Genesis 2:4-7 (NIV)
Just as one example, there are Old Testament scriptures which point to the coming of the Messiah to the temple in Jerusalem. Remember that account in the Bible [Matthew 21] where Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, and people are waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!"? Well, other OT Scriptures had predicted in greater detail both the precise time period and the way that this event was to take place. For this was no ordinary ride into Jerusalem. This was the Messiah coming unto His own people. [Which is also why, when the authorities told Jesus to silence the crowds and the children who were proclaiming him as Messiah, He replied that if they were silenced, the very stones would cry out. (Luke 19:28-44)]
Some might say, that Jesus just purposely 'fulfilled' this prophecy by choosing to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, as prophesied. However, there is more background to this story. Do you know about the prophecy in Daniel which indicates that the Messiah would come prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple? If Daniel was a true prophet, then the Messiah would have had to come by the time the destruction took place -- in 70 AD. There is no other person who both fulfilled the Messianic requirements and arrived before that time, besides Jesus of Nazareth. I will write a post about these things in greater detail. Yet I want us to remember that Daniel is respected as a prophet, and that the succession of four major world powers was revealed to him way back in his own time when Babylon was the superpower.
It was revealed to Daniel that Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and then Rome would fill that position of dominance -- which is exactly what happened. The test of a true prophet was that their predictions always came to pass. Daniel had a flawless track record in this regard. Imagine yourself trying to figure out which nation will be the next superpower. Then think of how Daniel was able to predict four such superpowers. Not to mention that he included such detailed descriptions of certain events that critics automatically assumed that the predictions had to have been written after the events, for otherwise they could not understand how such knowledge could be possible.
I believe that Jesus is the only One who could have fulfilled that prophecy about the Messiah coming before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. I know of no one else whose name has been submitted instead for that position and who perfectly fulfilled all the prophecies about himself, including ones which a person could not fake, like those about their ancestry [It's pretty difficult to arrange one's own ancestors!], the time and place of one's own birth and the precise manner and details of one's death. As I wrote before, other posts will be needed to flesh out these prophecies and the way Jesus fulfilled them, but if one is willing to look, the evidence is graciously, wonderfully, and quite specifically there.
- Man was made by God, who formed man's body from the dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
- At that point, it seems that rain had not yet occurred. Instead, the plants and trees were watered by streams which watered the surface of the ground.