiah 7:14
The meaning: Born of man, but not conceived by man, Jesus was the Son of God. To convey this, God chose a virgin to carry and mother Him. But Jesus was sent, not created.
The fulfillment: Matthew 1:20–23
Tempted by Satan
The prophecy: Psalm 91:10–12
The meaning: Though Christ was tempted by Satan in the desert, He did not sin. When the devil challenged Jesus, the Lord pushed back and rebuked His tempter.
The fulfillment: Matthew 4:5–7
The prophecy: Isaiah 53:3
The meaning: Though many looked for a triumphant Messiah, it was also promised that He would be despised and rejected. That day came when a crowd chose a criminal over Christ.
The fulfillment: Matthew 27:21–23
Betrayed by A Disciple
The prophecy: Zechariah 11:12–13
The meaning: Payment of 30 pieces of silver is promised when God changes His agreement with His people. Centuries later, Judas was paid that exact amount to betray Jesus.
The fulfillment: Matthew 26:14–16
Tried And Condemned
The prophecy: Isaiah 53:8
The meaning: The accused stood before the governor, a man named Pontius Pilate. This judge declared himself innocent in the conviction, yet sent Jesus to the cross.
The fulfillment: Matthew 27:1–26
The prophecy: Psalm 16:10
The meaning: The Holy One would not rot in the grave. He would cry out, “O death, where is your sting? O death, where is your victory” and He would rise again.
The fulfillment: Matthew 28:5–7
Right Hand of God
The prophecy: Psalm 110:1
The meaning: Christ ascended and is again in perfect communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is our defender and interceder, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The fulfillment: Mark 16:19
The prophecy: Revelation 22:12–13
The meaning: Jesus’ plan to reconcile the world to Himself is still in motion. We are witnesses to the world about Jesus and wait for the day He returns to end all sin and death.
The fulfillment: TBD
Is it essential that Jesus fulfill all the biblical prophecies? Yes. If He does not stand up to the test, we should not put our trust in Jesus. One unfulfilled prophecy would cast doubt on God, Jesus and the Resurrection. But Jesus does fulfill the prophecies. Imagine the reaction if a game show contestant correctly answered every question or a baseball pitcher threw a strike every pitch. Those watching would be on the edge of their seats. What Jesus does as God’s Representative and what He accomplished in the Resurrection is so much more incredible.
Proofs of Resurrection
- Jesus Proclaimed Dead: The witness of the soldiers showed that Jesus died. One thrust his spear in Jesus’ side. Water and blood poured from Jesus side proving that He was dead. (John 19:31–37)
- Disbelief of the Disciples: The disciples initially considered the story of the empty tomb as “an idle tale.” They only believed when Jesus presented Himself saying, “See My hands and My feet; touch Me… for a ghost does not have flesh and bones.” (Luke 24:39)
- 500 Witnesses: Jesus appeared to over 500 people during the 40-day period between His resurrection and His ascension into Heaven. People touched Him, ate with Him and were taught by Him. (1 Corinthians 15:3–8)
- Predicted Death and Resurrection: Many places within the Gospels record Jesus predicting His resurrection. (John 11:25; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:9, 31; John 2:19–21). His disciples wrote the Gospels. It would have been easier to remove these stories and portray Jesus as a great teacher if He didn’t fulfill them.
- Jesus’ Disciples: They were transformed from fearful to faithful. They endured great persecution and became martyrs for their faith. Would they have died for a lie?
When Jesus ascended to Heaven in Acts 1, two angels announced that Jesus would come back again. When Jesus returns all humanity will rise. Those who believe in Jesus will be with Him. Those who rejected Him will be cast out of His presence and judged. (John 5:28–29)
In 1 Corinthians 15:47–54, Paul gives us a peek into what will occur. Jesus will reign over all creation. And as Paul writes, “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” and “we shall also bear the image of the Man of Heaven (Jesus).”
Benefit of the Doubt
The Apostle Thomas often gets a bad rap for his questioning spirit. While the other disciples quickly embraced the risen Christ, Thomas wasn’t so sure.
When he was told about the Resurrection, Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe” John 20:25 ESV.
When they later meet, Jesus allowed just that. He opened His arms to the doubter saying, “Do not disbelieve, but believe” John 20:27.
Jesus didn’t condemn doubting Thomas. The Lord satisfies honest doubts.
He Rises, So Will We
Jesus conquered death. Although there are other biblical accounts about people raised from the dead, Jesus is the only one who dies and lives again. He defeated the grave. His resurrection meant more than just a temporary fix; it meant eternal life with the Father for Him and for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus. Christ the Creator also promises to come again. When He does, there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth. Death will be no more; it will fade into memory. Whether we live to see His return or meet Him in glory, the Resurrection promises us new life when we accept His gift of grace.
A Reason to Celebrate
To the Apostle Paul, the Christian faith rested on one profound event: the Resurrection of Jesus.
“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” I Corinthians 15:14 ESV.
He put it all on the line. Faith in Jesus rises and falls on this one point: Either he rose or the whole thing is a religious sham!
But as prophecies predicted, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He lived a sinless life. He was tried, beaten and killed. He walked out of the tomb.
Where will you be on Easter morning?