The Case for Jesus the Messiah: Incredible Prophecies That Prove God Exists
Anyone can make predictions – that is easy. Having them fulfilled is another story entirely. The more statements you make about the future and the greater the detail, the better the chances are that you will be proven wrong.
How difficult do you think it would be to indicate the precise kind of death that a new, unknown religious leader would experience a thousand years from today? Could you invent and predict now a new method of execution not currently known – one that won’t even be invented for hundreds of years? That’s what David did in 1000 B.C. when he wrote Psalm 22.
On the other hand, if you did think up 50 specific prophecies about some man in the future you will never meet, how difficult do you think it would be for that man to fulfill all 50 of your predictions? How hard would it be for him if 25 of your predictions were about what other people would do to him and were completely beyond his control?
*In the prophecies below references are given when they are not discussed in the body of the text.
And how does one “arrange” to have God inform and send the proper “messenger” to go before one? How does one “arrange” to be betrayed for a specific amount of money (30 pieces of silver)? How does one “arrange” in advance that his executioners will carry out their regular practice of breaking the legs of the two victims on either side of him, but not his? Finally, how does a pretender to being the Messiah “arrange” to be God? How does he escape from a grave and appear to people after he has been killed?
God gave a great number of prophecies about the Messiah for at least two reasons. First, it would make identifying the Messiah obvious. And second, it would make an imposter’s task impossible.
David Greenglass was a World War II traitor. He gave atomic secrets to the Russians and then fled to Mexico after the war. His conspirators arranged to help him by planning a meeting with the secretary of the Russian ambassador in Mexico City. Proper identification for both parties became vital.
The six prearranged signs worked. Why? With six identifying characteristics it was impossible for the secretary not to identify Greenglass as the proper contact.(16:43)
One final thing must be said. If we assume 456 prophecies are fulfilled in one person, what does the science of probability say about this? In brief, it says, if accurate predictions were made about a future Messiah and fulfilled years later by one person, this is proof that there is a God.
Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes of 600 college students.
But then Professor Stoner took their estimates and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more than fair. Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a Committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented.(19:4)
After examining eight different prophecies, they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 1017.
When that has been done, blindfold one man, then tell him he can travel wherever he wishes in the state of Texas. But sometime he must stop, reach down into the two feet of silver dollars and try to pull up that one specific silver dollar that has been marked.
In financial terms, is there anyone who would not invest in a financial venture if the chance of failure were only one in 1017? This is the kind of sure investment we are offered by God for belief in His Messiah.
Another way of saying this is that any person who minimizes or ignores the significance of the biblical identifying signs concerning the Messiah would be foolish.
But, of course, there are many more than eight prophecies. In another calculation Stoner used 48 prophecies (even though he could have used 456) and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 10157(19:109).
Electrons are very small objects. They are smaller than atoms. It would take 2.5 times 1015 of them, laid side by side, to make one inch. Even if we counted four electrons every second and counted day and night, it would still take us 19 million years just to count a line of electrons one-inch long.
In order to do that, you must take that big ball of electrons reaching the length of 6 billion light years long in all directions and multiply it by 6 x 1028! How big is that? It’s the length of the space required to store trillions and trillions and trillions of the same gigantic balls and more. In fact, the space required to store all of these balls combined together would just start to “scratch the surface” of the number of electrons we would need to really accurately speak about 10157.
Remember, this number represents the chance of only 48 prophecies coming true in one person. It illustrates why it is absolutely impossible for anyone to have fulfilled all the Messianic prophecies by chance. In fact, a leading authority on probability theory, Emile Borel, states in his book Probabilities and Life, that once we go past one chance in 1050, the probabilities are so small it’s impossible to think they will ever occur.(34)
Again, all of this means it is impossible for 48 prophecies to be fulfilled by chance. It is proof that there must be a God who supernaturally gave this information. The question is, can it be shown that such prophecies do exist?we