While the prophecies concerning Christ were obscure enough to be fulfilled naturally, there is enough detail that sets them apart to be believable.
In Psalm 22 where Jesus quotes from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, (taking on our punishment for sin, separation from God), King David of Israel prophesies, “I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.” Echoing that, David sings again in Psalm 34:20, “He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
This is interesting, because the two thieves that were crucified with him had their legs broken to quicken death. In crucifixtion the way to breathe is to push up, but with your legs broken, it’s no longer possible. Jesus, on the other hand had already suffered so much with being scourged and beaten, that he died before the others. To solidify His death, He was pierced with a spear, and out gushed blood and water.
John, an eyewitness to Christ’s death, explained how the passage was fulfilled concerning his garments: "Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be.” (See John 19:23,24.) An amazing detail fulfilled by random Roman soldiers.
Psalm 22 has the one suffering say, “My tongue cleaves to my jaws.” In harmony with David Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”, from the cross. (Verse 15.)
And again another scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.” (John. 19:37 from Zechariah 12:10.)
Isaiah 53 says, “And by His scourgings we are healed.” (Vs. 5.)
To endure both the cross and scourgings was unusual, and reduces the amount of people who could ever claim the Messianic suffering fulfillment, greatly.
Now, Isaiah speaks of Christ’s trial in this way, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.” (Vs 7.) Jesus fulfilled this before the highest ruler of Israel, King Herod. Therefore, Herod found no fault in him, and sent him back to the Roman Governor Pilate.
Isaiah continues, “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.” (Vs. 9.)
Here we see how they planned for him to simply be with the two thieves in death, but upon his death two prominent citizens (Nicodemus the Pharasee, and Joseph of Arimathea) bravely asked for his body and sealed it in the rich man Joseph’s, appointed tomb.
In addition, we note that Jesus did no violence, unlike the nation of Israel as a whole, nor did he have deceit. “He was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.” (Vs. 12.) He was merely numbered WITH the transgressors. Jesus can intercede with the Father on behalf of fallen man because he remained faultless; none could ever convict him of sin. At his trial the High Priest mistakenly declared him guilty of blasphemy. It was without scriptural grounds.
Of course there’s much more, and I hope to show you how the resurrection was predicted soon, in part 5.