No fewer than 29 prophecies were fulfilled in the 24-hour period leading up to Jesus" death. Some of the more notable are:
• He would be crucified. "They pierced My hands and My feet" (Psalm 22:16). This statement was written some 1,000 years before the event that fulfilled it (see John 20:25, 27). Perhaps even more remarkable, this prophecy described a form of execution that would not come into practice for centuries—some 800 years would pass before the Romans adopted crucifixion as a form of punishment for condemned criminals.
• His body would be pierced. ". . . They will look on Me whom they pierced" (Zechariah 12:10). John tells us what happened:
".. . One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out" (John 19:34). John tells us that he was an eyewitness to this event (verse 35) and verifies this was fulfillment of that prophecy: "And again another Scripture says, 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced"" (verse 37).
• None of His bones would be broken. "He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken" (Psalm 34:20). John tells us: "Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs" (John 19:32-33).
John verifies that this is a prophecy that was fulfilled: "For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, 'Not one of His bones shall be broken"" (verse 36).
• People would cast lots for His clothing. "They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots" (Psalm 22:18). John testifies that this detail, too, was fulfilled.
"Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled . .." (John 19:23-24).
• He would pray for his executioners. ". . . He . . . made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12). Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34).
• He would be executed with criminals. "And He was numbered with the transgressors .. ." (Isaiah 53:12). Matthew 27:38 tells us that "two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left."
• He would not retaliate. "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
Matthew 27:12 tells us that "while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing." Pilate, the Roman governor, also tried to get Him to answer, "but He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly" (verses 13-14).
• He would be forsaken by His followers. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered .. ." (Zechariah 13:7). When Jesus was arrested, all His disciples "forsook Him and fled" (Mark 14:50).
• He would be betrayed by a trusted friend. The betrayal of Jesus by Judas, one of His disciples, was prophesied in Psalm 41:9: "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." Jesus proclaims this prophecy to be fulfilled when He gives Judas the piece of bread in John 13:18 and verse 26.
• The price of the betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver. The 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:14-15) is understood to have been prophesied in Zechariah 11:12: "So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver."
• He would be offered vinegar and gall. Jesus being offered vinegar with gall to drink while being crucified (Matthew 27:34) is understood to be referred to in Psalm 69:21: "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink:'
Once again, the sheer number of prophecies and their precision all point to them being fulfilled by one person, Jesus of Nazareth. Yet in spite of so much specific, eyewitness testimony to fulfilled prophecies, some people still raise various objections.
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