by Bill Nugent
One of the unique features of the Christian faith is that it is authenticated by prophecy and fulfillment of prophecy. There are over 300 prophecies contained in the Old Testament that predicted the first coming of Jesus Christ. (The term “Christ” is from the Greek “Christos” which is equivalent to the Hebrew “Mashiach” or “Messiah.”)
Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of the Jews. The prophecies of the coming of Christ were written hundreds of years before He was born in Bethlehem in Judea. These prophecies speak of the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ. These prophecies and their fulfillments verify the supernatural origin of the Bible. The Bible is God’s book. The Bible was written by divine inspiration.
No other holy book or sacred writing of any other religion or cult has anything close to the Bible’s accurate record of prophecy and fulfillment. The Bible is in a class of its own.
One of the clearest examples of Bible prophecy is the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah. Isaiah was a Jewish prophet who lived more than 700 years before the birth of Christ. Isaiah wrote a book of prophecy as he was inspired by God. Isaiah’s book of prophecy is one of the 39 books that make up the Old Testament of the Bible.
The 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah specifically describes the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is particularly specific in describing how Jesus was to become the Savior of all people. Jesus came to save us from our sins. God is holy. God is without sin. God will not tolerate sin and must punish sin. Isaiah 53 describes how Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, would take that punishment for sin upon Himself on our behalf. Isaiah wrote that Jesus would be “wounded for our transgressions…bruised for our iniquities.”Isaiah continues: “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah wrote that Christ would be an “offering for sin.”Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. This is why Jesus Christ is called the Savior.
The sufferings of Christ were not happenstance. It was all in God’s plan. It was written 700 years in advance that Christ would bear the wrath of God due us so that we could be forgiven if we only believe and turn to Him in repentance.