Dr. Barclay with Something to Think About
If one looks carefully at the Bible, there can be found about 400 different prophecies concerning the birth, life, and death of the Messiah. It is hard to be really accurate regarding this number because some writers combine two or more similar prophecies into one and others split one prophetic statement into two or three subdivisions. Regardless of this, there are many prophetic statements concerning the Messiah and it is felt that Jesus fulfilled all of them perfectly. Peter Stoner, a former Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College, along with a number of students, examined just eight specific prophecies and determined that the likelihood of any one man fulfilling these eight prophecies by chance alone was about one in ten to the seventeenth power. This would be about the equivalence of finding one silver dollar from among the mass of silver dollars if the entire State of Texas were covered in them to a depth of about two feet.
So these prophecies, mentioned above, are from the Old Testament, but even in the New Testament there are those statements which prophesy about Christ and His mission. At the very last stage of His ministry, Jesus was brought before Pilate and, although innocent, was condemned. Pilate was aware of this and even said to the Jews “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38). But Barabbas, a known robber, was freed and thereby it was shown that Christ, the innocent, would take the place of man, the guilty.
This, however, was not the last prophecy. This was made unknowingly by the high priest Caiaphas when the priest and Pharisees gathered to plan what to do with Jesus. One apparently said: “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:48) Caiaphas, being somewhat arrogant, replied: “You know nothing at all” (John 11:49). Thinking of his own position and not of what should be considered moral and right, went on further to say: “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish,” (John 11:50). And so he “…prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation…” as well as “…gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad”( John 11:51&52) “Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.” (John 11:53)
So in his arrogance and self-serving manner, Caiaphas unwittingly gave the last prophecy concerning the Saviour and pointed out that Jesus was indeed the One, although innocent, who would be chosen to die for the guilty and for the nation at the same time gathering together all the children of God.
The prophecy that Christ fulfilled on the cross giving us always something to think about.