Saturday, February 18, 2006

Prophecy & Probability of Fulfillment by Chance

There are many prophecies that were written in the Bible about the coming Messiah which were then fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Most prophecies were such that they could not have been humanly arranged in advance of the event. When you examine the Old Testament (OT) prophecy references with the New Testament (NT) fulfillment by Jesus Christ, you will see the enormous odds against such events occurring by chance. I wish I had the time to list them all. But you could research them in Scripture. It is actually quite gratifying to follow the references, find them on your own within the pages of the Bible, and if your Bible has them, read the application/study notes.

I will list the references for 17 incredible prophecies about the Messiah as predicted in the Old Testament (OT), fulfilled in the New Testament (NT)and, according to the laws of probability, how they were precisely fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

1. His birth in Bethlehem from the tribe of Judah

(see OT Micah 5:2; Genesis 49:10) then (see NT Matthew 2:1)

Probability: 1 chance in 2,400

2. He would be preceded by a messenger.

(see OT Isaiah 40:3) then (see NT Matthew 3:1,2 )

Probability: 1 chance in 20

3. He would enter Jerusalem on a colt.

(see OT Zechariah 9:9) then (see NT Luke 19:35-37)

Probability 1 chance in 50

4. He would be betrayed by a friend.

(see OT Psalm 41:9) then (see NT Matthew 26:47,48)

Probability 1 chance in 10

5. His hands and feet would be pierced.

(see OT Psalm 22:16) then (see NT Luke 23:33)

Probability: 1 chance in 100

6. He would be wounded by His enemies.

(see OT Isaiah 53:5) then (see NT Matthew 27:26)

Probability: 1 chance in 10

7. His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver.

(see OT Zechariah 11:12) then (see NT Matthew 26:15)

Probability: 1 chance in 50

8. He will be spit upon and beaten.

(see OT Isaiah 50:6) then (see Matthew 26:67)

Probability: 1 chance in 10

9. His betrayal money would be thrown in the Temple and then given to buy a potter's field.

(see OT Zechariah 11:13) then (see NT Matthew 27:5-7)

Probability: 1 chance in 200

10. He would be silent before His accusers.

(see OT Isaiah 53:7) then (see NT Matthew 27:12-14)

Probability: 1 chance in 100

11. He would be crucified with thieves.

(see OT Isaiah 53:12) then (see NT Matthew 27:38)

Probability: 1 chance in 100

12. People would gamble for His garments.

(see OT Psalm 22:18) then (see NT John 19:23,24)

Probability : 1 chance in 100

13. His side would be pierced.

(see OT Zechariah 12:10) then (see NT John 19:34)

Probability: 1 chance in 100

14. None of His bones would be broken.

(see OT Psalm 34:20) then (see NT John 19:33)

(Added note: in Biblical times, it was common practice to break the leg bones of those condemned to die on a cross).

Probability: 1 chance in 20

15. His body would not decay.

(see OT Psalm 16:10) then (see NT Acts 2:31)

Probability: 1 chance in 10,000

16. His burial in a rich man's tomb.

(see OT Isaiah 53:9) then (see NT Matthew 27:57-60)

Probability: 1 chance in 100

17. The darkness covering the earth.

(see OT Amos 8:9) then (see NT Matthew 27:45)

Probability: 1 chance in 1,000

The combined probability against these 17 predictions occurring is equal to:1 chance in 480,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000


1 chance in 480 Billion x 1 Billion x 1 Trillion

Consider the fact, also, that only 17 of the 48 major prophecies given in the Old Testament about the promised Messiah are included here. If we were to calculate the odds against all 48 predictions occurring by chance we would arrive at a number so large that it would exceed our capacity to comprehend it.

Some Bible critics have suggested that Jesus of Nazareth, as a rabbi, knew about these predictions and simply arranged the events of His life to fulfill these specific predictions. However, consider the impossibility of any normal human arranging the fulfillment of these specific predictions.

How could you arrange to be born in Bethlehem and manage to be descended from the tribe of Judah?

How would you arrange the price of your betrayal to be precisely thirty pieces of silver?

How would you arrange to be crucified with theives and then, to be buried in a rich man's grave?

If you could arrange to have these remarkable events fulfilled you are the Son of God. Obviously, only God could either foresee these events in advance or arrange to fulfill these precise predictions in the life of Jesus Christ.

Source: The Signature of God by Grant R. Jeffrey, Sept. 2002, Frontier Research Publications, Inc.


Susan Smith said...

Hi Christine:

Your post on prophecies of Christ is good. I am visiting the states and will be going to CT on Monday.

Much love from South Carolina to the West Coast. Yours in Christ. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan!

Great to hear from you! I hope you are having a wonderful, enjoyable visit with family and friends.

Is it still snowing in CT? Send my love to our mutual friends there!

Love & God bless,