Prophecies fulfilled during the life of Jesus

The Old Testament of the Bible contains prophecies that foretold important details and events involving the life, ministry, rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. This article reviews some of those prophecies and how they were fulfiiled by Jesus.

Not much is known about the early life of Jesus. The New Testament of the Bible contains the only known detailed account of Jesus' life and it focuses mainly on the public ministry of Jesus, which began when he was about 30 years old.

His public ministry lasted about 3-and-a-half years, according to the list of events recorded in the Gospel of John, which many scholars believe are listed in chronological.

The beginning of Jesus' public ministry

Of the 39 books that comprise the Old Testament, the book of Malachi is believed by many to be the last one that was written, about 400 years before the birth of Jesus. That book, by the prophet Malachi, contains a prophecy about a "forerunner" or "messenger," a person who would prepare the way for the arrival of the Messiah:

"I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:1, NIV)

About 400 years later, as described in Matthew 11:10, Jesus proclaimed that John the Baptist was the messenger who had been prophesied by Malachi.

John the Baptist helped prepare people for the ministry of Jesus. In fact, he announced that Jesus is the Son of God, and proclaimed that Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world:

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."

32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God's Chosen One." (John 1:29-34, NIV)

      Note: many manuscripts translate the phrase "is God's Chosen One" as "is the Son of God."

The death of John the Baptist is recorded in Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; and Luke 9:1-9. He was beheaded in about the year 30 AD, by Herod (Antipas), who was one of the sons of King Herod.

His death also was recorded by Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, who wrote:

"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist ; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism ; . . . "
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, Chapter 5, as translated by William Whiston.

The nature of the Messiah's ministry

During his ministry about 2,000 years ago, Jesus returned to the town of Nazareth, where he grew up, and attended a service at a synagogue. During the service, as was customary, an attending person would read a selection of (Old Testament) scripture. On this occasion, it was Jesus who did the reading, and he read a passage from the scroll of Isaiah:

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
(Isaiah 61:1,2a, NIV)

When he stopped reading, he rolled up the scroll, sat down and said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21, NIV). The event is described in Luke 4:14-21.

The words found in Isaiah 61:1,2a help to explain the nature of Jesus' ministry about 2,000 years ago, as he taught people about the gift of salvation and eternal life with God.

And, the portion of Isaiah 61:2 that Jesus did not read - "and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61:2b, NIV)" - is understood by many Christian commentators, including Irenaeus, to be a reference to another role that Jesus will fulfill, in the future, when he returns to judge the living and the dead.

Irenaeus is a Christian who lived during the second century of this era. Irenaeus' comments involving Jesus and Isaiah 61:1,2 can be found in his work, Against Heresies, Book II, Chapter 22.

In that chapter, Irenaeus characterized the phrase "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" as being "This present time, therefore, in which men are called and saved by the Lord . . . "

And, Irenaeus wrote that the day of vengeance, which is alluded to later in verse 2, refers to judgment day.

Here is Isaiah 61:1,2 (NIV):

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

A light to Gentiles

Although Jesus' public ministry took place within the land of Israel, he did preach to Gentiles (non-Jews). Many Gentiles lived in Galilee, a region in the northern part of the land of Israel.

That region is home to Nazareth, the town in which Jesus grew up into adulthood, and Capernaum, where Jesus lived for a while during the time of his ministry.

Matthew, who wrote the Gospel of Matthew, describes portions of Jesus' ministry that took place in Galilee. In Matthew 4:12-17, Matthew cited an Old Testament passage found in the book of Isaiah:

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan-

2 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:1,2, NIV)

The teachings of Jesus later became the first to spread to Gentiles throughout the world, with some current estimates of about 2 billion Christians worldwide.

Performing miracles

The four Gospels of the Bible's New Testament, which are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, record details for more than 30 miracles that Jesus performed during his ministry.

Centuries beforehand, the prophet Isaiah spoke of someone opening the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf:

4 say to those with fearful hearts,
    "Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you."

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
    and streams in the desert. (Isaiah 35:4-6, NIV)

Aside from spiritually healing people, Jesus also performed miracles of physical healing, including healing people of blindness, deafness, muteness, and lameness. Examples like these can be found in Matthew 9:27-31, Mark 7:31-37, Luke 11:14 and John 5:5-17.

Jesus also performed other kinds of miracles, such as the calming of a storm (Luke 8:22-25), walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), miraculously feeding thousands of people with a few handfuls of food (John 6:5-14), and bringing Jairus' daughter back to life (Luke 8:41,42, 49-56), and bringing Lazarus back to life (John 11:1-44).

A comprehensive list of miracles performed by Jesus can be found at

God promised another prophet like Moses

In the Old Testament of the Bible, Moses is featured prominently. He was the one God chose to deliver the Ten Commandments. He was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and back to their homeland, after a 400-year exile.

The first five books of the Old Testament - the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy - are ascribed to Moses, in that God inspired Moses to write them. They are sometimes referred to collectively as the "books of Moses."

Aside from being a leader, Moses also was a prophet. God gave him prophecies about the future that the Israelites would have once they returned to their homeland of Israel. These included that the Israelites would eventually turn away from God, be forced into exile, scattered and then regathered to their homeland. These prophecies later were fulfilled during the conquests of Israel by the Assyrians and then later by the Babylonians.

One of the prophecies that Moses gave involved a future prophet who would be like Moses. This prophecy is found in Deuteronomy 18:15-18.

After the time of Moses, God raised up a succession of prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jesus. Like Moses, Jesus combined the offices of prophet, priest, leader, and deliverer. None of the other prophets combined all of those functions.

Jesus and Moses share much else in common. Here are some examples:

• Both were delivered from the threat of death as infants. During the time of Moses' birth, the Pharaoh of Egypt commanded that all Hebrew male infants be killed, because he feared that the growing Hebrew population would become a threat to his power (Exodus 1:1-22; Exodus 2:1-10). During the time of Jesus' infancy, King Herod ordered the death of male infants in Bethlehem, because he feared that one of them (Jesus) would be regarded as king instead of Herod (Matthew 2:1-16).

• Both were born during times when the people of Israel were being oppressed. During Moses' time, the people of Israel were living in Egypt, where they were being oppressed and enslaved (Exodus 1:1-22). During Jesus' time, the people of Israel were oppressed by the Romans, who ruled over a vast empire that included the land of Israel.

• Both were adopted. Moses was adopted into the Pharaoh's household (Exodus 2:1-10). Jesus was adopted by Joseph (Matthew 1:18-24).

• Both performed miracles. One example for Moses can be found in Exodus 14:21, and one example for Jesus is recorded in Matthew 8:23-27.

• Both spent part of their lives in Egypt. Moses was born in Egypt because his forefathers had left Israel during a time of famine to seek refuge in Egypt. Jesus, as an infant, was taken to Egypt for a while because his life was being threatened within the land of Israel, by King Herod.

• Both interceded with God. Moses tried to offer himself as payment for the sins of the Israelites (Exodus 32:30-33). Jesus willingly died for our sins (Romans 5:7-9; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 9:15; etc).

Although there are many similarities, there also are important differences. Jesus is fully human and fully God. And Jesus is the mediator between man and God:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5, NIV)

Here is Deuteronomy 18:15-18:

15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.

16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die."

17 The Lord said to me: "What they say is good.

18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-18, NIV)

The Messiah would enter Jerusalem in a humble way

Jesus is recorded in the New Testament as having ridden a donkey into Jerusalem. As he did so, several people lined his path and hailed Jesus as the Messiah.

The reason the people reacted this way to Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem is because the prophet Zechariah had written a prophecy centuries earlier that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem in a lowly, humble manner - by riding a donkey.

Matthew recorded the event in his Gospel:

8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

    "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
    "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
    "Hosanna in the highest heaven!" (Matthew 21:8,9, NIV)

The phrase, "son of David," is a Biblical way of referring to the promised Messiah, who was to be a descendant of King David.

In the Gospel of John, people also are recorded as crying out, "Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord:"

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

    "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
    "Blessed is the king of Israel!" (John 12:12,13, NIV)

Matthew and John both refer to a prophecy found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah in their description of the Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.

The prophecy is found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah:

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9, NIV)

About 500 years after the time of Zechariah and the writing of the prophecy, Jesus rode into Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38; and John 12:12-19. The Gospels contain details that indicate that at least some of the people who witnessed the event understood the significance of what Jesus was doing.

Zechariah 9:9 has been understood since ancient times as being a prophecy about the Messiah. This is attested to by a variety of scholars, including Alfred Edersheim, a Christian Jew who lived during the 1800s. Edersheim, who studied ancient Jewish writings, explained:

"The Messianic application of this verse in all its parts has already been repeatedly indicated. We may here add that there are many traditions about this donkey on which the Messiah is to ride; and so firm was the belief in it, that, according to the Talmud, 'if anyone saw a donkey in his dreams, he will see salvation' (Ber 56 b)."
- Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

The Talmud offers additional commentary in which some Rabbis offered their opinions about how to reconcile various prophecies involving the timing of the Messiah and the manner in which he was to arrive. They noted that Zechariah announced that the Messiah would arrive humbly on a donkey and that Daniel prophesied that the Messiah would arrive in a very different way:

"R. Alexandri said: Jehoshua b. Levi propounded a contradiction: It reads [ibid. ix. 22]: 'I the Lord will hasten it in its time.' 'Hasten' and 'in its time' contradict each other. And the answer was that if they will be worthy I will hasten it, and if not, they must wait till the right time will come. The same said again that the same authority propounded another contradiction from [Dan. vii. 13]: 'Behold with the clouds of heaven came one like a son of man . . . ' [Zech. ix. 9]: 'Lowly and riding upon an ass.' And the answer was, if they will be worthy he will come with the clouds of heaven, and if not, he will come upon an ass."
- Babylonian Talmud, Tract Sanhedrin, Chapter XI, as translated by Michael L. Rodkinson.

As reflected in this part of the Talmud, there was a sense of puzzlement as to how one Messiah could arrive in two different ways. And, the solution that is being proposed in this part of the Talmud - that the Messiah's means of arrival would depend on the worthiness of people - is not supported in the Bible.

Christians, however, believe that there is one Messiah who is to arrive twice, fulfilling the prophecies of both Zechariah and Daniel. Jesus arrived about 2,000 years ago and announced that he was the Messiah, in part by fulfilling Zechariah's prophecy. And Jesus is to return in the future, in the manner described by Daniel, when he will judge the living and the dead.

The rejection of the Messiah

The Old Testament prophets foretold details for centuries of a future Messiah, one who would bring salvation to the ends of the earth. But some of those prophecies also make it clear that the Messiah would be rejected.

One example can be found in Isaiah 53:1-4. Although Jesus was acknowledged as being the Messiah by some people, he was rejected by many others.

Jesus was rejected at various times during his ministry, including by people within the town of Nazareth, where he grew up, and by many religious leaders in Jerusalem, where he was crucified by the Romans.

The prophecy of rejection in Isaiah 53:1-4 is part of a broader prophecy that begins in Isaiah 52:13 and extends through Isaiah 53:12, which has been regarded as Messianic prophecy throughout history, even by non-Christian sources of commentary about the Bible.

In the Talmud, for example, which includes opinions from Rabbis about many Old Testament passages, a part of Isaiah 53, specifically Isaiah 53:4, is alluded to during a Rabbinic discussion about the Messiah:

"What is his [the Messiah's] name? . . . The Rabbis said: His name is 'the leper scholar,' as it is written, 'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.'"
- Babylonian Talmud, Tract Sanhedrin, Chapter XI, as translated by H. Freedman.

The compilation of the Babylonian Talmud was completed sometime around the fifth or sixth century AD, about 1,500 years ago. Many other sources of commentary, throughout the centuries, also have described Isaiah 53 as being Messianic prophecy, including this example from a Rabbi named Moshe Alshekh, who lived during the 16th century:

"I may remark, then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah,"
- as quoted in The Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah According to the Jewish Interpreters, Volume II, Chapter XXXVII.

There also are other prophecies in the Bible that foretold that the Messiah would be rejected, including one found in Daniel 9:24-26.

Here is Isaiah 53:1-4:

1Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:1-4, NIV)

Daniel predicted when an anointed one (the Messiah) would be rejected

The prophet Daniel also alludes to the Messiah being rejected and he provides a chronology of events that would take place before the rejection.

The prophet Daniel lived more than 2,500 years ago, during a time when the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. He delivered a prophecy of what would happen afterwards. Part of that prophecy can be found in Daniel 9:24-26, which described a series of events that included the rejection of the Messiah:

1. First, there would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

2. Then, Jerusalem would be rebuilt.

3. Then, an anointed one - the Messiah - would be "cut off," which is a phrase that is used in the Bible to refer to a rejection by means of separation, isolation, or death, etc. The phrase also is used in Isaiah 53:8, in regards to the Messiah:

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished. (Isaiah 53:8, NIV)

4. And then, Jerusalem would be destroyed again.

These events later happened, in the same order in which they are described in Daniel 9:24-26:

1. After the Medes and Persians had conquered the Babylonians about 2,500 years ago, they assumed control of a large empire, which included the land of Israel. After the conquest, the Jews were given permission to rebuild Jerusalem, which was still in ruins after having been destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.

2. The Jews rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple.

3. Then, about 2,000 years ago, Jesus announced that he was the Messiah. Many people rejected Jesus and he was executed by the Romans.

4. About 40 years after Jesus was executed, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.

Here is Daniel 9:24-26:

24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

25 "Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

26 After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. (Daniel 9:24-26, NIV)

The plot to kill Jesus

Towards the end of Jesus' public ministry, communty leaders in Jerusalem plotted to have Jesus killed. These particular leaders were called Pharisees, and they felt threatened by the popularity of Jesus.

As explained in the Gospel of John, chapter 11:

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation."

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (John 11:45-53, NIV)

The effort to get rid of Jesus later involved Judas, one of the 12 Apostles, who betrayed Jesus and told community leaders where they could find and arrest Jesus during a time when there would not be many people around him.

The chain of events that followed the betrayal happened very quickly. Jesus was arrested, put on trial and sentenced to execution by crucifixion.

The execution of the Messiah

In addition to the prophecies that the Messiah would be rejected, there are others that indicated that he would put to death. One example, found in Psalm 22, which was written centuries before the time of Jesus, contains many details that foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus.

Below is a partial list of details from the psalm, along with commentary as to how they foreshadowed events involving the crucifixion:

• In Psalm 22:16, the psalmist wrote of a man being encircled and having his hands and feet pierced, mauled, or attacked. During the crucifixion, Jesus was surrounded by enemies and his hands and feet were pierced with nails, as part of the crucifixion process. These events are described and alluded to in John 19:23-37; John 20:24-29; and Luke 24:37-40.

• The psalmist wrote of being mocked by an onlooker who said: "He trusts in the Lord," they say, "let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." (Psalm 22:8, NIV). After Jesus had been nailed to the cross, he too was mocked for his trust in God: "He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" (Matthew 27:43, NIV).

• In Psalm 22:18, the psalmist wrote of onlookers gambling for pieces of clothing that belonged to the person being persecuted. As explained in Matthew 27:35, Roman soldiers gambled, by casting lots, for articles of clothing that had been removed from Jesus when he was being crucified.

Many Christian scholars have written about their views of the significance of Psalm 22 in regards to the crucifixion of Jesus. The late Charles Briggs, who had been a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, wrote the following in regards to Psalm 22:

"These sufferings transcend those of any historical sufferer, with the single exception of Jesus Christ. They find their exact counterpart in the sufferings of the cross. ... This ideal is a Messianic ideal, and finds its only historical realization in Jesus Christ."
- Briggs, Messianic Prophecy.

In addition to the details in Psalm 22 that foreshadowed the crucifixion, it is worth noting that, in Matthew 27:46, Jesus is quoted as saying the same words that begin Psalm 22, after he had been nailed to the cross.

Here is Psalm 22:1-18:

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.

4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

8 "He trusts in the Lord," they say, "let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast.

10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother's womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.

15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.

17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. (Psalm 22:1-18, NIV)

The Messiah would intercede for sinners

Death by crucifixion could take hours or days. It was a slow and painful process. The victims would be nailed or bound to a cross of wood by their hands (or wrists) and feet.

While Jesus was dying on the cross, he interceded for the people who had nailed him to the cross by praying for them:

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34a, NIV)

This fulfills a sentiment in the last part of Isaiah 53:12, where the prophet Isaiah described the Messiah as interceding on behalf of sinners:

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12b, NIV)

The New Testament of the Bible describes Jesus as having died for our sins. It also says that he intercedes for us. One example can be found in Hebrews 7:23-25. Another can be found in the book of Romans:

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:32-34, NIV)