Jesus’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies is nothing short of breathtaking. In at least 322 places, Jewish prophets, who wrote hundreds of years before Jesus’s birth, predicted details about the coming Messiah’s life: he would be born in Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David, flee to Egypt as a kid, begin his ministry in Galilee, perform many miracles, enter as King into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey, be betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver, die by crucifixion between thieves, and then be resurrected and ascend to heaven—just to name a few.5
I’ve heard that when a foreign spy wants to appeal for asylum in the United States, the CIA gives him or her several layers of instruction to verify their identity so that there is no chance for a mistake. For example, one Soviet agent was told:
Go to Mexico City. When there, (1) write a letter to the secretary of the US embassy requesting a meeting, signing your name as “I. Jackson.” After three days (2) go to the Plaza de Colon in Mexico City and (3) stand before the statue of Columbus, (4) placing your middle finger in a guidebook. When approached, (5) say, “That is a magnificent statue,” and (6) that you are only visiting from Oklahoma.6
If someone did all those things in the right sequence, the CIA could reasonably assume they had the right person and not someone who just showed up in the right place at the wrong time. God sent Jesus with more than three hundred such verifications.
Mathematicians say that the odds of those prophecies randomly coalescing on any one person is 1 in 10157. (That’s 10 with 157 zeroes after it. I wanted to put all the zeroes in here, but my publisher threatened to charge me personally for the extra ink. Trust me, it looks impressive.) To put that in perspective, 1 in 1016 would be the statistical probability of covering the entire surface area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia with silver dollars two feet deep, painting one red, and giving a blindfolded man one chance to pick the red one. Mathematicians conclude—in a principle called Borel’s Law—that any odds beyond 1 in 1050 realistically have a zero probability of ever happening.7 Jesus’s fulfillment of prophecy is a strong indicator that he is who he said he was.
Greear, J. D., and David Jeremiah. 2018. Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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