The Prophetic Credentials For The Messiah

The prophets often wrote about the coming Christ in the Old Testament. They explained His general characteristics, His mission, His plan, and even the way He would die and be raised from the dead. They wrote these prophecies down so that when the Messiah did come, God’s people could recognize Him. Also, by having these prophecies, God’s people could recognize a false messiah claiming to be the Christ. All God’s people had to do was compare that person with the credentials set forth by the prophets. Jesus Christ matched these credentials perfectly. If He had missed just one, there could be an argument made against Him for not being the Son of God.

Here are some examples of Jesus fitting the credentials to be the Messiah.

Moses prophesied that there would one day come a prophet greater than himself and He would come from the Jewish people.

The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear. (Deut. 18:15)

The Messiah had to be a Jew. Not only a Jew but from the ancestral line of David. God told David, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam. 7:12). Jesus was a Jew and could trace His ancestry back to David. (Matt. 1)

The prophets said that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14).

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me, The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Mic. 5:2)

Jesus was born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem (Matt 1:22-23). Interestingly, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but his home was in Galilee. He also spent some of his earliest years in Egypt. Amazingly, these things were prophesied about too (Is. 9:1-2, Hos. 11:1).

Most importantly, it was prophesied that this Messiah would bear the sins of the world and provide His people with healing.

“Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53).

Jesus bore our sin on the cross and through His stripes, we are healed (1 Pet. 2:24). He can be our Messiah as God intended Him to be! There are over 300 prophecies that spoke about the Christ; Jesus fits them all. There is no doubt that Jesus is both Lord and Christ! (Acts 2:36)

—Andrew Smith