February 16 "They said therefore among themselves, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be..." John 19:24 People ask about the trustworthiness of the Bible, the Word of God. But God foresaw that question and he himself has validated his Word. What sets the Word of God apart from all other 'holy" books is its validation by types and prophecies. The Scripture above, found in the New Testament Book of John, is a fulfillment of a prophecy. It was first written a thousand years before Christ, by the psalmist King David. In fact, this entire psalm was written about the suffering and death of the Messiah centuries before Christ was born. See if from the Old Testament: "They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." Psalm 22:18 God confirms his Word through fulfilled prophecies hundreds or thousands of years after the prophecy was written. He also confirms his Word through "types." A type is a story from the Old Testament which clearly portrays the life and mission of the coming Messiah, and there are many of them. A favorite was written by Moses in the 16th century BC. It is the story of Abraham who was directed by God to take his beloved son Isaac up onto Mount Moriah to sacrifice him there. As they ascend the mountain, Isaac bears on his back the wood for the sacrifice. What an amazing “type” in this portrayal of the Father who later would send HIS beloved Son to bear the cross on his back as he went up onto Mount Moriah to be sacrificed there. The story goes on to portray that it would be a substitutionary sacrifice, for as Abraham was about to slay his son, the Lord stopped him and provided a ram that was caught in a thicket for Abraham to slay in place of his son, just as our salvation is substitutionary, because WE should be sacrificed for our sinfulness, yet God provided his Son to be that substitutionary sacrifice in our place. There are many, many "types" of Christ pictured throughout the Bible. In addition to this, are the many prophecies of all that the Messiah would do in his mission on this earth, for example, in the scene of the crucifixion of Christ mentioned above - the soldiers took Jesus's clothes and divided them among themselves, in fulfillment of the prophecy written centuries earlier. How did King David who wrote the psalm know that he was writing a prophecy that centuries later would be fulfilled by the Messiah? He didn't, he couldn't have known. The Scriptures were revealed to men who had no understanding that the words they were writing were prophetic. Later in the day as Jesus hung on the cross, the soldiers went to break the legs of those crucified with Jesus to hasten their death, but Jesus was already dead when they came to him, so they did not break his legs: "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs." John 19:33 3,000 years ago God specified that his bones would not be broken: "He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken." Psalm 34:20 That the bones must not be broken is also recorded in the directions God gave for the Passover. The the bones of the lamb must not be broken, and of course Christ became our Passover, the Lamb of God whose bones were not broken in spite of the horrific torture he endured. Ref: Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 In this same chapter in John 19, a remarkable prophecy is stated: vs 37: “They shall look on him whom they pierced.” This is an amazing prophecy, first written by the prophet Zechariah showing the great remorse that will come upon Israel when they finally realize that the one they crucified, the one who was pierced, is actually their Messiah. It's going to be a terrible shock for them, so much so that they will go into grievous mourning when they see him and their eyes are opened: "...then they will look on me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zechariah 12:10 Zechariah gave this prophecy 500 years before Christ was born, describing the day the Jews will come to recognize him. That is still future. And it surely will be, you can count on it. Another proof of the validity of the Bible that has appeared only in this generation is the scrolls found at Qumran, near the Dead Sea, in 1947. They were from the time of the Essenes in southern Israel 2,000 years ago. The scrolls were put in jars and hidden in the caves of Qumran. They are a game-changer, because those scrolls contain many passages from the Bible including a complete book of Isaiah which is identical to the Book of Isaiah that we have today. Some of the cults say that the Bible has been changed, but the 2,000-year-old scrolls soundly refute that and establish the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today in the earlier translations such as the 1611 King James Bible. God has overseen and protected his Word, preserving the faithfulness of it as it is written, along with the Word of God being filled with types and prophecies about the Messiah and how they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. If anyone has doubt concerning the Bible, let him make a study on these things and I guarantee you will be a believer when you realize the extent God went to in order to verify his Word.