Throughout Jewish history, the method of execution was stoning. Crucifixion was a Roman invention designed to give the most excruciating and lasting pain. In the days of David it was unknown. The God of heaven knew the future and inspired His servant to write it in the psalms.
At the foot of the cross, Roman soldiers unwittingly fulfilled the words of Scripture, for David had also predicted their actions. Psalm 22:18. “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts... Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top…. they said… Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be…” John 19:23.24.
Some might think Jesus planned to fulfil the prophecies, but if you examine the 61 major Messianic prophecies, you will realise it cannot be done.
Who would bribe the priests and scribes of Israel?
And who could bribe the Roman soldiers?
Even after Jesus died, the soldiers fulfilled a prediction of David who said, “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:20.
The disciple John records an eye-witness account, “Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs.” John 19:32.33.
Three days later, Jesus fulfilled King David’s prophecy of the Messiah’s resurrection from the tomb when he said, “thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10.
Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Perhaps His disciples came by night and stole His body?
How could they – Roman soldiers guarded the sepulchre!
The tomb of Jesus had a large stone across the doorway. It was sealed with a Roman seal, and an iron spike prevented the stone from being moved. The spike is no longer there, but the remaining metal in the rock wall shows it to have been sheered off, rather than removed before the stone was rolled across. The iron has been examined in a laboratory, showing it to be a mixture of iron and other metals dating to the early first century.
Reader, Jesus is alive.
Jesus is alive!
Not only does the Bible reveal prophecies of the nations, it also predicts the coming of the Messiah.
For centuries the Jewish people had awaited the promised One. They diligently studied the Scriptures to see when He would appear. Sadly they sought a king who would destroy their enemies, rather than a redeemer who would forgive their sins.
But God had prepared a few in Israel – Mary, Joseph, John, Zechariah, Elizabeth and others. They were watching and waiting. Even among the heathen were wise men who came in search of the Christ-child.
Were the Jewish priests rejoicing at His birth?
No, they did not even know. The wise men asked Herod, “Where is he who is born king of the Jews?” The king asked the priests who replied, “In Bethlehem, in the land of Judea”, and they quoted the prophet Micah. (Matthew 2:2-6)
Yes, the priests knew His birth place.
Writing seven hundred years earlier, Micah had prophesied, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2.
The child of Mary was the Son of God. He had volunteered to veil His divinity in humanity that He might save men and women from destruction. He was Yeshua, the Lamb of God, slain to pay the penalty for our sins.
Seventeen hundred years earlier Jacob, in the presence of his twelve sons, had prophesied of the Messiah. He said, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Genesis 49:10.
When Israel looked for the Messiah, here referred to as Shiloh, they were to seek Him from the tribe of Judah. This was the tribe chosen for the kings, from whence came David, king of Israel.
Before Yeshua – Jesus -- began His ministry, God sent a forerunner to prepare the way. This is unique in ancient Middle Eastern history. John was born to fulfil this important role.
On the banks of the river Jordan he cried, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of God is at hand… I am the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Matthew 2:2. Isaiah 40:3.
John was quoting the words of Isaiah, written seven hundred years earlier. Matthew 3:1.2. The priests knew these words well, but they refused to repent of their sins.
The ministry of Jesus began according to a time prophecy of Daniel.
“Seventy ‘weeks of years’” (Hebrew) Daniel 9:24.
______________________________________________________________ 457BC AD27 AD31 AD34
The prophet had predicted Jesus’ anointing in AD 27, and in that year the promised One came to the Jordan River to be baptised of John. He was the Mashiach -- ‘Anointed One’ – the long-awaited Messiah.
The priests were furious, and to make certain no one would recognise the Messiah in the future, they placed a curse on Daniel’s prophesies. “Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end.” Talmud Sanhedrin 97b.
But the honest in heart recognised Yeshua as the Messiah.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me... to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1.3.
Thou camest, O Lord, With the living Word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, And with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
“And Jesus came… and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” Luke 6:17.19.
Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey. “And they brought him (the donkey) to Jesus: and cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon… and the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” Luke 19:35-37.
Everyone knew this was a sign of the Messiah.
Five hundred years earlier, Zechariah had predicted the Messiah King would be “just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9.
The people cried out, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” Luke 19:38.
“Hosanna to the son of David.” Matthew 21:9.
At the completion of His mission, Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples. A thousand years earlier, King David had written of the Messiah, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9.
Zechariah added to this, “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price… so they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” Zechariah 11:12.
Judas sold His Master for thirty pieces of silver. Later he threw the money at the feet of the high priest, and went and hanged himself.
Not only did David speak of the betrayal of the Messiah, but also His crucifixion. “…the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” Psalms 22:16.
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