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As Peter spoke to the crowd in the temple courts following the healing of a man crippled from birth, he made it clear that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies (see Acts 3:18,24). But could Jesus have merely fulfilled these prophecies by accident? Could it be that he’s just one of many throughout history who have coincidentally fit the prophetic fingerprint?
“Not a chance,” comes the response of Louis Lapides, a Christian convert from Judaism. “The odds are so astronomical that they rule that out. Someone did the math and estimated that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked the planet!
“That same person calculated that if you took this number of silver dollars, they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of two feet. If you marked one silver dollar among them and then had a blindfolded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked? The same odds that anybody in history could have fulfilled just eight of the prophecies.”
Scientist Peter Stoner estimated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Our minds can’t comprehend a number that big.
“The odds alone say it would be impossible for anyone to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies,” Lapides concludes. “Yet Jesus—and only Jesus throughout all of history—managed to do it.”
— Adapted from interview with Louis Lapides
Taken from “Did Jesus Accidentally Fulfill the Old Testament Prophecies?” from the NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (used by permission).