Sermon Illustrations

There are 61 major prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. If you can find anyone living or dead, who can fulfil only half of these predictions than I have $1000 for you.

The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner in Science Speaks to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the power of 17.

1. Place of birth (Micah 5:2)

2. Preceded by a messenger (Malachi 3:1).

3. He was to enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

4. His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16).

5. Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).

6. That money to be thrown in God’s house and given for a potter’s field (Zechariah 11: 13).

7. Silent before his accusers (Isaiah 53:7).

8. Crucified (Psalm 22:16; Isaiah 53:12)

That would be one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "We take 10 to the power of 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom."

Now these prophecies were either given by the inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just 1 chance in 10 to the power of 17 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ.

He then went on to consider 48 prophecies and says, “We find the chance that one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10 to the power of 157.

(Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Here's Life Publishers: CA. 1979. Page 166-167)

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