The Bible tells us that long before the world began, God had a plan to bring redemption through Christ to all those who would choose to believe and follow after Him (1 Peter 1:19-20). God knew we would need a Savior. He knew we would need to be set free. And He made a way, by sending His One and Only Son, so that we could receive forgiveness and find new life and hope through Him (John 3:16).
And throughout the Scriptures, weaved through verse after verse in the Old Testament, are prophecies that speak of the Christ who was to come. Bible scholars have concluded from much research that hundreds of years before Jesus was even born, more than 300 prophecies were recorded to tell of His coming, His life and journey to the cross, and of His Powerful Resurrection.
Jesus is the fulfillment of Scripture. He is the Word. He is the Light. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through Him. Jesus has fulfilled every single prophetic word.
Here are 10 prophecies of Christ’s journey to the cross and the resurrection.
1. Christ’s Triumphant Ride into Jerusalem
Prophecy – “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.” (Zechariah 9:9)
Fulfillment by Christ – “The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet Him. They shouted, ‘Praise God! Bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel! Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: ‘Don’t be afraid, people of Israel. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’” (John 12:12-15)
“Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around Him were shouting, ‘Praise God for the Son of David! Bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!’ The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as He entered. ‘Who is this?’ they asked. And the crowds replied, ‘It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’” (Matthew 28:8-11)
2. Rejection of Christ by His Own People
Prophecy – “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Fulfillment by Christ – “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:10-11)
“But despite all the miraculous signs He had done, most of the people did not believe in Him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: ‘Lord, who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal His saving power?’” (John 12:37-38)
3. Jesus was Silent before His Accusers
Prophecy – “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 her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Fulfillment by Christ – “But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.” (Mark 15:5)
4. The Soldiers Divided His Garments and Cast Lots for His Clothes
Prophecy – “I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (Psalm 22:17-18)
Fulfillment by Christ – “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.” (John 19:23)
5. Not One of His Bones Would be Broken
Prophecy – “They must not leave any of the lamb until the next morning, and they must not break any of its bones. They must follow all the normal regulations concerning the Passover.” (Numbers 9:12)
Fulfillment by Christ – “The Jewish leaders didn’t want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that He was dead already, so they didn’t break His legs.
One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, ‘Not one of His bones will be broken,’ and ‘They will look on Him whom they pierced.’” (John 19:31-37)
6. They Would Pierce His Hands and Feet
Prophecy – “My life is poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within Me. My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of My mouth. You have laid Me in the dust and left Me for dead. My enemies surround Me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on Me. They have pierced My hands and feet.” (Psalm 22:14-16)
Fulfillment by Christ – “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:39)
“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
7. Jesus Will Die as a Sacrifice for Our Sins
Prophecy – “But He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all. 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? I will give Him the honors of One who is mighty and great, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.” (Isaiah 53:5-6, 8, 12)
Fulfillment by Christ – “He personally carried away our sins in His own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by His wounds.” (1 Peter 2:24)
“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me – that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
8. Jesus was Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb
Prophecy – “He had done no wrong, and He never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave.” (Isaiah 53:9)
Fulfillment by Christ – “As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who was one of Jesus’ followers, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance as he left.” (Matthew 27:57-60)
9. Jesus Would Not Stay Buried but Rose from the Dead
Prophecy – “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” (Psalm 16:10)
Fulfillment by Christ – “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:6)
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:8-11)
10. Christ Would be Seated at the Right Hand of God
Prophecy – “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit in honor at My right hand until I humble Your enemies, making them a footstool under Your feet.’” (Psalm 110:1)
Fulfillment by Christ – “But our High Priest offered Himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down at the place of highest honor at God’s right hand. There He waits until His enemies are humbled as a footstool under His feet.” (Hebrews 10:12-13)
“This prophecy was speaking of Jesus, whom God raised from the dead, and we all are witnesses of this. Now He sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as He had promised, gave Him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.
For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in honor at My right hand until I humble Your enemies, making them a footstool under Your feet.”’ So let it be clearly known by everyone in Israel that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified to be both Lord and Messiah!” (Acts 2:32-36)