Christmas in Prophecy: Pierced Hands and Feet
By Nathan Jones
Was Jesus’ method of execution prophesied a thousand years before it happened?
Jesus fulfilled all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming. Anyone who thinks that is an accident knows nothing — absolutely nothing — about the laws of probability. Prophecy is proof positive that Jesus is God in the flesh. On a recent television episode of Christ in Prophecy, Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones, along with guest Dennis Pollock, set out to demonstrate this amazing fact and in doing so revealed the life-changing impact such knowledge can make on a person’s life.
Rachel Weeping for Her Children
Dr. Reagan: Jeremiah 31 contains a very grim prophecy concerning the First Coming of Jesus Christ, and stands out distinctly among the 108 First Coming prophecies.
Nathan Jones: It is grim. Jeremiah 31:15 reads as such.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”
Without context this verse remains a little difficult to understand. Key words for understanding this passage are Rachel and Ramah. Rachel was one of the four wives of the patriarch Jacob. Ramah was her land allotment through her son Benjamin’s tribe and to this day remains the location of her tomb. These keywords mark the city of Bethlehem. The land of Bethlehem became the scene of the Nativity where Jesus was born.
Remember that when the Magi first met King Herod, they revealed to him that the prophesied Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Later, fueled by jealousy towards any competing king, and seeing the star clearly visible in the sky, King Herod in response ordered all the children two and under be murdered in Bethlehem, the land of Ramah. Rachel wept for her children because they were all destroyed.
Dr. Reagan: What a prophecy contained in the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus was born even. The prophecies relating to the birth of Jesus Christ are simply amazing!
They Pierced My Hands and My Feet
Dr. Reagan: One of the most remarkable prophecies that comes to mind in all the Old Testament concerns the crucifixion of Christ found in Psalm 22:16-18.
“For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
The chapter foretold how the Messiah would die by having His hands and feet pierced. What’s so remarkable is that the way the Jews executed people at the time the Psalm was written, a thousand years before Jesus was born, was by stoning them to death. Since Moses, the Jews enacted a capital punishment that centered on stoning the law breakers to death. But, that eventually changed. The Jews had lost their power to execute people when the Romans took over, and so Israel’s leaders had to run to their Roman masters in order to enact capital punishment.
What method did the Romans wield to kill their prisoners and incite fear in the people’s hearts in order to garner obedience — crucifixion. Jesus was crucified, and in so doing, His hands and feet were pierced, just as was prophesied a thousand years beforehand.
I never cease to be amazed at the preciseness of Bible prophecy. How anybody could read the Bible and conclude it must all be just a coincidence is beyond me. They read, but they do not believe.
Dennis Pollock: Another fairly lengthy messianic chapter of the Old Testament where it goes into much more prophetic detail, details so specific you can hardly deny them, can be found in Isaiah 53. This chapter speaks about how the Messiah would die. It says so plainly and so clearly. Who but Jesus of Nazareth would qualify for that type of death? For example, check out verse 5.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
In the fourth segment of our study about how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all 108 distinct Bible prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First Coming, we will listen to the beauty of Mary’s prophetic song.