Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophetic “Fingerprint” of the Messiah?
Bernis was shocked to learn that the original followers of Jesus were all Jews who saw him as the fulfillment of their scriptures. In fact, many of their writings in the gospels connect the ancient Hebrew prophecies to Jesus’ alleged fulfillment. So, Bernis read both the Old Testament messianic prophecies as well as the claims in the New Testament of how they were fulfilled by the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
Bernis notes that the prophetic clues provide a “fingerprint” for the Messiah’s identity. He wondered if they would fit together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal Jesus as the Christ (Greek for Messiah). Or would they expose him as a fraud?
He also wanted to see if recently found mysteries from over 980 Dead Sea Scrolls would shed light on the Messiah’s identity. Hidden in caves for 1,900 years, these ancient scrolls were finally telling their story about the identity of the true Messiah. He wondered what clues they would reveal.
As he read the Scriptures, Bernis was amazed to see how ancient prophets had indeed provided a “fingerprint” from which the Messiah could be identified. A few examples are,
- He would be from the lineage of David
- He would be born in Bethlehem
- He would be rejected by his own people
- He would be betrayed by a friend
- He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver
- He would be pierced in his hands and feet
- He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb
- He would be raised from the dead
Bernis was shocked to read that Jesus was from the line of David, was born in Bethlehem, was rejected by the Jewish leaders, was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, was nailed to a cross and then buried in a rich man’s tomb. And, his followers proclaimed that he rose from the dead.
Wondering if Jesus’ fulfillment might have been coincidental, Bernis read that the odds of Jesus fulfilling these eight prophecies would be one in 100 quadrillion. Professor of Mathematics Peter Stoner illustrates how improbable that would be:
First, blanket every inch of an area the size of Texas (268,000 square miles) with silver dollars two feet high.
Second, put a special mark on one dollar and bury it among the trillions of other silver dollars throughout the State of Texas.
Then blindfold someone and ask them to travel throughout Texas and pick up that marked dollar on one try.
It would have been more difficult for Jesus to have fulfilled eight prophecies than to pick up that one marked dollar. Yet, Jesus fulfilled far more— over forty-eight prophetic details written in roughly 300 Old Testament Scriptures. According to mathematicians, that’s statistically impossible.