Was their fulfillment contrived

A common objection some raise is that Jesus and His followers deliberately attempted to fulfill these prophecies. Several books have proposed variations of this theory, among them The Passover Plot. Advocates of this idea allege that Jesus manipulated events to make it look like He fulfilled the prophecies. Somehow Jesus managed to fake His own death, to be revived later.

There is no doubt that Jesus did take some steps to directly fulfill prophecy, such as securing the donkey on which to ride into Jerusalem and making sure that His disciples had swords to be reckoned as criminals (see Matthew 21:1-7; Luke 22:36-38). This was not, however, deceptive. After all, God explained in the Old Testament how He is able to foretell the future: "I am God .. . declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done . . . Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass " (Isaiah 46:9-11).

Christ, as God made flesh, was simply bringing to pass what He had foretold. However, if only a typical human being, Jesus would not have been able to fulfill everything foretold about the Messiah.

While the idea might sound intriguing, it's impossible when you consider what Jesus would actually have had to do. To begin, He would have to have successfully manipulated His own place of birth and His human lineage. He would have to have arranged for His time to be born, so that as an adult He could begin His ministry and arrange for His death all according to the time frame of the prophecy of Daniel 9. On top of that, He would have to have engineered His own miraculous viigin birth.

If this theory had any sense of plausibility, it still would make no sense that Jesus would not fulfill the Jewish expectation of a Messiah who was to come as a king to rule the people at that time. Jesus certainly had that opportunity if He had wanted to become a physical king and leader of the Jewish nation. Many were willing to follow Him and make Him king (John 6:15; 12:12-19). Instead He took the route that led to His horrible suffering and death.

He accurately fulfilled the prophecies according to the intent of God, but contrary to the common understanding at the time. He became a servant and was willing to give His life as payment for the sins of all (Matthew 20:28). The character of such a person hardly qualifies Him to be a charlatan and a fakeā€”one who manipulates events for His own benefit.

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