Dr. Charles Ryrie, an authority of Bible prophecy, says, “Someone has calculated that actually there are more than 300 prophecies concerning various aspects of the first coming of Christ. We can assuredly say that no one could possibly have made this number of accurate predictions by chance.”
“But God did it, through His prophets, and the evidence is in the Bible for all to see and believe. There are many other equally specific prophecies in both the Old and the New Testaments which have also been fulfilled exactly as predicted. Add all these in with the ones we have referred to, and the improbability of their coming to pass increases at a fantastic rate, to a point beyond any possible comprehension.” Another scholar says that there are 332 prophecies relating to Jesus Christ, 61 of which are major prophecies. To help you grasp the immense improbability of these being fulfilled by chance, let me give you something to think about. Let’s begin by pondering the possibility of just eight of those being fulfilled. One college math class that investigated this possibility concluded that it would be one possibility in ten to the 17th power.
Here’s another way to grasp this. If you are living in Asia, think of the island of Luzon—the largest of the 7000 islands in the Philippines. If you are living in the U.S. think of the largest state in the continental United States—Texas. If, however, you covered either with silver dollars or pesos two feet deep, and one of those coins was marked with a red “X”, the probability of diving into that pile and coming up with the coin marked with a red X would be the same as even eight of those prophecies being fulfilled. Now, let me take this one step further. The chance that anyone would fulfill 48 of those prophecies, to say nothing of the other 265, would be one in ten raised to the 157th power.
Here’s another mind-boggling illustration. If you had a ball of electrons the size of our universe (which is 6 billion light-years in radius), and you could make these balls at the rate of 500 per minute for 6 billion years (the estimated time of the existence of our universe), and you could do this 100 billion times over, you would have the chance factor of one person fulfilling even 48 of these prophecies. Frankly, that is more than I can really grasp.
…Believe that I am He. John 13:19
When Jesus was here, He had a keen sense of understanding that He was fulfilling the prophecies of old. Repeatedly He would say, “This was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet saying…” and Jesus would document the quote. The average person has little understanding of the complexity of prophecies and their importance when it comes to documenting what Jesus did. Immediately before the crucifixion, Jesus said, “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He” (John 13:19).
Scores of individuals have investigated the prophecies, as well as the miracles of Jesus Christ, and have come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was no mere mortal man—that He was unique and different from us, that He was no less than God in the flesh. Prophecy is one of the means by which God demonstrates very clearly that what He says about His Son is true.
Begin your own program of investigation by reading the Gospel of John in the New Testament, and noticing the number of passages which relate definite events in Jesus’ life to fulfilled prophecy. It will amaze you. You will discover that chance has no part in it. And when you conclude that, you will see the hand of God.
Resource reading: 2 Peter 3:11-17