For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:21
The significance of Biblical prophecy cannot be over exaggerated. There are over 8,362 predictive verses, with 1,817 predictions, on 737 separate matters. Over one third of the Bible is prophetic. In Isaiah 46:9-10, God proclaims that He is unique and there is no one like Him. A characteristic of that uniqueness is His ability to proclaim future events before they occur. This is one of the signatures of God. To validate Himself to us and distinguish Himself from every other god that is proclaimed in this world, He has given us a means by which we can know if a message is truly from Him. That message has been preserved in His word, the 66 authoritative books of the Bible.
Faith in the word of God does not come from archeological or scientific discoveries. Romans 10:17 says, “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God does however, backup everything He has claimed in His word. By doing so, no one has an excuse for denying His Son, Jesus Christ. (Rom 1:20)
One way in which He has done this is through the fulfillment of prophecy. Over 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ’s first advent. Over 30 alone were fulfilled on the cross.
To understand the likelihood of this occurring in just one man, you need to turn to statistical probability. The following is an examination of the fulfillment of just 8 prophecies concerning Christ. (The following statistics were taken from Koinonia House – www.khouse.org)
|Micah 5:2 – born in Bethlehem – Population < 7,000 – 1:105 (1 in 100,000)|
|Zech 9:9 – Christ riding in on a colt; the crowd professing Him as the King – (1:100)|
|Zech 11:12 – Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – (1:1,000)|
|Zech 11:13 – Potters field (Judas takes money but wants to give it back; it’s used by the Pharisees to buy a potters field because the blood money could not go back in the treasury. They bought a potters field to bury strangers that died in Jerusalem) – (1:100,000)|
|Zech 13:6 – wounds in the hands – (1:1,000)|
|Isaiah 53:7 – Christ didn’t open his mouth; nor defend Himself – How many people who are put on trial will not give a defense even though they’re innocent? – (1:1,000)|
|Isaiah 53:9 – Died with the wicked, grave among the rich – (1:1,000)|
|Psalm 22:16 – Pierced his hands and feet – crucifixion invented by Persians in 90 BC. Stoning was the form of capital punishment among the Jews. – (1:10,000)|
The statistics above show the probability per prophecy. In order to understand what the probability is for just one person to fulfill all 8, you need to use composite probability. Using the above numbers, the end result is 1 in 1028 (that is a 1 with 28 zeros after it). You have to divide by the estimated world population from the beginning of creation to get a more accurate number (estimated to be 1011).
What you end up with is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (1:1017) that one person could fulfill just 8 prophecies. This is like taking one silver dollar, marking it, and then putting it in the state of Texas that is filled with silver dollars two feet deep and then try to pick that one out from the others by chance.
To add another 8 prophecies (16) it would be 1:1045. Still using silver dollars, you would need to make a ball 15 times the diameter from the earth to the sun. Mark one silver dollar put it in the ball and have someone find it by chance.
To have 48 prophecies (you have 300 to choose from) it would be 1:10157 . Silver dollars are now too big. You would have to make a ball of atoms; however, there are only estimated to be 1066 atoms in the universe. You would need many more universes just to meet the need.
Acts 10:43 says, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior; and apart from Him we have no salvation. There are still many more prophecies yet to be fulfilled; and not one of them will be undone. It’s obvious that all scripture speaks of Him; from Genesis to Revelation.