The Bible – Can I Trust It? (Part 2)

From Craig Swanson…

The Bible – Can I Trust It? (Part 1)

We’ve covered the amazing nature of a book that was written over a 1,500 year time span, by over 40 different men, resulting in a message that is unified and without contradiction. That’s because the writer himself, using his own abilities and personality, was used of God to record exactly what God intended. (2 Peter 1:20, 21) Fulfilled prophecy is more evidence that the Bible is from God. Over and over again, God told His people what was coming in the future.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of the coming Messiah. All of these prophecies were fulfilled in one man, Jesus Christ. A brilliant mathematician named Peter Stoner took just eight of those prophecies and figured out what the probability would be that those eight could be fulfilled in one man. The answer was 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Here’s how he illustrated the meaning of that number. That number of silver dollars would fill the state of Texas (268,000 square miles) 2 feet deep. Mark one coin and thoroughly stir it in the mix. Now let a blind-folded man wander anywhere he wants to in the state and pick one coin. The odds that he would pick the marked coin on the first try are the same as just those eight prophecies being accidently fulfilled in the life of Jesus. (Some of those prophecies were written over 1,000 years before Christ.)

The book of Daniel, written over 500 years before Christ, gives a prophecy that predicts exactly when the Messiah would show up. (Daniel 9: 24, 25) says, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.”

So, 69 weeks, or literally 69 “sevens” after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, the nation of Israel could expect to see their long awaited Messiah. Let’s say the 69 sevens were 69 sevens of years.  69 x 7 = 483 years. A Jewish calendar year was 360 days.  483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days. Stay with me here. (Nehemiah 2:1-8) tells us that the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued on Nisan 1 in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes. On our calendar that would be March 5, 444 BC. Now count 173,880 days from that date and it brings you to March 30, 33AD. March 30, 33 AD fell on a Sunday that year – the Sunday before the Passover week. That was day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to present Himself as King to the nation of Israel. I realize that might be fairly hard to follow without a chart, but over 500 years before the fact, the Bible predicted the coming of Jesus to the exact day. Incredible!

God is glorifying Himself and pointing to the authenticity and authority of His word when He makes bold statements about what will happen in the distant future and then history plays out just as He said it would. Can you trust the Bible? I can.