The “Messiah must Suffer and Die” Prophecy

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (Luke 24:46)

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)

That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.(Acts 26:23)

Anyone that has read the New Testament knows that it says Jesus suffered and died a horrible death. The New Testament makes the claim in several places that Jesus told the disciples that the Hebrew Scriptures foretold that he (the Messiah) would suffer, die and rise from the dead on the third day. This is the complete passage found in Luke.

But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:36-48)

Here we see Jesus tell his disciples about two prophecies.

1. It benefited Christ to suffer.

2. Christ will rise from the dead the third day.

Aside from the strange way that he speaks about himself in the third person, what he says seems logical but is this actually correct? Does the Hebrew Bible contain these specific prophecies? What are we to make of this phrase, “ and thus it behoved Christ to suffer?” Isn’t it supposed to benefit the world that Christ suffered?
We have previously discussed Isaiah 53 and found it lacking any prophecies of Jesus’ suffering and death.

Because of this we are forced to look to other parts of the Hebrew Bible. Even if we did include Isaiah 53, which still isn’t a messianic prophecy, it still says absolutely nothing about being raised again in 3 days.
After looking in several Christian Bibles, I was surprised to see the only cross references to this passage are to other statements in Luke. There is no cross reference to any Hebrew Bible passage foretelling of any suffering or resurrection of any messiah. Could this be a dead end like the ‘Nazarene prophecy?”

There is one prophecy in the Hebrew Bible that does mention someone that will be raised on the third day. Let’s look at it and see who it is speaking of.

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:1-3)

This has nothing to do with the messiah. It contains only plural pronouns and is speaking of a group of people. This is the only passage that remotely resembles anything that speaks of a resurrection on the third day. Could Jesus have been confused? And if so, why? Could Luke have not been able to read Hebrew well enough to understand that this passage was about a group and not a singular person? We may never know for sure.

What is going on here? What would cause someone to write down a prophecy reference that doesn’t exist? Luke indicates that he investigated all these things carefully. He was a gentile and probably had not been exposed to the Hebrew Bible or misread the Hebrew as I mentioned previously. Maybe he actually believed that there were prophecies that corresponded to the words of Jesus.

I ask you to verify what I am reporting to you. Read your Hebrew Bible to see if I am telling you the truth. Get the tools you need to search the Scriptures to verify what I am saying. There are many free tools available on the Internet to help you. 1 I challenge you.

This is an excerpt from my book, “Leaving Jesus.” It is available as an ebook ($2.99), an audiobook ($4.00) or a paperback ($7.49) at the link below.

Book Information

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2 Responses to The “Messiah must Suffer and Die” Prophecy

  1. Andrew says:

    First,

    “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (1 Peter 1:10-12 ESV)

    Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. (Daniel 9:25, 26 ESV)

    And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord !” (Jonah 2:2-9 ESV)

    Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! (Psalm 22:12-21 ESV)

    O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. (Psalm 3:1-5 ESV)

    Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said: “I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens. If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed. You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust. You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins. All who pass by plunder him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. You have also turned back the edge of his sword, and you have not made him stand in battle. You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground. You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with shame. Selah How long, O Lord ? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man! What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David? Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, with which your enemies mock, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed. Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen. (Psalm 89:19-52 ESV)

    “And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves. On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. (Zechariah 12:7-13:1 ESV)

    “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the Lord of hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zechariah 13:7-9 ESV)

    Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:10-12 ESV)

    • hesedyahu says:

      Firstly, as James asked you, limit the lengths of your responses. As of today, 15th October 2013 (you’ve made other lengthy response elsewhere on our blog, consider this a final warning. Limit the lengths of your responses. Feel free to make your own blog or feel free to go elsewhere but please limit yourself here.

      Now all you’ve given is quotes. Quotes in and off themselves mean nothing as they have to be interpreted. In each case of your quoting you suffer from the same weakness that most missionaries suffer from when they try to use the Jewish Bible to prove their case. Either the verse is mistranslated, e.g, your quotation of the mistranslated Psalm 2, 22 and Zech 12, Daniel 9; or they are just plain irrelevant to Jesus, like Psalm 89, Psalm 3, Jonah; or they rely on songs as opposed to clear prophecies, like all your usages of the Psalms. In each case there is also the fact that they are taken out of context.

      So quoting Jewish Bible passages actually becomes your weakness when time is taken to look at context and the original languages.

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