What prophecies did Jesus fulfill at His first coming and while He was here on earth?
His Prophesied Coming
Jesus coming has been the theme of many a prophet in the Old Testament, but even one that spills over into the New Testament, as we will later read. Micah the Prophet spoke of the birthplace of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ by writing, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2). That was fulfilled in the New Testament where Luke wrote, that Joseph and Mary “went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 3:4-7).
Born of a Virgin
The Messiah was also prophesied to be born of a virgin, as Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), and the name, “Immanuel” means “God with us.” Luke affirms the conception of Jesus by the virgin Mary where an angel tells her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31) and “the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:27).
The incarnation simply means that Jesus would take on the flesh of mankind, yet remain fully God, as the Apostle John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1), but then, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). John says “we have seen his glory,” indicating that the other Apostles saw Him too, and obviously, many other of His disciples saw Him too, so John writes as an eye witness about these things because He was there at the Transfiguration and saw Jesus’ resurrected body, so he is “the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24).
Jesus as the Messiah was expected, but most of the Jews at the time of His coming wouldn’t have thought so. In the beginning, Jesus’ followers grew and then peaked at about the time that He came riding in on a donkey entering Jerusalem, which is yet another prophecy fulfilled (Zech 9:9), but then the same ones that cried out, “Hosanna in the Highest” (Matt 21:9) then quickly turned on Him, crying out “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21), so the focus here is on the prophesied rejection of Christ found in the Old Testament, and then later fulfilled in the New Testament. He was prophesied to be rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3) and what greater rejection of Christ than to have Him crucified? Tragically, “even his own brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5) and the others would abandon Him, right after promising to even die with Him. Of course, that all changed the moment Jesus was arrested and the seriousness of the punishment came out. This caused even Judas to regret his betrayal of Jesus and so he brought back the thirty pieces of silver but the religious leaders wouldn’t accept it, being blood money. Judas too was foretold to betray Jesus in the Old Testament, where the psalmist wrote, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9).
Hundreds of years before Jesus was even born into the flesh, Isaiah the Prophet wrote a vivid but grim picture of what the “suffering servant” would go through, and as we read in the gospel accounts of Calvary, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:53a), and was beaten so beyond human recognition that He was “as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3b). There on the cross, Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5) and for those who have repented and trusted in Christ, “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Then there is Psalm 22 where the psalmist even repeats Jesus words on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). Even the Roman soldiers gambling was prophesied and fulfilled at the cross (Matt 27:35), where it is written, “they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:18).
I could have added dozens and dozens of other prophecies that Jesus has already fulfilled by His coming and during His earthly ministry, but there are yet more prophecies yet to be fulfilled, and these are some of the most important ones in the sense that they will impact our eternal destiny. Jesus will sit as Judge at the Great White Throne Judgment, and all who have ever lived and who were living at the time of Jesus coming will be judged according to their works, and if they haven’t trusted in Christ, then their own works will only earn them eternal death (Rom 6:23). I pray that is not you. If you have not yet repented from your sins and placed your trust in Jesus Christ, I plead with you to do this today, and do it before Jesus returns; otherwise, your fate is to terrible to even describe (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8).