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Prophecy, Jesus’ Death, and the Lord's Supper


 

Prophecy, Jesus' death, and the Lord's SupperWe sometimes consider the prophecy of Isaiah 53 in connection with the Lord's Supper. But there are many other prophecies about Jesus’ death. Let us consider just a few.

 

The Prophecies

Old Testament prophets predicted the death of Christ.

Psalm 22:16-18 – The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.

Psalm 16:10 – You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. This predicts the resurrection of Christ, but it also predicts His death. It says His soul would go to Sheol – the abode of the dead – but would not remain there.

Zechariah 12:10 – … they will look on Me whom they pierced.

Zechariah 13:7 – Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered

These passages say just the opposite of what the Jews expected. They believed their Messiah would become king over a great earthly kingdom, and He would lead them to great victory over their enemies. Yet their own Scriptures said all along that they would reject and kill Him!

Jesus Himself predicted His rejection, death, and resurrection.

Matthew 16:21 – From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Matthew 20:18,19 – Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.

Mark 14:27-31 – Jesus explained the prophecy, “…strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,” He said it would be fulfilled beginning that very night when His disciples would forsake Him. When Peter denied that he would stumble, Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him three times.

John 13:21-30 - He also predicted that Judas would betray Him.

No pretender would make such predictions, for he would know that three days after His death, everyone would recognize that he was a fraud.

The Fulfillment

Nevertheless, all these prophecies were fulfilled when the Jews crucified Jesus.

Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50 – Judas betrayed Him. Jesus was arrested by the Jewish leaders but was delivered to the Romans to be crucified.

Matthew 26:31 – Zechariah 13:7 was fulfilled when disciples were scattered at Jesus’ death.

John 19:18,23,24 – Jesus was crucified, His hands and feet pierced. The soldiers then divided His garments but cast lots for His tunic.

John 19:37 quotes Zechariah 12:10 as being fulfilled when Jesus was pierced on the cross.

On the third day, He was raised again.

All these predictions had been made before Jesus’ death – some of them centuries before He was even born. Perhaps a man might fulfill one or two of these predictions by coincidence, but to fulfill all of them would be impossible except by plan of God. And for Jesus Himself to make such predictions and then fulfill them constitutes proof that He Himself was a true prophet.

Jesus’ claims are confirmed to be true, both by His fulfillment of prophecy and by His ability to predict the future. We commemorate these events surrounding His death in the Lord's Supper.


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019

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