I am starting a new feature on this blog today. I call it “Monday Morning Prophecy.” It was the prophecies in the Bible, and specifically the prophecies of the coming Messiah, that convinced me that I could trust the Bible and forced me to examine the claims contained therein. So, my plan is to, with some regularity, look at many of the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Unless something else comes up, I’ve designated Monday for these posts, thus the title – “Monday Morning Prophecy.” I’ve added a number to each post to keep track of where we are. As the number of prophecies continues to build, I think you will see the overwhelming evidence for the inspiration of the Bible in its Messianic prophecies alone.
This morning we will look at one of the specific prophecies regarding the events leading up to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Despite one claim generally made by critics – that Jesus orchestrated his life to be the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies – this morning’s prophecy is a clear example of an Old Testament prophecy whose fulfillment was outside the realm of Jesus’ control.
In Psalm 41:9, we are told:
Even my close friend, whom I trusted,
he who shared my bread,
has lifted up his heel against me.
Psalm 55:12-14 gives us an even more detailed look:
If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me,
I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
as we walked with the throng at the house of God.
These Psalms clearly prophesy that the person who would betray the coming Messiah would be a close friend.
John 13:18-30 is Jesus’ acknowledgment of the person who was going to betray him:
I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’
I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, Ask him which one he means.
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, Lord, who is it?
Jesus answered, It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish. Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
What you are about to do, do quickly, Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
This is in and of itself prophetic as Jesus makes the announcement of who his betrayer was (and that he would be betrayed) just prior to Judas betraying him. This story is also told in Matthew 26:20-25.
Luke 22:47-48 tells us about the moment of the actual betrayal:
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Additional New Testament verses regarding the fulfillment of this prophecy include:
- Matthew 10:4
- Mark 14:17-18
- Luke 22:21-23
Thousands of years prior to the birth of Christ, the Psalmist accurately predicted that Jesus’ betrayer would be a close friend. Despite numerous attempts by the religious leaders of his day to capture and kill Jesus, it was ultimately Judas’ betrayal that led to his crucifixion. Such prophecy can only be the work of God.
Image courtesy of Abby Reed