Lesson Four – The Check List

The Check List

Lesson Aim:  To reveal prophecy that detailed Jesus Christ’s birth, incarnate life and death.


In our last lesson we studied messages the prophets received from God revealing most of the spiritual reasons for the coming of the Christ.  Also, we have a good general understanding of His mission and the time of His coming.  In this lesson we want to place ourselves in the Jerusalem area at the time Caesar Augustus made Herod the king.  The beginning of Daniel’s fourth kingdom will be our sign the Messiah could come at any time.  We would not want to be fooled by a false prophet, so we will make ourselves a check list from the prophets of old.  This check list will be chronologically correct and involve personal details that will happen in relation to the Christ.  It will be details about His entrance into the physical world, some things which will happen to Him while here and the way He will leave us.


But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.  Gal. 4:4

Some have said the reason the time was right was because Augustus Caesar had brought peace to the Mediterranean world by conquering most of the conflicting powers.  The Roman road network and the universal Greek language made it easy for people to move about and converse.  This could all be true, but not one of God’s prophets had prophesied these conditions were necessary to bring about the “fullness of time.”  However, we can be sure certain things had to come about before the Christ made His appearance.  We will see how God intervened when necessary and left other things to the will of man.  If the way things were is the way they had to be when the Messiah came, then it would be important for us to consider how things were in Israel at the time He came.

Rome ruled, as Daniel had prophesied, and they helped to fulfil certain other prophecies.  For instance, on our check list we will find the Christ would be born in Bethlehem; however, the virgin whom God had chosen to give birth to Jesus lived in Galilee.  Caesar Augustus corrected this when he announced a census of his Empire.  This brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem because it was their native place (Luke 2:1).  They were descendants of the tribe of Judah and we remember Jacob had prophesied, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah.”  See Matt. 1:17 and Gen. 49:10.  Did God intervene or did these things just happen?

Also the prophets had said Gentile kings would take their stand against His Christ (Psa. 2:1, 2).  The Romans had no interest in this kind of stand but the Jewish leadership was actively interested.  They were not allowed to put anyone to death; therefore, they had to persuade the Romans to kill Jesus.  In this manner the prophet’s words were fulfilled (John 18:31).  Before it happened, Jesus said the things that happened were all necessary (Luke 9:22).

Although Israel was dominated by the Romans, they had not lost all of their authority.  The Jews retained their freedom to worship God, as long as they did not disrupt the civil order or discredit Caesar.  The Jewish priesthood was functioning when Jesus lived on earth.  In fact, God used the high priest, Caiaphas, as a prophet.  God also used the power of the high priest office to cause his own evil prophecy to come true (Luke 3:2; Matt. 20:18, 19).  Still, Jesus kept the Law and recognized the priest (Mark 1:44).  He and His disciples were keeping the Jews Passover feast when they killed Him (Matt. 26:2).  The following is John’s account of Caiaphas’ prophecy.

Now this he did not say on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation; and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  John 11:51, 52

While Jesus lived on earth the Jews were keeping the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost and the fast for the Day of Atonement (John 11:55; Acts 2:1; 27:9).  Sacrifices were being offered, the Sabbath was being kept and the Law read, but not always in the right spirit (John 2:13; Mark 2:24; Luke 4:17-21).  Some were ready for the Christ and God made sure they recognized Him (John 1:33).  The rest were hardened and used to fulfil prophecy (Rom. 11:7).  This was also according to prophecy (Rom. 11:8-10).

Because the Israelites killed Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we might conclude they were an evil generation; however, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who was a priest and his wife were righteous people (Luke 1:5, 6).  Multitudes of people could be found in prayer at the temple (Luke 1:10).  In spite of the corrupt leadership, this period could have been one of Israel’s higher times, spiritually.

Now, let us assume we were living at the time Herod was king in Jerusalem under the Roman Empire.  We want to be able to recognize the Messiah when He comes, so let us make ourselves a check list from the Old Testament prophecies.  This same check list should reinforce our faith today.  Perhaps, Jesus had our faith in mind when He said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed?  Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”  John 20:29.

The prophecies listed below are in the chronological order in which they happened.  In Lesson Five we will study the scriptures in the New Testament and hear the Holy Spirit verify our check list. He will show us how these prophecies were fulfilled.

  1. Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. Mal. 4:5
  2. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Is. 7:14
  3. But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. Mic. 5:2
  4. Thus says the Lord, “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children:  She refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. Jer. 31:15
  5. When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.  Hos. 11:1
  6. On the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.  Isa. 9:1, 2
  7. Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights.  I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.  Isa. 42:1
  8. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; we have blessed you from the house of the Lord.  Psa. 118:26
  9. Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey.  Zech. 9:9
  10. Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.  Psa. 41:9
  11. So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages and threw them to the potter…  Zech. 11:12, 13
  12. Why are the nations in uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?  The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against His Anointed.  Psa.2:1, 2
  13. Strike the shepherd that the sheep may be scattered.  Zech. 13:7
  14. From Isaiah 53 and other prophecies we are given more details about Jesus’ crucifixion.
    a.    Isaiah 53:
    Verse 3,   He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    Verse 4,   Surely our grief He himself bore, and our sorrows He carried.
    Verse 7,   Like a lamb that is led to slaughter.
    Verse 9,  His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet he was with a rich man in His death.
    Verse 12,  Therefore I will allot Him a portion with the great.
    b.    They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave vinegar to drink.  Psa. 69:21
    c.    They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.     Psa. 22:18
    d.    And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn.  Zech. 12:10
    e.    My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?  Psa. 22:1
    f.    Into Thy hand I commit My spirit; Thou hast ransomed Me, O Lord, God of truth.  Psa. 31:5
  15. For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.  Psa. 16:8-11

If these things did happen, the Lord’s Christ has already come to earth to visit mankind.  If they have not happened the entire world is lost because it appears that no one is abiding by the covenants God made with His people through Abraham and Moses.  We do not find the prescribed sacrifices being offered in Jerusalem or elsewhere.  Happily, the four gospels reveal how each one of the foregoing prophecies was fulfilled.  Also, they give us a warm personal introduction to Christ Jesus, the Son of Man.  This is the One who is king over God’s kingdom at this time.  Thanks to God for giving us a divine king and priest.  Thanks for Jesus Christ!

Questions for Discussion

  1. If you had lived during the time when Rome conquered Israel how could you have kept yourself from being fooled by a pseudo Christ?
  2. List two incidents revealing the intervention of God in the affairs of man that fulfilled prophecies concerning Christ.
  3. List several facts that help us have a good perspective of the situation in Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth.
  4. Give your understanding of the spirituality of the Israelites at the time Jesus lived on earth.
  5. Why should the proposed check list in this lesson reinforce our faith today?
  6. Give your understanding of each scripture on the check list.
  7. Research the New Testament and list the corresponding scripture to each of those on the check list.
  8. Can you add other prophecies to this check list that were quoted by the New Testament writers?
  9. The Jewish people have this check list but most of them do not believe the Messiah has come.  Why do you think they do not believe?
  10. Where does the entire world stand at this point in relation to God if these scriptures have not been fulfilled?

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