Is the Easter story true history? Here's an odd thing - it was predicted in minute detail over a period of many centuries by Jewish prophets. One man, the Jewish Messiah (the anointed, chosen Savior) had to precisely fulfill every prophecy to the letter. What are prophecies? They are history written in advance.
Prophecies are scattered like salt and pepper through the Old and NewTestaments. The prophecies of a Messiah fall into two types – the first type relate to a Messiah who would suffer terribly and be offered as a sacrifice for sin. There are 108 of this type of prophecies in the Old Testament and the Easter prophecies are in this group of predictions.
The other kind of prophecies refer to a Messiah coming back in triumph to rule and reign on the earth following a period of great catastrophes. There are over 2,000 prophecies relating to this sequence of events. We believe they will all be literally fulfilled, just as the first group of prophecies literally happened in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here are just a few of the Jewish prophecies. The Messiah in His first coming was predicted:
To enter Jerusalem in triumph - Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21, John 12 2 ;
To be rejected by his own people - Isaiah 53, Psalm 118:22 3 ;
To be betrayed by one of his followers – Psalm 41:9 4;
To be tried and condemned - Isaiah 53 5;
To be silent in front of his accusers - Isaiah 53 6;
To be struck and spat upon by his enemies - Isaiah 50:6 7;
To be mocked and insulted - Psalm 22 8.
To die by crucifixion - Psalm 22:14,16,17 9
To suffer with criminals and pray for His enemies - Isaiah 53 10
To be given vinegar - Psalm 69:21 11
Others were to cast lots for Messiah's garments - Psalm 22:18 12
Not to have a bone broken - Exodus 12:46 13
To die as a sacrifice for sin - Isaiah 53 14
To be raised from the dead - Psalm 16:10
Not only did the Lord Jesus fulfill all those prophecies, but there are many more which had to be specifically fulfilled.
He had to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), of the tribe of Judah and the line of David, come out of Egypt, but also be known as a Nazarene.
If Jesus had not fulfilled every one of these, He would have not been the true Messiah. If you know anything about maths and probability theory, please work out the probability of someone born in Bethlehem (population then probably fewer than 10,000), but he had to be of the line of David, then somehow he had to come 'out of Egypt', and yet be known as a Nazarene. And, oh yes, that same person had another 100 or so details predicted in advance which he had to perfectly satisfy.
I wonder if there is a computer on earth which could even work out the maths on one person fulfilling all those specifications. The number is beyond infinite. Totally out of court. The probability line goes so far off the wall it disappears.
Conclusion: it is absolutely impossible for one person to fulfill all the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah. Unless that person IS the Messiah.
The Easter story is true, folks. It really happened. And the most amazing thing about it is that the story is not nearly over, but the best – and the worst – is yet to come!
There are those other 2000-plus prophecies to be lived through and, boy oh boy, are they ever something!
But how could those ancient Jewish prophets know that all those things about the Messiah would happen in the future? No man knows the future. There is only one way they could know – by being informed by Someone who is outside time and can see the future as clearly as you can see your own hand.
That Someone is clearly almighty God, who pleads with us through the words of those same prophets to turn to Him and repent of our sins. Now is the time and today is the day for you to admit to yourself that Jesus really is the Messiah, the one who was both God and man and was predicted to die as a sacrifice for sin.
It is a very good idea to do this before that second lot of prophecies kicks in. Then it might be too late. Jesus said: ‘For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ John 3:17-18
You have no excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ, the only man who has fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, the only One who paid the price for our sins. Accept Jesus and have your sins blotted out, or reject Him and carry your load of sin to the grave, and on to Hell.
The choice if yours; God does not want to have to send you to Hell. Jesus said whoever will may come to Him. Make up your mind that nothing and no one will stop you coming to Jesus and asking Him to forgive your sins.