Connecting the Prophetic Dots

You know the game. On a piece of paper sit what appears to be a collection of random dots. On their own they don’t look like much, but when you use a pencil and begin to connect them, the shapeless mass of dots begins to take on a meaningful form. The Old Testament is filled with these dots; they are found in the law the poets and the prophets.


Jesus certainly knew about them. While on the road to Emmaus we read how “Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). As we approach the close of the Old Testament, I thought I’d add a few more dots to the page by reviewing some of the key prophecies we’ve read (or will read) that relate to our Lord.


The prophets gave us signs to look for, indicators that point to and reveal the identity of God’s long-awaited Messiah. Many have found more than 300 messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, each given centuries before Jesus’ time. Here are just a handful of the most obvious ones.


The Messiah Will Be Born in Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” Prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 2:1-6; Luke 2:4,5,7,15.


The Messiah Will Be Born of a Virgin.

Isaiah 7:14 – “All right then, the Lord Himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel – ‘God is with us.’” Isaiah 9:6-7 – “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!” Prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 1:20-23.


The Messiah Will Enter Jerusalem in Triumph.

Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – even on a donkey’s colt.” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 21:8-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:35-37; John 12:12-15.


The Messiah Will Be Rejected By His Own People.

Isaiah 53:1, 3. “Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal His saving power? He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we did not care.” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 26:3-4; John 1:10-11; 12:37-38.


The Messiah Will Be Betrayed by One of His Followers.

Psalm 41:9. “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (NIV) Psalm 55:12-13 – “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend.” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 26:47-50; Luke 22:21-22, 47; John 13:18-26.


The Messiah Will Be Tried and Condemned.

Isaiah 53:8. “From prison and trial they led Him away to His death. But who among the people realized that He was dying for their sins – that He was suffering their punishment?” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 27:1-2; Luke 23:1, 23; Acts 4:26-28.


The Messiah Will Be Silent Before His Accusers.

Isaiah 53:7-8. “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth. From prison and trial they led Him away to His death.” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 27:12-14; 1 Peter 2:22-23.


The Messiah Will Be Abused By His Accusers.

Isaiah 50:6. “I give My back to those who beat Me and My cheeks to those who pull out My beard. I do not hide from shame, for they mock Me and spit in My face.” Psalm 22:7-8. “Everyone who sees Me, mocks Me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, ‘Is this the One who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save Him! If the Lord loves Him so much, then let the Lord rescue Him!’” Fulfilled by Jesus. Matthew 26:67-68; 27:30-40; Luke 23:11, 35; John 19:1-3.


You could go on and look up others as well. The Messiah will suffer with sinners (Isaiah 53:12), have His clothing be divided by casting lots (Psalm 22:18), will not have any of His bones broken (though this is connected to fulfillment of God’s law too, Number 9:12), will die as a sin offering (Isaiah 53:5-12), be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9), will rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10), and will sit at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1).


Anyone for a game of connect the dots?


What we read is not idle chatter. It is God’s word and it is here for a purpose. I pray that our Lord may sober our hearts and enlighten our minds as we consider the work He has done for us.


Sitting amazed with you,