Yeshua Fulfilled the Messianic Prophecies

Below are facts about Yeshua’s life that prove He fulfilled the Messianic prophecies.  All of them are supported by an abundance of eyewitness testimony.  Furthermore, His disciples devoted the remainder of their lives to His cause.  They were willing to die rather than abandon Him and His message about salvation.   These, too, are compelling arguments that Yeshua is the One He claimed to be.

Yeshua was born of a virgin named Mary (Miriam in Hebrew) in Bethlehem, a tiny village about 5 miles from Jerusalem, and He is from the tribe of Judah.[1]

Before Yeshua began His earthly ministry, John the Baptist prepared the way for Him by telling the people they needed to repent from their sins.[2]

John the Baptist fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy about Elijah coming before the Messiah.  Somewhere between 450 B.C. and 400 B.C., the prophet Malachi foretold that Elijah would return before the “great and terrible day of Yahweh…(to) restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”[3] Because they knew about this prophecy, shortly after Yeshua’s disciples understood clearly that He was the Messiah, they asked Him why the Jewish religious leaders said Elijah must return before the Messiah, and He told them, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished.  So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”[4]

John the Baptist’s role in Yeshua’s ministry was to turn the hearts and minds of the Children of Israel back to Yahweh by declaring that they needed to repent.  The Hebrew word translated as “repent” (or “relent”) in the Old Testament and the Tanach is “nacham” (naw-kham’).  It means to sigh or to be sorry.  The Greek word for repent that is used in the New Testament is “metanoeo” (met-an-o-eh’).  It means to think differently or to reconsider.  Both of these words carry with them the connotation that people should change their behavior because they are sorry for what they have done and that they should begin immediately to think differently about sin.  To repent, therefore, means to be sorry for sins already committed and to refrain from committing sins in the future.  That is exactly what John the Baptist preached, and that is exactly the role Malachi prophesied Elijah would play.

As you know, the Old Testament and the Tanach tell us that there is only one Messiah and that He plays two different roles at two different times.  First, He had to come as Immanuel (God with us) to suffer and die for His people, to redeem us, and to atone for our sins.[5] Second, He will return as Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace to rule the earth before the “great and terrible day of Yahweh.”[6] A person with the spirit of Elijah (John the Baptist) heralded the Messiah’s first coming, and many people believe another person with the spirit of Elijah will precede His second coming.  That is exactly what Yeshua meant when He said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things.”[7]

The second person with Elijah’s spirit is discussed in Revelation chapter 11.  He is described as one of Yahweh’s two witnesses.  This witness will play a slightly different role than the one played by John the Baptist.  While John preached a message of repentance from sin to avoid judgment, the witness depicted in Revelation chapter 11 will preach a message of repentance, but he will also initiate Yahweh’s judgment before what Christians call the “Great Tribulation” and what the Old Testament and Tanach refer to as the “great and terrible day of Yahweh.”  This is what Malachi says about that day: “‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,’ says Yahweh Sabaoth, ‘so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.  But for you who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.  You will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,’ says Yahweh Sabaoth.’”[8]

When He went to Jerusalem for Passover the year He died, He entered the city riding on a donkey, the colt of an ass.[9]

Judas, one of Yeshua’s disciples, betrayed Him and collected 30 pieces of silver for turning Him over to the religious authorities.[10] When he realized what he had done, Judas returned the money to the priests.  He entered the Temple and threw the silver coins at them.  Since it was “blood money,” the priests refused to accept it.  Instead, they used the money to purchase the potter’s field for use as a cemetery.[11]

During His trials before the priests, the civil authorities, and the Roman Governor, Yeshua’s enemies treated Him brutally.  They spit on Him and literally beat Him to a pulp.  When they were through, He did not even look like a man.[12] Yet, He was silent before His accusers.[13]

Yeshua was crucified on Passover, and His followers refer to Him affectionately as the Lamb of God.  He is our Sacrificial Lamb.  He willingly and gladly sacrificed His own life and spilled His own blood to atone for our sins.[14] He, therefore, is the Passover Sacrifice and the Yom Kippur Sacrifice.

Two thieves were crucified along with Him,[15] and the soldiers who nailed Him to the tree gambled for His clothing at the foot of the tree while He was dying to atone for their sins.[16]

As sundown approached, the priests asked the Roman Governor to kill the three men who had been crucified, including Yeshua.  Ironically, the priests shared responsibility for slaying Yahweh’s Passover Lamb, but they were oblivious to the role they were playing in His divine plan to redeem and save mankind through the Messiah’s shed blood.  The Gentile rulers in Israel at the time (the Romans) also shared responsibility for the Messiah’s death so it is correct to say that both Gentiles and Jews nailed Him to the tree.  All of mankind, therefore, shares guilt for slaying the Messiah.  The Jewish people are not more or less guilty than everyone else.

Complying with the priests’ request, the Roman governor sent his men to kill the three men.  When they arrived at the crucifixion site, they could see that Yeshua was already dead, but they pierced His side with a spear to make certain, and blood and water came pouring out of His body.  They broke the legs of the other two men to hasten their deaths, but they did not need to break Yeshua’s legs since He was already dead.[17]

When Yeshua died and gave up His Spirit, a strange darkness covered the land.[18] There was an earthquake, and the veil in the Temple separating the Holy of Holies from the Outer Chamber of the sanctuary was torn in two.  The people standing near the tree where He was crucified knew something strange was happening, but they had no idea what it was.  Yahweh was taking on Himself all the sins we will ever commit to redeem us and to atone for our sins so He could declare us righteous, give us eternal life, and restore the intimacy He had with His people before Adam sinned.[19]

As He was about to die, the Gospels tell us that Yeshua said, “It is finished!”[20] However, this is not a good translation.  He actually said, “Paid in full!”[21] The price for our sins had been paid; we were redeemed; and our sins were forgiven.

With His death on the tree, Yeshua took the curse of the Law[22] on Himself so we can receive the blessings promised to Abraham’s descendants.

Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy friend of the Messiah, asked the Roman governor for permission to bury Him in a tomb he had dug for himself.  It was located just a short distance from the crucifixion site in a beautiful garden.[23]

Most of Yeshua’s own people, the Children of Israel, rejected Him,[24] and for most of them He has become a stumbling block.[25] However, Gentiles followed Him,[26] and today approximately 2 billion Gentile people living on earth, or about one third of the world’s population, claim to be Christians.

All these facts about Yeshua’s life, death, and resurrection provide convincing proof that He is exactly who He claimed to be and that His death accomplished exactly what He said it would, and all of them have been confirmed.  He lived His life in perfect obedience to the Law spelled out in the Torah, and His death sealed a New Covenant between Yahweh and all of mankind.

The New Covenant Sealed with Yeshua’s Blood

Yeshua paid the whole price for our sins.  He suffered before His death, and after His death He went to hell for those who put their faith in Him.  Yahweh’s Law—the Torah—required it!  But hell and the grave could not hold Him, and His body did not decay.[27]

Yeshua made the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and it will never be repeated!  After His death, He became the chief Cornerstone[28] of the new Temple of Yahweh—a Temple not made with hands.  The Temple of Yahweh is His body of believers who have put their faith in Him, and He is the Head of the body.

When the Roman soldier pierced Yeshua’s side with his spear and blood and water came gushing out of His body, He sprinkled the Mercy Seat, fulfilled the Law’s requirement, and sealed a New Covenant.  This is the covenant referred to by Jeremiah,[29] Isaiah,[30] and Ezekiel.[31]

On the third day after His death, He arose from the grave and became our Intercessor before the Father.  His death initiated a permanent priesthood that was not like the Levitical priesthood introduced by Moses.  The Levitical priests were sinners themselves.  They had to make sacrifices for their own sins before they could offer sacrifices for the sins of the Children of Israel.  Moreover, they had to offer sacrifices yearly for atonement as a constant reminder that they needed a redeemer and savior.  But Yeshua’s sacrifice was different.  His offering was once and for all, and He became our permanent High Priest before the Father just as King David prophesied: “Yahweh has sworn and will not change His mind, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”[32]

The Order of Melchizedek

Melchizedek symbolizes the Messiah uniting the roles of High Priest and King.  According to Ramban, a Jewish sage, Melchizedek was actually Shem—Noah’s son.[33] Charles Ryrie, the Bible scholar, says he “foreshadowed the crowning of Messiah, who at His second coming will build the (millennial) temple and unite the offices of King and Priest in one Person.”[34] Others have said he is Seth (Adam’s son), Job, or an angel, but many people believe Melchizedek is a preincarnate manifestation of the Messiah—in which case he would be Yahweh.

Melchizedek is mentioned in the Bible for the first time in Genesis chapter 14 where we are told about Abraham rescuing his nephew Lot after several allied kings had taken him and his family captive.  When Abraham returned to Jerusalem after the rescue, Melchizedek came out to meet him.  This is what the Bible says about their encounter:

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High (El Elyon).[35] He blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’  He (Abraham) gave him (Melchizedek) a tenth of all.”[36]

About 1000 years later, King David said, “Yahweh has sworn and will not change His mind, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”[37] Then David said, “The Lord (the Messiah) is at Your (the Father’s) right hand; He (the Messiah) will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.  He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.  He will drink from the brook by the wayside; therefore He will lift up His head.”[38]

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul says this about Melchizedek: “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his Name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace.  Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.”[39]

Paul goes on to say that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham, Levi, or Aaron[40] and that He prefigured the Messianic priesthood that is different from the Levitical order—a better priesthood that is both perfect and perpetual.[41] Paul says,

“For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of the former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God[42]….Yeshua has become the guarantee of a better covenant[43]….because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.  Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”[44]

This is the way Yahweh explained the Messiah’s role to Zechariah: “Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.  Then say to him, Thus says Yahweh Sabaoth, ‘Behold, a man whose Name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the Temple of Yahweh.  Yes, it is He who will build the Temple of Yahweh, and He will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne.  Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.’”[45]

We know from Jeremiah’s[46] and Isaiah’s[47] prophecies that the One whose Name is Branch is the Messiah, that He made the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and that He is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Price of Peace.  Yahweh confirmed Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s prophecies by telling Zechariah that One whose Name is Branch (the Messiah) is both King and Priest.  Those are the offices Melchizedek held.  Therefore, I believe Melchizedek is the preincarnate Messiah—Yahweh.  He is King forever and perpetual High Priest, and He established a new and better covenant and became our permanent Intercessor before the Father.

Melchizedek’s Messianic identity was not lost on the ancient rabbis.  Many of them believed Melchizedek was the Messiah, and following Yeshua’s crucifixion this fact created quite a problem.  After His resurrection, Yeshua’s disciples explained His priesthood by referring to Melchizedek, and the rabbis essentially abandoned any mention of Melchizedek from that time forward.  For a complete discussion of this issue, read Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament by F.F. Bruce.[48]

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[1] Micah 5: 2 and Genesis 49: 10.

[2] Isaiah 40: 3.

[3] Malachi 4: 5-6.

[4] Matthew: 17: 11-12.

[5] Isaiah 53.

[6] Isaiah 9.

[7] Matthew: 17: 11.

[8] Malachi 4: 1-3.

[9] Zechariah 9: 9.

[10] Psalm 41: 9 and Zechariah 11: 12.

[11] Zechariah 11: 13.

[12] Isaiah 52: 14.

[13] Isaiah 54: 5, Isaiah 50: 6, Isaiah 53: 7, Genesis 3: 15, and Isaiah 52: 14.

[14] Psalm 22: 16, Zechariah 11: 12, Zechariah 13: 7, Isaiah 53: 4-7, and Isaiah 53: 10.

[15] Isaiah 53: 9.

[16] Isaiah 53: 12 and Psalm 22: 18.

[17] Zechariah 12: 10 and Psalm 34: 20.

[18] Amos 8: 9.

[19] Isaiah 53: 12.

[20] John 19: 30.

[21] Ryrie, Charles.  Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 1719.

[22] Deuteronomy 21: 23.

[23] Isaiah 53: 9.

[24] Isaiah 53: 3.

[25] Isaiah 8: 14-15.

[26] Isaiah 11: 10.

[27] Psalm 16: 10.

[28] Psalm 118: 22, Isaiah 28: 16, and Zechariah 10: 4.

[29] Jeremiah 31: 31-33.

[30] Isaiah 42: 1-9.

[31] Ezekiel 34: 25.

[32] Psalm 110: 4.  Also, see Isaiah 53: 12 where Yeshua’s role as intercessor is discussed.

[33] Scherman, Rabbi Nosson, The Stone Edition Tanach, The ArtScroll Series®, Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, New York, 1996, p. 29.

[34] Ryrie, Charles.  Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p. 1466.

[35] This is the first time in the Bible El Elyon is used as a Name of Yahweh.

[36] Genesis 14: 18-20.  The parentheses are mine.

[37] Psalm 110: 4.

[38] Psalm 110: 5-7.  The parentheses are mine.

[39] Hebrews 7: 1-3.

[40] Hebrews 7: 4-11.

[41] Hebrews 7: 12-18.

[42] Hebrews 7: 18-19.

[43] Hebrews 7: 22.

[44] Hebrews 7: 24.

[45] Zechariah 6: 11-13.

[46] Jeremiah 23: 5 and 33: 15-16.

[47] Isaiah 4: 2-3 and 11: 1-5.

[48] Bruce, F.F.  Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1984, pp. 64-65.

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