Bible prophecies fulfilled by the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Below is a selection of Bible prophecies that foretold details about the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who was executed by the Romans about 2,000 years ago.

The commentaries below are from the second edition of the book, 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies, by George Konig and Ray Konig, who are the authors and copyright holders of the material. The commentaries are reprinted here with written permission from the authors. The third edition, revised and expanded, of 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies is available through

Jesus was betrayed by a friend

Bible prophecy: Psalm 41:9
Prophecy written: About 1000 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Psalm 41:9, King David wrote a prayer asking for mercy in his last days. In this prayer, which Christians acknowledge as being inspired by God, David wrote about a betrayal at the hand of a close friend with whom he had shared bread. This foreshadowed something that happened years later with Jesus. As explained in Matthew 26:47-50, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of the 12 apostles, shortly after Jesus and the apostles had shared bread during the Last Supper. Jesus was crucified by the Romans a short time later.

Psalm 41:9 (NIV):

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

Zechariah foreshadowed the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver

Bible prophecy: Zechariah 11:12-13
Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Zechariah 11:4-17, the prophet speaks of a payment involving 30 pieces of silver and of a good shepherd whose service is brought to an end. This foreshadows an event that happened to Jesus about 500 years later. As explained in Matthew 26:15, Judas was paid 30 silver coins for his betrayal of Jesus. Judas told the Romans when and where they could arrest Jesus without being surrounded by a large crowd of Jesus' followers. As explained in Matthew 27:5-7, Judas later tossed the money into the Temple (the house of the Lord) and the money was used to buy a potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.

Zechariah 11:12-13 (NIV):

12 I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"-the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.

Jesus was spat upon and beaten

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 50:6
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Isaiah 50:6, the prophet writes about a servant of God who endures abuse at the hands of sinful people. This servant offers his back to those who beat him, his face to those who rip out his beard, and himself to those who mock and taunt him. Christians historically have acknowledged this Old Testament prophecy as being fulfilled by Jesus Christ, who lived about 700 years after Isaiah. Jesus, as explained in the New Testament, was beaten, mocked and taunted shortly before his crucifixion by the Romans. In Matthew 26:67 (NIV translation), for example, it says: Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?"

Isaiah 50:6 (NIV):

I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

God's servant would be silent before his accusers

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:7
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In the book of Isaiah, chapter 53, Isaiah the prophet wrote about a servant of God. Many people believe that this was a prophecy about the life of Jesus Christ, who lived after the time of Isaiah. In Isaiah 53:7, the prophet said that the servant would be afflicted and accused, and that he would remain silent like a lamb being led to slaughter. As explained in Matthew 27:12-14, which was recorded about 700 years after the time of Isaiah, this is what happened to Jesus. He was falsely accused but remained silent and did not protest the accusations. Jesus was crucified by the Romans a short time later.

Isaiah 53:7 (NIV):

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.

God's servant would die for our sins

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:4-6
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Isaiah 53:4-6, prophet described a servant as being punished for the sins of others, and that others would be healed by the wounds of this person. As explained in the New Testament - such as in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - Jesus was crucified for our sins, and he was sinless. Christians believe that this ultimate sacrifice redeemed us all from sin in the same way that lambs and other animals were once sacrificed as a symbolic way of cleansing people from sin. All of us can be accepted into the Kingdom of God, as though we were sinless, if we accept Jesus as our savior. Christians believe that we are healed through the wounds that Jesus suffered.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV):

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Psalm 22 foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus

Bible prophecy: Psalm 22:1,7,8,16,17,18
Prophecy written: About 1000 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

People are sometimes curious, when they read Matthew 27:46 or Mark 15:34, why Jesus, while dying on the cross, said "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Those words are actually the first line of Psalm 22, which according to Jewish tradition was written by King David about 1,000 years before Jesus was crucified.

Psalm 22 speaks of a man who cries out to God for deliverance from intense persecution. There are parallels between the details in Psalm 22 and the details written in the New Testament about Jesus' crucifixion, such as:

In Psalm 22:7, it speaks of a man surrounded by others who scorn and despise him. This is what happened to Jesus in Matthew 27:39 and Mark 15:29.

In Psalm 22:7, it speaks of a man being mocked, which is similar in the descriptions of Jesus' crucifixion given in Matthew 27:31, Mark 15:20 and Luke 22:63; 23:36.

In Psalm 22:8, it says, "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." In Matthew 27:43, Jesus’ enemies taunted him by saying, "He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him."

In Psalm 22:16, it speaks of a man who was numbered with the transgressors, meaning an innocent man being regarded as being one of a group of criminals. Jesus too was numbered with the transgressors when he was crucified next to two criminals, as described in Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32 and John 19:18.

In Psalm 22:16, it speaks of a man whose hands and feet are either pierced, or mauled, or disfigured, depending on which is truly the best English translation of the original verse. In John 19:23,34,37 - Jesus' hands and feet were pierced with nails during the crucifixion process.

In Psalm 22:17, it speaks of a man who would be surrounded by others who stared and gloated at him. This too was the situation for Jesus during the crucifixion, according to Matthew 27:36 and Luke 23:35.

In Psalm 22:18, onlookers gamble for pieces of clothing that belonged to the person being persecuted. As explained in Matthew 27:35, Roman soldiers gambled (cast lots) for articles of Jesus' clothing while he was being crucified.

There are other descriptions in Psalm 22 that sound like an accurate description of what would happen to a person being crucified, such as the disjointing of bones, the drying up of a person's strength, an intense sense of thirst, a heart melting like wax (Jesus was stabbed in the side with a spear during his crucifixion), and being "poured out" of one's body. When Jesus was stabbed, blood and water poured out from the wound.

Many Christian scholars have written about their views of the significance of Psalm 22 and the crucifixion of Jesus. The late Charles Briggs, who had been a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, said "These sufferings [of Psalm 22] transcend those of any historical sufferer, with the single exception of Jesus Christ. They find their exact counterpart in the sufferings of the cross.... This ideal is a Messianic ideal, and finds its only historical realization in Jesus Christ."

Psalm 22:1,7,8,16,17,18 (NIV):

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

8 "He trusts in the LORD ; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."

16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Zechariah foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus

Bible prophecy: Zechariah 12:10
Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In the Old Testament book of Zechariah, chapter 12, the Bible said that there would be a time when people in Jerusalem would lament over the one who was "pierced," as one mourns for the loss of a first-born son. (First-born sons were often viewed as the main inheritors of a family's legacy). Christians traditionally have interpreted this passage as a reference to the return of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was pierced when he was crucified by the Romans about 2000 years ago. Christians believe that Jesus will return in the future to establish an everlasting kingdom.

The Talmud, which offers Judaism-related commentary about various Old Testament passages, makes a very Christian-like assessment of the prophecy found in the book of Zechariah:

"What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as it is written, 'And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.'" -Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a.

Zechariah 12:10 (NIV):

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

God's servant would be "numbered with the transgressors"

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:12
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Isaiah 53:12, the prophet wrote about a servant who would bear the sins of others and be punished side-by-side with criminals. Christians acknowledge that Isaiah's description of this servant was a prophecy that was fulfilled during the life of Jesus Christ. As explained in the book of Matthew, Jesus, though sinless, was "numbered with the transgressors" and crucified along with two criminals.

Isaiah 53:12 (NIV):

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

God's servant would be buried in a rich man's tomb

Bible prophecy: Isaiah 53:9
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

In Isaiah 53:9, the prophet Isaiah wrote about a sinless servant being put to death with the wicked and buried with the rich. About 700 years after this was written, Jesus was put to death along with two criminals and was buried in a tomb owned by a wealthy man, as explained in the New Testament. The New Testament also says that Jesus was resurrected three days later and ascended into Heaven.

Isaiah 53:9 (NIV):

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Notes: The commentaries above are summaries from the book 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies. Copyright © Ray Konig.

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