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    PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH

    “His place of birth a solemn angel tells
    To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night;
    They gladly thither haste, and, by a choir
    Of squadron’d angels, hear his carol sung;
    A virgin is his mother, but his sire
    The Power of the Most High.” — Milton.
    PROLI 9.1

    FAIR indeed was the estate granted to our first parents. Six days had the great Creator employed in fitting it up for them, each day’s work, as it was completed, being pronounced good. As the crowning act, when everything had been prepared for his reception, God made man in his own image, and gave him dominion over the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea, and, in short, over the whole earth and everything that it contained. The earth was fruitful, and was unincumbered with thorns and thistles. Slight toil, and that unaccompanied by fatigue, would suffice to cause it to yield to him its abundant increase. Moreover, “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:8, 9, 15.PROLI 9.2

    While man himself had to subdue, to plant and cultivate, the remainder of the earth, God himself planted the garden of Eden, and man had only the delightful task of directing the luxurious growth, and of feasting his eyes and his palate upon the fruit which grew spontaneously. Here was provision for perfect happiness: everything was provided without stint, and of the most exquisite quality, and man had the most refined, delicate taste with which to enjoy it to the full, while his perfectly balanced nature prevented him from marring the pleasure by any excess. With a companion perfectly adapted to him, his counterpart, nothing was lacking that could contribute to his enjoyment of life.PROLI 9.3

    But into this Eden the tempter came. Having been cast as profane out of the mount of God, because of the rebellion to which his pride had urged him on, his sole satisfaction was found in trying to thwart the purposes of God, and in causing others to share his own unhappy lot. Knowing that obedience is life, he planned the death of the human race, by causing our first parents to sin. Where was happiness, he sowed the seeds of discontent; where was meekness, and willing subjection to God’s just and mild requirements, he planted pride and unholy ambition; where was the utmost liberty, because man was walking in the law of God, the adversary of souls brought hard and cruel bondage, and the lonely prison house. By insinuating into their minds the idea that God was a harsh task-master, and that by his gentle rules he was seeking to elevate himself at their expense, he caused them to seek for “larger liberty” in their own way; and thus they found that, although a man’s own way may seem right in his own eyes, “the end thereof are the ways of death.” “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”PROLI 10.1

    But the loving Father did not leave his children entirely in the hands of their merciless adversary. Immediately after our first parents had committed the sin which “brought death into the world, and all our woe, with loss of Eden,” God spoke the words which saved the guilty ones from utter despair, saying to the one who had caused their fall, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. These words are universally understood as containing the promise of the Messiah, who should destroy Satan and his works, and set at liberty those whom he had bound; and in the succeeding ages, until the day that they were fulfilled, the highest hope of every woman who believed God’s word, was that she might be the mother of the great Deliverer.PROLI 10.2

    Immediately we find evidence of faith in the coming Redeemer. Abel brought to the Lord an offering “of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” Says the apostle: “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4. This offering showed Abel’s faith in the Lamb of God, who, by his death, should take away sin. Because of his faith he was counted righteous. This exceedingly brief account is complete evidence to us that the plan of salvation was known in all its fullness to the first inhabitants of earth. By this sacrifice Abel showed that he knew how and why the Messiah was to be “bruised.”PROLI 10.3

    The promised Messiah, who was foreshadowed by all the Jewish sacrifices, was the hope of that nation in all its history. So closely is the Messiah connected with the Jewish nation, that we cannot think of one without thinking of the other. Moses prophesied of Christ, when he said to the Jews: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Deuteronomy 18:15. And so generally was this prophecy understood as referring to the Messiah, that when the Jews wanted to know if John the Baptist was the promised One, they simply asked, “Art thou that prophet?” John 1:21.PROLI 11.1

    The Old Testament is dotted with prophecies concerning the first advent of Christ. To them Jesus appealed to prove his divine mission, and by them the apostles convinced the people that Jesus is the Christ. After Philip had obeyed the Master’s call, “Follow me,” he found Nathanael, and said unto him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” John 1:45. Jesus himself said to the unbelieving Jews: “For if ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.” John 5:46. Paul said to Agrippa: “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer,” etc. Acts 26:22, 23. And Peter said of Christ: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43.PROLI 11.2

    Since, on the authority of the Scriptures, there was so general an expectation of the Messiah, why was it that when Christ came “he came unto his own, and his own received him not”? John 1:11. The only answer that can be given is that they did not really believe their own Scriptures; for all the prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, and could not apply to any other person. It is true that we would not recognize many of these Old Testament prophecies as referring to Christ, if the application were not made by the inspired writers of the New Testament. But the Jews had inspired prophets to enlighten them, so that they were without excuse for their unbelief. The application of many of the prophecies, however, is very evident, and we can readily trace their fulfillment as we read the New Testament narrative. From the multitude of these prophecies, we shall note the fulfillment of a few of the most prominent, as an aid to our faith in the statement that “the Scripture cannot be broken.”PROLI 11.3

    When the wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews?” the chief priests and scribes of the people, to whom Herod applied to know where Christ should be born, replied promptly, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet.” And then they quoted the words which the prophet Micah had spoken more than seven hundred years before: “And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6.PROLI 12.1

    The careful reader of the Scriptures knows that Joseph and Mary were residents of Nazareth, yet when the proper time came, a heathen emperor did his part toward the fulfillment of prophecy, by sending forth a decree that brought them to Bethlehem.PROLI 12.2

    Of the life of Jesus before his baptism, the Scriptures say very little; but the date of his baptism was specified in prophecy nearly six hundred years before it took place. This prophecy is one of the most interesting and important in the Bible, and is well worth study. It was written by the prophet Daniel, to whom it was revealed by the angel Gabriel in the first year of Darius, B. C. 538. Some time before, Daniel had had a vision which he did not fully understand (Daniel 8:27), and in answer to his earnest prayer for light, the angel came to give him skill and understanding. The part of his revelation which pertains to this subject, is found in the following verses:—PROLI 12.3

    “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three-score and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after three-score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:25-27.PROLI 12.4

    The going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, or 457 B. C. See the seventh chapter of Ezra. There had been decrees concerning Jerusalem (see Ezra 1:1-4; 5:1-15), but this is the only one that contemplated the complete restoration of Jerusalem to its former power and glory, and consequently it is the one that must be referred to in the prophecy of Daniel.PROLI 13.1

    From the date of this decree, until the Messiah, was to be seven weeks and three-score and two weeks, that is sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three days. Of course this did not mean that the Messiah should come in a little over a year from that time; but the prophecy concerning the days is one in which nations are represented by symbols (see Daniel 8:1-14), and the days must therefore be symbolic. In a prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 4:6, we learn that a prophetic day is a literal year. Therefore Daniel 9:25 is equivalent to the statement that four hundred and eighty-three years from the decree of Artaxerxes (B. C. 457), Messiah the Prince should come.PROLI 13.2

    “But,” says one, “four hundred and eighty-three years from 457 B. C. would end several years this side of Christ.” That is true, but it is contemplated in the prophecy. The meaning of Messiah is the Anointed. See margin of John 1:41. By comparing a few scriptures we shall find that his anointing took place at his baptism.PROLI 13.3

    In Acts 10:37, 38 Peter says of the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:—PROLI 13.4

    “That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.”PROLI 13.5

    Thus we learn that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost, immediately after which he began his ministry. Now turn to the record in Matthew 3:16, 17, and we find that as Jesus came up out of the water where he had been baptized, the Spirit of God descended like a dove upon him, and the voice of God was heard, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So Jesus was formally set apart, before the multitude, for his divine mission, and very soon afterward we find him in the synagogue, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18.PROLI 13.6

    Jesus, therefore, became the Messiah, the Anointed One, at his baptism. Before that time the title did not belong to him. And we shall find that this was just four hundred and eighty-three years after the decree of Artaxerxes to restore Jerusalem.PROLI 14.1

    The baptism of Jesus occurred when he “began to be about thirty years of age.” Luke 3:23. But it was not in the year 30 A. D., because the Christian era dates from about four years after the birth of Christ. From Luke 1:13, 36, we learn that Jesus was just six months younger than John the Baptist. Now since thirty years was the age when the Jews, who were appointed to the service of the sanctuary, entered upon their work (Numbers 4:30), and since Jesus followed this rule, and was baptized at the age of thirty, we must conclude that John the Baptist began his work as the forerunner of Christ at the same age, or about six months before Jesus was baptized. So if we can find the date of the beginning of John’s work, we shall know the date of the baptism of Jesus. The following scripture gives most explicitly the time when John began his ministry:—PROLI 14.2

    “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:1-3.PROLI 14.3

    Tiberius Caesar began to reign conjointly with his father in A. D. 12, and his fifteenth year would therefore be A. D. 27. John began his work, therefore, and Jesus was baptized, in the year A. D. 27. Now let us see if this agrees with what the angel said. Four hundred and eighty-three years from B. C. 457 would reach to the close of A. D. 26, provided we begin to reckon from the first day of B. C. 457. But the decree went forth some time in the year 457 B. C., and not on its first day, and consequently there were only four hundred and fifty-six and a fraction, of the four hundred and eighty-three years, before the Christian era. Four hundred and eighty-three, less four hundred and fifty-six and a fraction, leaves twenty-six and a fraction. That is, something over twenty-six of the four hundred and eighty-three years remained after the beginning of the Christian era. But this would bring us into the year 27 A. D., and that is when, as we have seen, the baptism of Jesus did actually occur. At that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15.PROLI 14.4

    If the Jews, therefore, had been attentive to the prophecies that were in their hands, and had heartily believed them, they would have acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah as soon as they saw the Holy Spirit descend upon him at his baptism.PROLI 15.1

    But the angel told Daniel still more concerning Christ. From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, seventy prophetic weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, were allotted to the Jewish people. So when Jesus was baptized, one week of years still remained. This week of years, beginning in A.D. 27, is the week referred to in Daniel 9:27: “And he [the Messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” All the Jewish sacrifices and oblations typified the real sacrifice of Christ, and when he was “cut off, but not for himself” (Daniel 9:26), they were made to cease.PROLI 15.2

    Jesus was crucified at the time of the Passover. (See Matthew 26:2.) From John 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 12:1, we find that the Passover at which he was crucified was the fourth one that he attended after his baptism. Then his earthly ministry lasted three full years and a half, and the Scripture was fulfilled, which said that in the midst of the week (the last week of years allotted to the Jewish nation) he should cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. “For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath-day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” Acts 13:27.PROLI 15.3

    The character of Jesus was no less accurately delineated. Isaiah had said of him: “He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.” Isaiah 11:3, 4. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” Isaiah 53:4. His life as described in the Gospels shows that he “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil;” and Matthew says that his healing the sick and casting out devils was in direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. Thus: “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:14-17.PROLI 15.4

    When John sent from prison to know if Jesus was indeed the Christ, Jesus said: “Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up;” and to crown all, he added, “and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:4, 5. This was in direct fulfillment of the prophecy uttered seven hundred years before: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Luke 4:18, quoted from Isaiah 61:1.PROLI 15.5

    David was a prophet (Acts 2:29, 30), and many of his psalms, even when he used the first person, refer to Christ. We know that Jesus “came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11), and John further says of Jesus, that “neither did his brethren believe in him.” John 7:5. This was in exact fulfillment of the prophetic utterance of David: “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.” Psalm 69:8.PROLI 16.1

    Just before the crucifixion of Christ, he went into Jerusalem, riding upon an ass’s colt upon which no man had ever sat, and the multitudes went before him spreading their clothes and palm branches in the road over which he was to pass, and they, with those that followed after, cried, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” “Blessed is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 21:9; John 12:13. But in the excitement of the occasion, none of the people thought that they were fulfilling the words written by the prophet Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9.PROLI 16.2

    “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” Matthew 26:14, 15. But neither Judas nor the priests stopped to think that in this very act they were fulfilling the words of Zechariah: “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” Zechariah 11:12.PROLI 16.3

    Judas sat with Jesus at the last Passover. When the disciples asked Jesus who would betray him, “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot.” John 13:26. This was in direct fulfillment of the prophetic words of David: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9; John 13:18.PROLI 16.4

    On that last night, as Jesus was talking with his disciples, he said: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone.” John 16:32. Although they all declared that they would stand by him, “all the disciples forsook him, and fled,” when the multitude came with swords and staves, to seize him. In this was fulfilled the words of the prophet: “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” Zechariah 13:7. (See Matthew 26:31.)PROLI 17.1

    David said: “They that sit in the gate speak against me; I was the song of the drunkards.” Psalm 69:12. This was no doubt literally true in his own case; but in this, as in many other things, he was a type of Christ, and the words found their complete fulfillment when the men of Herod’s court, and the rabble that followed the high priest, set Jesus at naught, and mocked him, and spit upon him, and smote him with the palms of their hands, and when Pilate had him scourged. Matthew 26:67, 68; 27:26-30; Luke 23:11. And in this, also, was accurately fulfilled the prophetic saying of Isaiah: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6.PROLI 17.2

    We have seen that the price which was paid to Judas for the betrayal of Jesus was foretold by Zechariah. But the prophet also told what should afterwards be done with the price of blood. The entire passage reads thus:—PROLI 17.3

    “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter; a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.” Zechariah 11:12, 13.PROLI 17.4

    Now note how remorse led Judas to complete the fulfillment of this prophecy:—
    “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.” Matthew 27:3-7.
    PROLI 17.5

    The substitution of Jeremy (Jeremiah) for Zechariah, in verse 9, is undoubtedly due to an error of the transcriber, since the change of one letter would change the Hebrew of Zechariah into Jeremiah. This does not in the least degree affect the fulfillment of the prophecy. The prophecy was written, and was exactly fulfilled more than five hundred years afterward.PROLI 18.1

    When Jesus was fastened to the cross, the nails were driven through his hands and his feet, and a spear was thrust into his side. John 19:34; 20:25. Hundreds of years before, the prophet David had foretold this, saying: “For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.” Psalm 22:16.PROLI 18.2

    “And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall.” Matthew 27:33, 34. This was done in response to his words, “I thirst” (John 19:28-30), and was an exact fulfillment of Psalm 69:21, which reads: “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”PROLI 18.3

    “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat; now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.” John 19:23, 24. More than a thousand years before this took place, the psalmist, prophetically putting himself in the place of Christ, had said: “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Psalm 22:18.PROLI 18.4

    Isaiah, speaking of the time when Christ should pour out his soul unto death upon the cross, said, “And he was numbered with the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12. This was fulfilled to the letter when Christ, like a vile malefactor, was hanged between two thieves. See Mark 15:27, 28.PROLI 18.5

    In the psalm which has so many prophetic references to Christ, David said: “All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” Psalm 22:7, 8. Notice how exactly this was fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ:—PROLI 18.6

    “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.PROLI 18.7

    Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God.” Matthew 27:39-43.PROLI 19.1

    In this act we see an illustration of the terribly blinding power of sin. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders, were well versed in the Scriptures. Moses, the prophets, and the psalms were regularly read in all the synagogues; and every parent was under obligation to see that his children were well instructed in them. And yet they had steeled their hearts against the strivings of the Holy Spirit, until they could be the unconscious instruments in the fulfillment of prophecies with which they were perfectly familiar. They had received ample proof of the divinity of Christ, but had refused to accept it. They had determined not to believe that Jesus was the Christ, until they couldn’t believe it. Once they had known that Christ was the Messiah, but would not acknowledge it. Now they no doubt actually thought him to be a base impostor. If he had come down from the cross, they would not have believed. The same result will be seen in the cases of those who refuse to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which proclaims his second advent. Said Paul: “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12. Apt, indeed, is the expression, “The deceitfulness of sin.”PROLI 19.2

    In the Messianic psalm, from which we have before quoted, Jesus is prophetically represented as saying, “Reproach hath broken my heart.” Psalm 69:20. The following from Dr. C. Geikie, with reference to Matthew 27:50; John 19:31-34, shows the fulfillment of this scripture:—PROLI 19.3

    “That anyone should die so soon on the cross, especially one, like Jesus, in the prime of life, and unweakened by previous ill-health, and in such vigor to the last as to utter such a shriek as that with which he expired, appeared even to Christian antiquity, to imply some super-natural cause. But the mingled flow of blood and water seems to point unmistakably to another explanation. The immediate cause of death appears, beyond question, to have been the rupture of his heart, brought about by mental agony. Excess of joy or grief is known to induce the bursting of some division of the heart, and the consequent flow of blood into the pericardium, or bag, filled with colorless serum, like water, in which the heart is suspended. In ordinary cases, only examination after death discovers the fact, but in that of our Lord, the same end was answered by the thrust of the soldier’s spear. In a death from heart rupture ‘the hand is suddenly carried to the front of the chest, and a piercing shriek uttered.’ The hands of Jesus were nailed to the cross, but the appalling shriek is recorded. Jesus died, literally, of a broken heart.” — Life of Christ, chap. 63.PROLI 19.4

    Another prophecy was fulfilled by the events noted in John 19:31-36, which we quote:—PROLI 20.1

    “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that Sabbath-day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs; but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”PROLI 20.2

    In the instruction concerning the Passover lamb, the Jews were particularly warned never to let a bone of it be broken. Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12. That lamb typified Christ, for Paul says: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7. Now in the natural order of events, the legs of Jesus would have been broken, for this was the general custom in hastening the death of those who were crucified, and it was done to the two thieves. But the astonishingly speedy death of Jesus made this proceeding unnecessary, and thus the scripture remained unbroken.PROLI 20.3

    The burial of Jesus is thus described:—PROLI 20.4

    “When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in a rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.”PROLI 20.5

    Thus was fulfilled the following prophecy:—PROLI 20.6

    “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 53:9.PROLI 20.7

    A casual reading of the above text would lead one to think that Christ made his grave both with the wicked and with the rich. On this text Barnes has the following comment, which brings out very beautifully the exactness with which the prophecy was fulfilled:—PROLI 20.8

    “Hengstenberg renders it, ‘They appointed him his grave with the wicked (but he was with a rich man after his death); although he had done nothing unrighteous, and there was no guile in his mouth.’ The sense, according to him, is that not satisfied with his sufferings and death, they sought to insult him even in death, since they wished to bury his corpse among criminals. It is then incidentally remarked, that this object was not accomplished.... The word rendered ‘he made,’ from nathan, is a word of very frequent occurrence in the Scriptures. According to Gesenius, it means, (1) to give, as (a) to give the hand to a victor; (b) to give into the hand of anyone; ... (g) to give into prison, or into custody.... The notion of giving, or giving over, is the essential idea of the word, and not that of making, as our translation would seem to imply; and the sense is, that he was given by design to the grave of the wicked, or it was intended that he should occupy such a grave.” — Barnes on Isaiah 53:9.PROLI 21.1

    The comment is extended at some length, but this is sufficient for our purpose. It is the most probable thing in the world that the Jews, who had insulted Jesus when alive, in every conceivable manner, and had subjected him to the most ignominious death, should design to put upon him the further indignity of being cast out without burial, just as was done with criminals. The first step toward this they took in ordering his legs to be broken; but as this design was frustrated, that the prophecy might be fulfilled, so was the other, and he had a most honorable burial. Instead of being thrown out among criminals, as his enemies designed, he was with the rich in his death. So impossible is it for men to frustrate the designs of God. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” Psalm 76:10.PROLI 21.2

    One more prophecy we have to notice, and it is a bright beam of light shining from the throne of God, through the tomb, presaging the glorious exaltation to the right hand of God. David said:—PROLI 21.3

    “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life; in they presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11.PROLI 21.4

    This was fulfilled in the short stay of Jesus in the tomb, which did not allow corruption to begin. The apostle Peter made this very plain on the day of Pentecost, when, after repeating the words quoted in the preceding paragraph, he said:—PROLI 21.5

    “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.” Acts 2:29-35.PROLI 21.6

    Thus we have briefly traced, both in prophecy and in corresponding history, the life of Christ from his birth in the manger to his exaltation to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. We have only noted a few of the more prominent prophecies, yet all can readily see that their exact fulfillment furnished the apostles with an overwhelming argument to prove that the Jesus whom they preached was the Christ.PROLI 22.1

    The Jews were rejected because they did not know the time of their visitation; because in their hardness of heart and blindness of mind, they misapplied and disregarded the prophecies which would have made them wise unto salvation. If such was their fate, what will be our lot, if we do not take good heed to all the prophecies which pertain to his second coming, in power and great glory, at “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21), when he shall “give to every man according as his work shall be”?PROLI 22.2

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