When the early Christians preached, and when they studied with people, it was prophecy that they would emphasize. In Ac 8, Philip explained to the eunuch about Jesus from the Isa 53 prophecy. Again in places like Ac 17:3 and 28:23, Paul used the Scriptures to show that the Messiah had to be like Jesus, who suffered. Let's look at a few powerful OT prophecies about Jesus and the kingdom that can build our faith.
explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, " he said.
They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
1. Mic 4:1-3. In the last days, God will establish his kingdom from Jerusalem, and it will impact the whole world.
1 In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
2. Mic 5:2. A ruler of Israel, whose origins are of old, will come from Bethlehem.
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
3. Jer 31:31-34. God is planning a new covenant with people, where they can have a personal relationship with him.
31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD.
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
4. Da 2:36-45. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Four kingdoms-Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. During the last kingdom, God's eternal kingdom will be set up (vv.44-45).
36 "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
37 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 "After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.
40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.
41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands--a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."
5. Da 7:13-14. One "like a son of man" (Jesus called himself this-Lk 18:8). Led into God's presence; given all authority; worshipped by all; everlasting dominion; every nation worshipped him!
13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
6. Isa 7:14. The virgin will have a child, called, "God with us."
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
7. Isa 9:1-2. God will honor Galilee of the Gentiles with a great light (all the apostles were from Galilee-Ac 2:7).
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan--
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?
8. Isa 11:1-5. A righteous man will come from the line of Jesse.
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
9. Isa 42:1-4. God will put his Spirit on his servant, who'll never give up till he establishes justice on earth.
1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."
10. Isa 52:13-53:12. The most famous prophecy, written 700 years before Jesus, confirmed by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Highlights:
13 See, my servant will act wisely ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--
15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
a. 52:14 Disfigured appearance.
b. 52:15 Impact on kings.
c. 53:2 Not a wordly success.
d. 53:3 Rejected by men.
e. 53:4 Carried sorrows and sicknesses; considered cursed by God.
f. 53:5 Pierced and crushed for our sins, so we could be healed.
g. 53:6 God laid on him the sin of ALL. We are all sinners.
h. 53:7 Silent when attacked.
i. 53:8 Unfairly taken away and killed.
j. 53:9 Assigned to die with wicked (thieves), with rich in death (buried in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb).
k. 53:10 All this was God's plan, yet he will see his offspring.
l. 53:11 After his suffering, he'll see light, and many will be justified from sin.
m. 53:12 God will exalt him with the great-he bore the sin of many. He prayed for the transgressors (like the thieves on their crosses).
11. Zec 3:8-9. Joshua (Jesus) was symbolic of the future, when God would remove the sin of the land in a single day.
8 "'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
12. Zec 12:10-11,13:1-2. God will pour out a spirit of grace; people will look on the one they have pierced and weep (Lk 23:27-weeping women). That day a fountain of forgiveness will be opened!
10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
1 "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
2 "On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land.
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
13. Ps 22:1,6-18,22-24,30-31. Another famous prophecy, which Jesus referred to on the cross (Mt 27:45-46), written 1000 years before his life!
1 For the director of music. To the tune of "The Doe of the Morning." A psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn-- for he has done it.
a. vv.6-8 Insulted and mocked by the crowd-"He trusts in God."
b. vv.12-13 Surrounded by angry people.
c. vv.14-15 Failing heart, exhausted, thirsty and dying-crucifixion had not even been invented when this was written!
d. vv.16-18 Bones distended; gambling for his clothing.
e. vv.22-24 This same guy praises God in the congregation! God saved the suffering one.
f. vv.30-31 Future generations will hear about the Lord and proclaim his righteousness.
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
14. Ps 31:5. "Into your hands I commit my spirit." Jesus said this as he died (Lk 23:46).
Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
15. Ps 69:19-21. Gall and vinegar for his thirst (Mt 27:48,Jn 19:28-29).
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."
29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.
16. Joel 2:28-32. God will pour out his spirit on all people. They'll prophecy. All who call on God will be saved (Ac 2).
28 'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
There are other prophecies as well. But these are enough. Remember, Jesus was arrested and condemned by his enemies. Ac 13:27. "Yet in condemning and killing him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath." He could not have arranged for his life and death to fulfill all these prophecies. God did it.
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.