There are 48 distinct prophecies given in the Bible which make direct reference to Jesus Christ’s coming or His life on earth. They speak of His unique birth, the regions where He traveled, and the way He would die, and they were all recorded hundreds of years before His advent. Today, scientists have been able to use mathematical probability to demonstrate that Jesus’ fulfillment of these prophecies was no accident or coincidence.
Peter Stoner, in Science Speaks, says that the chance for a man to fulfill just eight of the recorded prophecies would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that “we take 10 to the 17th power silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They would cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell his that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that it is the right one.
“What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.
“Now these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just on chance in 10 to the 17th power of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ. This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 100 to the 17th power of being absolute.”
Now, when you consider that Jesus not only fulfilled these eight prophecies, but a total of 48, the mathematical probability increases to 1 in 10 to the 157th power!
Stoner helps us visualize the greatness of this number in this way: “The silver dollar, which we have been using, is entirely to large. We must select a smaller object. The electron is about as small an object as we know of. It is so small that it will take 2.5 times 10 to the 15th power of them laid side by side to make a single line one inch long. If we were going to count the electrons in this one inch line, and counted 250 each minute, counting day and night, it would take you 19,000,000 years just to count the once inch line.”
Stone then says that if you threw one of these tiny electrons into the vast expanse of the state of Texas, and sent a blindfolded man out to find it, the probability of him finding it would equal the probability of a man fulfilling all 48 of the messianic prophecies recorded in the Old Testament!
The fact that He fulfilled those prophecies was anything but a “coincidence.”