Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here…“He is Risen!”
We celebrate Easter this Sunday, the high point of the year for every Christian. Jesus overcame the grave; death has no sting. We are assured of life—life eternal, and life to the full. Jesus conquered death while giving a “convincing proof” (Acts 1:3) that He is what He said He was, the Son of God.
Another of those “convincing proofs” is the prophecies found throughout the scriptures that speak of the Messiah and Saviour. There are 332 distinct prophecies fulfilled our yet to be fulfilled in Jesus.
Why should all these prophecies, fulfilled in Christ, be so impressive?
Sure, one, two, maybe three might be fulfilled in one person, but dozens or hundreds all fulfilled in one person is mathematically mind-blowing.
Professor Peter Stoner in “Science Speaks” (Moody Press, 1963) sought to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability.
Stoner said that if you were to take just eight prophecies, like the following:
1. Born at Bethlehem
*Micah 5:2 ; Luke 2:4-7
2. Messiah would be preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist) *Isaiah 40:3 ; Matthew 3:1-2
3. Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey.
*Zechariah 9:9 ; Luke 19:35-37
4. The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend (Judas)
*Psalms 41:9 ; Matthew 10:4
5. Messiah would be sold for 30 pieces of silver
*Zechariah 11:12 ; Matthew 26:15
6. Pieces of silver to be thrown in the temple
*Zechariah 11:13 ; Matthew 27:5
The silver would be used to buy a “potter’s” field
*Zechariah 11:13 ; Matthew 27:7
7. Messiah would stay quiet before his accusers
*Isaiah 53:7 ; Matthew 27:12-19
8. Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced and he would be crucified by
thieves. * Psalm 22 ; John 19:17-30
Professor Stoner states that: “the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017”. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that “we take 1017silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the State two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the State. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but that he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”
“Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just once chance in 1017 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ.”
You can read further on this in Josh McDowell’s book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict.
Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Easter! Remember, He is Risen!
Have a blessed week,
P.S. – Our current FAIR project is an aid program to change the trajectory of 10 families in the slums of Kolkata, India. Visit our website for more details, or to donate online. Consider making this an Easter offering in your church.
Our 2014 Fellowship theme verse is:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 (NLT)
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