The Prophecies about Jesus

Asbury Free Methodist – December 5, 2021

By Rev. Dr. Brent Russett

The Jesus you never Knew – Part 2 Various Prophecies –

            I love this time of year. We have had an outbreak of nativity scenes around our house. We have gathered these from around the world. I am always fascinated by what nativity scenes show us about our theology.

I am not always sure that this view is informed by the Bible. For instance, take a walk around your house this Christmas season. Peer into the nativity scene. Look into the manger. There is a good chance that the baby Jesus will have sandy brown hair and look very Caucasian. But Jesus was Jewish, through and through. Have you ever seen a Jewish boy with sandy brown hair?

I love the Jesus film. Based on the gospel of Luke, it goes through Jesus’ life. That film has been used by God to transform more people’s lives than any other tool I know. But the guy playing Jesus in the film looked no more Jewish than I look Spanish.

When you run your theology, what you believe about God, through the grid of a white middle-class image of Jesus, you are bound to get some distortions. When we make Jesus like us, we will miss who he wants to be for us.

            We try to bring Jesus down to our size and miss who he really is.

How about you. Is your view of Jesus a little too small? Today is the second Sunday of Advent, and on this Sunday, I want to remind you that Jesus was a legend before his time.

Most people who become legends do so after they die. Vincent Van Gogh was a virtually unknown painter while he lived. It wasn’t until after he died that his work achieved notoriety. He became a legend after his time.

Some people are fortunate enough to become a legend in their time. Wayne Gretzky is probably closer to that status than is any other Canadian. To millions of hockey fans, he has become a legend in his own time.

But Jesus was the only person ever to become a legend before his time. He was made famous before he was born. He was people’s hero before he appeared in time and space in a stable in Bethlehem. Prophet after prophet spoke of him. They told us what he would be like. Jesus was a legend before his time, in his time, and after his time.

Grasping hold of this will do wonders in helping us to think clearly about Jesus. It will keep us from bringing Jesus down to our size. It will help us get a better perspective on Jesus.

We make a big deal about Christmas. The baby born in a stable: the angels, the shepherds. We intuitively know that there was something very special about this baby. Today I want to take some time and show you just how special he is.

What I want to do is walk you through some of the prophecies and their fulfilment. In doing so, I hope you will come to see that Jesus was no ordinary man.

700 Years before the birth of Christ the prophet wrote:

Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

The Fulfilment

Luke 1:31,34 (NIV)

31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

700 B.C. The Prophecy

Micah 5:2 (NIV)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

though you are small among the clans of Judah,

out of you will come for me

one who will be ruler over Israel,

whose origins are from of old,

from ancient times.”


Matthew 2:1 (NRSV)

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,

710 B.C The Prophecy

Hosea 11:1 (NIV)

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,

and out of Egypt I called my son.

The Fulfillment

Matthew 2:14–15 (NIV)

14 So he (Joseph) got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 

450 B.C. The Prophecy

Malachi 3:1 (NIV)

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.


Matthew 3:1–2 (NIV)

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

700 B.C. The Prophecy

Isaiah 40:3 (NIV)

A voice of one calling:

“In the wilderness prepare

the way for the Lord;

make straight in the desert

a highway for our God. 

The Fulfilment

John 1:23 (NIV)

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” 


520 B.C. The Prophecy

Zechariah 11:12 (NIV)

12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So, they paid me thirty pieces of silver.


Matthew 26:15 (NIV)

15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So, they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.

1000 B.C. The Prophecy

Psalm 55:12–14 (NIV)

12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;

if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.

13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,

14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship

among the worshipers.


Matthew 26:49–50 (NIV)

49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” 

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

520 B.C. The Prophecy

Zechariah 11:13 (NIV)

13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So, I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.


Matthew 27:5–7 (NIV)

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.

1000 B.C The Prophecy

Psalm 27:12 (NRSV)

for false witnesses have risen against me,

and they are breathing out violence.


Matthew 26:59 (NRSV)

59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death,

700 B.C. The Prophecy

Isaiah 50:6 (NRSV)

6I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face

from insult and spitting.


Matthew 27:26,30 (NIV)

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.

700 B.C. The Prophecy

Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)

He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth;

he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

so, he did not open his mouth.


Matthew 27:12–14 (NIV)

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

700 B.C. The Prophecy

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

and by his wounds we are healed.


Matthew 27:26 (NIV)

. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

1000 B.C. The Prophecy

Psalm 22:8 (NIV)

“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,

“Let the Lord rescue him.

Let him deliver him,

since he delights in him.”


Matthew 27:41–43 (NIV)

41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

1000 B.C. The Prophecy

Psalm 22:18 (NIV)

18 They divide my clothes among them

and cast lots for my garment.


John 19:23–24 (NIV)

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them

and cast lots for my garment.” 

So, this is what the soldiers did.

1000 B.C. The Prophecy

Psalm 34:20 (NIV)

20 he protects all his bones,

not one of them will be broken.


John 19:32–33 (NIV)

32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

755 B.C The Prophecy

Amos 8:9 (NIV)

“In that day,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“I will make the sun go down at noon

and darken the earth in broad daylight.


Matthew 27:45 (NIV)

 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.


There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament of what the messiah would be like. Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of them. The chance of something happening like that according to the law of compounding possibility is 1 chance in 840000000000000

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. 1 chance in 84x 1099 to the 99th power.

Let me try to put that in some sort of perspective for you. If you were to take this whole earth and cover it with white ping pong balls. If all of North America, South America, Asia, and Africa, all the Oceans and the rest of the landmasses were covered with white ping pong balls except for one; Someplace among all the white ping pong balls, there was one red ping pong ball. If then someone were to blindfold you and said you have one chance to pick out that red ping pong ball, go anywhere you want with your blindfold on, but you only have one chance to pick choose that red ball. You would have the same odds as one person did in fulfilling all the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. But Jesus was that one in 84 x 10 to the 99th power.

Just the prophecies that came true in the 24-hour period around Jesus’ death had one chance in 537 million. If I were to tell you that I was going to travel someplace in North America, but I didn’t tell you where I was going to be. You would have a better chance of picking out any one of the Area Codes in North America, picking up your phone and dialling some number at random and getting me on the phone than Jesus did of doing what the Bible said would happen around the time of his death.

Well, these are interesting statistics, but what do they have to do with us at Asbury in 2021

We sing the Hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” And it is true, Jesus calls those of us who would follow him, his friends. But Jesus is not like the friend who lives next door. If the prophecies tell us anything, they tell us that this was no ordinary person.

Sometimes I think that our logic runs like this. Jesus is our buddy. Our friends seem to see most of the things the same way we do. Jesus is our friend. Therefore, Jesus sees most things the way we do. Don’t count on it.

If the prophecies show us anything, it is that Jesus is no ordinary person. And you may try to tame him. You may try to make him the same as you. You may try to turn him into the ideal of your culture. But he will not conform to your image of him.

Jesus can be, in fact, wants to be, your friend. But don’t expect him to conform to you. In fact, his expectation is quite the opposite. He calls you to conform to him. He calls you to become like him. If your upbringing, your culture, your values are different than his – he does not change to conform to us; he calls us to change and be like him.

 He is not white. Or black, or Asian. So don’t expect him to be just like you. He would not fit into what we have come to know as middle-class Canada. Jesus understands our culture. Jesus being God, knows more about Computer Science than Bill Gates. But don’t assume that he values the same things that we do. Things like comfort, happiness, pain, money, power, popularity and even spirituality will be seen very differently by Jesus than they will be by our culture.

Things like good and bad and right and wrong are not defined by what we feel about things; they are defined by how he sees things.

If you know Jesus well, then you will know that being a friend of Jesus can be a little uncomfortable. But what we have seen today in the word of God tells us that he has a right to say them because he was no mere mortal. Jesus was more than a wise man, a good man, or even a great man. He was and is the Son of God, in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt.

You can take or leave what I have to say. You can take or leave what your friends have to say. You can even take or leave what the great men and women of our time have to say. But you cannot dismiss Christ that easily.

The fact that he was a legend ahead of his time gives him unusual authority to speak. He can speak about how life needs to be lived. Because he has watched life down through the centuries. He created life. He is the master of life. He has the authority to speak on how to live life.

So, when he says, whoever would gain his life, shall lose it, and whoever would lose his life for my sake and gospel will save it. It may not correspond to the common wisdom of our day, but it needs to be taken seriously because Jesus has seen life, Jesus made life, Jesus is life.

When he says, You must be born again, we need to find out what he means and follow what he has said.

When he says, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven when all around us people are saying blessed are the rich, the powerful, the self-sufficient, the proud, you need to listen to Jesus. He has the right to speak. He cannot be dismissed as one voice in a crowd of many. His moral authority outweighs anything that this world can put forward.

The reason why we try to bring him down to our size is that it is easier to change him than it is to listen to him. It is easier to water him down than it is to follow him.

The challenge of Christmas is this. Jesus was no ordinary person. He was a legend before his time. His call to you is to follow him, to be like him. My question is, will you do that. Will you allow him to be in charge of your life?

Sermon Questions – The Prophecies of Jesus.

December 5th.


1. What are you thankful for?

2. What would you like to see God do in this season?

Digging In

3. What are some ways that we make Jesus like us rather than allow him to be who he is?

4. The sermon covered 16 prophecies about Jesus. Look at the first 3 that have to do with Jesus’ birth. (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1-31-34/ Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1 / Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:14-15) What are your observations, and challenges, and the faith-building aspects of these prophecies?

5. When you see the prophecies around Jesus’ death and realize that there is only one chance in 537,000,000 that they would be fulfilled – what does that tell you about Jesus?

6.  Read John 15:13-15. Jesus calls his disciples (and us) his friends. How is Jesus the same as and different from your other friends?

7. How does who Jesus is (friend and prophecy fulfiller) affect how we should hear his words?


8. What are our challenges to allowing Jesus to be Lord of our lives? What about Jesus encourages us to overcome these challenges?

9. Is there anything that you need to surrender to him?