We are in the midst of a series giving seven reasons why Jesus came to Earth. Today we cover that Jesus does this in order to fulfill prophecy.
Jesus’ death was not an accident, but a preplanned means of salvation. This is clear from Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:23, as well as the many statements from Jesus Himself throughout the gospels (Matthew 26:24-29, Mark 9:31, Luke 9:22, John 3:14). Jesus was planning to die for the entirety of His ministry.
Why is this important to keep in mind? Let’s explore just two.
One, this proves that Jesus is in total control of the situation. Him going to the cross isn’t because some teachings of His got out of hand. This wasn’t some sort of political hit job even if His enemies believed it to be (John 11:45ff). He stayed out of the Pharisee’s hands until his hour had arrived and knew who was going to betray Him even when His closest followers didn’t (John 13:21-30). No one killed Jesus, but Jesus laid His own life down. This shows that His death is a self-sacrificing action of love, rather than a murder (John 15:13).
Two, this proves that Jesus is the one the Old Testament was expecting. His manner of death is described in Psalm 22. The meaning of death is found in Isaiah 53. The title of King and the method of announcement of that title is described in Zachariah 9. His burial is prefigured in the story of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-40), and His resurrection is hinted at in Psalm 16:10.
And it isn’t even just Jesus death that was expected in the Old Testament but His life as well. He was predicted to be the descendant of David (2 Samuel 7), of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 50:10), born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), yet be someone that other’s wouldn’t recognize as being a Chosen One (Isaiah 53:2).
But of course, the most important prophecy that Jesus fulfills is in Genesis 3. It is promised all the way at the beginning that there would be a seed born that would crush the head of the snake. This was a way of saying that there would be one born who would set everything right. These prophecies were made hundreds, and in this last case, thousands of years before they came to pass. Such things don’t happen by accident.
By Jesus fulfilling all of these prophecies (and I’ve only related to you a small sampling), we can be sure that He has accomplished what He said He has. If someone just shows up and makes claims of being supernatural without any evidence, we write that person off as crazy. If someone arises that fulfills some of the descriptors of a coming Savior but not all of them, we are left hungering for the one who will satisfy all of the requirements. All through redemptive history, there were sons, judges, kings, prophets who were thought of as perhaps being the One. They may have been from the right lineage, or perhaps right brith location, but in the end they neither died a sacrificial death nor more critically rose from the dead. Only Jesus satisfies every prophecy. This is another reason why He came.