When we see the many prophecies about Messiah perfectly fulfilled in Jesus we ought bow our knee to Him as Savior and Lord. Nevertheless, there are many who respond with doubt and skepticism. In this post I’ll show you how to reply to skeptic objections to Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in the person of Jesus.
1. Psychic writings have also predicted the future. What’s the big deal about the Bible?
When it comes to predicting the future, the Bible stands alone for two reasons:
- It’s specific, not vague. Prophecy outside the Bible is vague. For example I will read to you Nastrodamus’ supposed prediction of the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany. He wrote “Followers of factions, great troubles are in store for the Messenger. A beast upon the theater prepares the scenical play. The inventor of that wicked feat will be famous. By factions the world will be confused and divided…Beasts mad with hunger will swim across rivers. Most of the army will be against the Lower Danube. The great one shall be dragged in an iron cage when the child brother will observe nothing.” See how vague that is!? In comparison, prophecy about Jesus is specific (he will be betrayed by a close friend, for 30 pieces of silver, and then, filled with remorse, his betrayer will return the money. Messiah will come from the line of Shem, the line of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, from the family of David.) Biblical prophecy is specific, not vague. Secondly…
- It’s 100% accurate. There are some prophecies in the Bible that have not yet been fulfilled, but there’s not one that’s been wrong. In comparison, the late Jeane Dixon, one of the best-known American astrologers and psychics of the 20th century, was repeatedly wrong in her predictions. She predicted that China would plunge the world into war in 1958. Wrong. That World War III would begin in 1954. Wrong. That Castro would be banished from Cuba in 1970. Wrong. That Jacqueline Kennedy would not remarry after her husband’s assassination. Wrong! The very next day (after this prediction), she married Aristotle Onassis. A study of the prophecies made by psychics in 1975, including Jeane Dixon’s showed they were only accurate 6% of the time. Friends – that’s called guessing and occasionally being right – that’s not prophecy! Bible prophecy on the other hand has been 100% accurate.
2. Jesus intentionally maneuvered his life to fulfill the prophecies so that he would be mistaken for the Messiah.
- For instance, Zechariah 9:9 predicted that the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Skeptics claim that Jesus told his disciples to get him a donkey so that he could deceive the people into thinking he was the Messiah.
- But this theory is blown to smithereens when we realize that Jesus fulfilled many prophecies that he didn’t have any control over. For example, how could Jesus control…
- The place of his birth
- Who his ancestors were
- How much money he would be betrayed for
- How he would be put to death
- How his bones wouldn’t be broken
- How the soldiers would cast lots for his clothing and so on
- Jesus had no control over any of these things.
3. Jesus fulfilled these prophecies coincidentally.
- They say that numerous people throughout history have probably fulfilled these prophecies. But people who say this obviously aren’t aware of just how difficult it is for one person to precisely fulfill all these prophecies.
- Author and science professor, Dr. Peter Stoner, worked with 600 students to come up with their best estimate of the mathematical probability of just 8 Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in any one person living down to the present time. Stoner then calculated that the probability of anyone fulfilling all 8 would be one chance in a hundred million billion. That’s a figure with 17 zeroes behind it!
- Imagine the entire world covered with white tile that is 1 ½ inches square—every bit of dry land on the planet—with a gold star painted on the bottom of just one of the tiles. Then picture a person being allowed to wander for a lifetime around all 7 continents. He would be permitted to bend down only one time and pick up a single piece of tile. What are the odds it would be the one tile with the gold star on its reverse side? Once chance in a hundred million billion—the same as just 8 of the Old Testament prophecies coming true in any one person throughout history.
- With that said, remember that Jesus fulfilled not just 8, rather hundreds of Old Testament prophecies. If the chances are a hundred million billion for one person to fulfill just 8 prophecies, imagine what the chances are that someone would fulfill 50, 100 or 300 prophecies! The chances are so astronomical they are beyond comprehension!!
For a much better explanation of how to respond to skeptics, check out Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith. Much of the material for this post has come from that book (as well as from The Case for Christ Student Edition also by Lee Strobel).