Messianic Prophecy in the Bible



One of the extraordinary things about the Bible is that it talks about events before they happened. This was part of the prophet’s ministry, along with his commission to preach repentance and faith to his own generation. There is a special group of prophecies, unique to the Bible, that relate to the coming of God’s redeemer, called the Messiah. In every other collection of religious literature, the leader or chief figure of the group is talked about after he appeared, sometimes many centuries later, and in terms of rather fantastic myth or legend. In the Bible, however, Jesus Christ is talked about long before he came to earth and in such exact terms that no one should have missed his appearing. As we look back on this set of prophecies and fulfillments, it only confirms our faith in the God who knew the end from the beginning and prepared the stage for the sending of his Son to redeem the world. Following is only a selection of the many such prophecies.

Prophecy

An important ruler would come from the little town of Bethlehem, one whose origins were “from the days of old, from everlasting” Micah 5:2.



Fulfillment

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Luke 2:4-7

Prophecy

A virgin would bear a son, whose name would mean “God with us.” This would be a sign from the Lord. Isaiah 7:14



Fulfillment

Mary, a virgin, was told by an angel that she would conceive a child, by the power of the Holy Spirit, whose name was to be Jesus (“Savior”). Luke 1:26-35; Matthew 1:18-25.

Prophecy

The Lord would send a special messenger to prepare the way for his own coming. Malachi 3:1



Fulfillment

John the Baptist came to preach and prepare the way for one greater than himself. Luke 4:16-20

Prophecy

The Lord would raise up a prophet in Israel to whom they should pay attention. Deuteronomy 18:15



Fulfillment

The apostles saw Jesus as this prophet: the Christ. Acts 3:18-23

Prophecy

The Lord God would anoint a liberator, one who would preach good news to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, and the mourning. Isaiah 61:1-3



Fulfillment

Jesus began his ministry by explaining that he was the person referred to in Isaiah’s prophecy. Luke 4:16-20

Prophecy

The special Servant of the Lord would suffer and be rejected. Isaiah 53:3

Fulfillment

Jesus was rejected and put to death for being who he was and saying what he said. Luke 23:13-25; John 1:10-11

Prophecy

The coming righteous King and Redeemer would come to his people riding on a young donkey. Zechariah 9:9



Fulfillment

The last week of his life on earth, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Mark 11:1-11

Prophecy

The special Servant of the Lord would remain silent when cruelly treated. Isaiah 53:7

Fulfillment

Jesus refused to answer the false charges made to Pilate against him. Mark 15:3-5

Prophecy

The special Servant of the Lord would suffer on behalf of others. Isaiah 53:5



Fulfillment

The heart of the gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins. Romans 5:6-8

Prophecy

The Messiah would be mocked and insulted because his God was not delivering him in his time of anguish. Psalm 22:7-8

Fulfillment

Bystanders sneered at Jesus on the cross because God had not saved him from death by crucifixion. Luke 23:35

Prophecy

The Messiah would be given all and vinegar. Psalm 69:21



Fulfillment

After carrying his cross to Golgotha, Jesus was given wine vinegar mixed with gall (bad tasting) for his thirst. Matthew 27:34

Prophecy

The Messiah’s love for his people would be met with hostility, but his response would be to pray for them. Psalm 109:4

Fulfillment

Jesus prayed that God would forgive those who crucified him, because they did not realize what they were doing. Luke 23:34

Prophecy

The Messiah’s clothing would be divided up by lot. Psalm 22:18

Fulfillment

After crucifying him, the Roman soldiers divided up Jesus’ clothes by casting lots. Matthew 27:35

Prophecy

The Messiah’s bones would not be broken. Psalm 34:20



Fulfillment

The Roman soldiers didn’t break Jesus’ legs after the crucifixion, as they ordinarily did to people punished in this way, because Jesus had already died. John 19:34

Prophecy

The Messiah would be pierced. Zechariah 12:10

Fulfillment

Jesus’ side was pierced by a Roman soldier. John 19:34

Prophecy

God would redeem his Holy One (The Messiah) from the grave; his body would not decay. Psalm 16:10; 49:15

Fulfillment

God raised Jesus from the dead. Without the resurrection, the hopes of Christianity would be only wishful thinking. Mark 16:6-7; I Corinthians 15:16-19