Micah 5:2 meets all three of our requirements and so gives evidence that God was supernaturally involved in the writing of this prophecy. Fulfilled prophecy is evidence that God communicates and is involved in mankind’s history. Pointing out all that Jesus fulfilled can help us draw people’s attention to his message and ministry. Let’s begin to use fulfilled prophecy in our apologetic approach.
If you were God, how would you grab people’s attention? You’d have to do something out of the ordinary, something that would pique people’s interest—something miraculous.
The Bible is a record of God doing this very thing. But what about those of us who have never seen a miracle in our life? How does God get our attention? One way is by performing miracles using history, time, and written records. We call it prophecy.
Biblical prophecy is often overlooked as an apologetic for Christianity. We need to change this. One type of Old Testament prophecy predicts the coming of the Messiah. In fact, some have counted three hundred prophecies predicting when, where, and what the Messiah would be. If we can show these predictions came true, it would help us to build a case for the validity of Scripture, God, and Jesus.
There are three important criteria for using a messianic prophecy in apologetics.
- Jesus didn’t fulfill the prophecy deliberately.
- The prophecy predates its fulfillment.
- The fulfillment of the prophecy can’t be a coincidence.
Once, Jesus appeared to fulfill a prophecy on purpose. Zechariah 9:9 predicted the Messiah would come into Jerusalem seated on a colt. The fulfillment is recorded in Matthew 21:1–11 and John 12:12–16. Jesus, knowing what Zechariah 9:9 had predicted, deliberately fulfilled this prophecy by asking for a colt for his triumphal entry. This kind of fulfilled prophecy would not be persuasive to a non-Christian.
Next, what evidence do we have that a prophecy was written prior to Jesus’ life? If there isn’t evidence the prediction predated the fulfillment, we can’t claim a specific event was foretold and fulfilled in Jesus.