But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
If you read this verse and you’re not very familiar with the Bible, you might think that it came from the New Testament, because it seems it is talking about Jesus, right?
How about this one:
They pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. (Psalm 22:16-18)
Doesn’t it look like a description of the crucifixion? It does. And that’s because it is.
If you read the full chapters mentioned above (Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22), you will see the accurate description that Isaiah and David wrote about the purpose of Jesus’ life and His agony at the cross. And these are just a couple of examples out of many others.
Jesus Himself referred to the prophecies of Psalm 22 when, while suffering at the cross, he said “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (see Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), which are the exact words of the first verse of Psalm 22. With that quote, He was telling us that the scenes described in that old prophecy were taking place at that exact moment. Before that, He had already mentioned many other prophecies that were fulfilled through Him.
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold facts of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection, and also of His second coming.
In case you didn’t know, the last piece of the Old Testament was written around 430 BC.God had told through His prophets how the Messiah (check this post if you don’t know what it means) would come, suffer, die and be resurrected hundreds and even thousands of years before it happened.
The prophecies not only serve as positive argument of Jesus as the promised Messiah, they also show us the love of God: how He had planned long ago (the first prophecy comes with the Fall – see Genesis 3:15), that He would send His Son to die for our sins, and bring us close to Him again.
He planned salvation and He provided it fully. The only thing we need to do is accept it. Please read this post if you want to know more about it.
Peter and the other disciples trusted the prophecies and they knew those prophecies confirmed what Jesus claimed about Himself. And they believed:
We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21)
What about you? Do you believe?