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.