Against All Odds

Skip Heitzig

Did you know that you have a one in 136,011 chance of death by lightning strike? Your odds of winning the Powerball lottery are only one in 292 million. In this series, Skip Heitzig investigates a number of biblical prophecies that would be impossible for Jesus to fulfill unless He was God Himself. So whether you're a skeptic or you want to strengthen your faith, join us for Against All Odds.


Table of Contents

1 Luke 24:13-35 Against All Odds
2 Matthew 2:1-9; Micah 5:2 Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
3 Matthew 1:18-23; Isaiah 7:14 The World's Most Unusual Birth
4 Matthew 2:13-23 Messiah on the Run
5 Matthew 12:18-21 Why Did Jesus Come?
6 Galatians 4:3-5; Genesis 49 Learning to Tell Time
7 Matthew 11:1-6 Believing the Miracle-Making Messiah
8 Luke 19:28-44 The Visitation
9 John 13:18-19 The Long-Expected Traitor
10 Psalm 22 Cross Examination
11 Isaiah 52-53 The Servant
12 Acts 2:22-32 An Empty Tomb; A Full Life



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Against All Odds
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:13-35

In this series, we examine together the remarkable nature of predictive biblical prophecy. The odds of one person in history fulfilling the precise prognostications of Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah are nothing short of staggering. One of the first groups to ever be wowed by it was a few of the disciples after the resurrection of Christ. Their experience went from sorrow to joy in a single afternoon. A similar examination of prophecy will do the same for us.


Connect Recap Notes: January 8, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Against All Odds"
Text:  Luke 24:13-35


In this new series, Pastor Skip examines the remarkable nature of predictive biblical prophecy. The odds of one person in history fulfilling the precise prognostications of Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah are nothing short of staggering. One of the first groups to ever be wowed by it was a few disciples after the resurrection of Christ. Their experience went from sorrow to joy in a single afternoon. A similar examination of prophecy will do the same for us.
  1. A Sorrowful Walk (vv. 13-24)
  2. A Scriptural Talk (vv. 25-27)
  3. A Satisfied Flock (vv. 28.35)


A Sorrowful Walk
A Scriptural Talk
A Satisfied Flock

Connect Up: What does fulfilled prophecy tell us about God (e.g., His all-knowing nature [omniscience] and His sovereignty)? When prophecy is fulfilled our faith goes up. How does fulfilled prophecy increase your faith?

Connect In: How can fulfilled prophecy strengthen our relationship with other Christians within the church? Why is prophecy important to understand and proclaim within the body of Christ?

Connect Out: How can you use fulfilled prophecy in evangelism, conveying that a God so precise is worth following? Look into some of the fulfilled prophecies shared in this message, memorize them, and integrate them in your outreach.


    1. When we talk about the chances or odds of something, we are speaking of the likelihood of the unfolding of a future event
      1. Some things are less likely to happen than others
        1. Plane crash
        2. Shark attack
      2. Some things are more likely to happen
        1. Being a victim of a serious crime
        2. Dying in a car accident
        3. Being audited by the IRS
    2. The God factor
      1. When you bring God into a situation, there is no such thing as chance
      2. A virgin birth was against all odds, but with God, nothing is impossible (see Luke 1:26-38)
      3. Many situations in Scripture were against all odds
        1. Lightning from heaven (see 1 Kings 18:36-38)
        2. Hailstones from the sky (see Exodus 9:18-26)
        3. Darkness that covered the land for three hours (see Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)
    3. God predicted over and over again that He would defy the odds
      1. Layers and layers of details
      2. Odds are exponentially decreased
      3. He can tell the future with detailed accuracy (see Isaiah 41:21-23)
      4. Jesus said fulfilled prophecy will bolster your faith (see John 13:19)
    4. Three basic credentials of Jesus Christ
      1. His impact on history
      2. His physical, bodily resurrection from the dead
      3. Fulfilled prophecy
  1. A Sorrowful Walk (vv. 13-24)
    1. The disciples were at a low point
      1. They did not know Jesus had been resurrected
      2. They were venting
    2. Their expectations
      1. They expected a conquering Messiah; they got a crucified Man
      2. They expected a politician; they got a Prophet
      3. They expected the glorious Lion of Judah; they got the humble Lamb of God
      4. They did not recognize Jesus
        1. They were not expecting Him
        2. Many people did not recognize Him
          1. Mary (see John 20:15)
          2. His disciples (see Matthew 14:25-26; Mark 6:49)
        3. Their eyes were restrained
          1. They were kept from recognizing Jesus
          2. They could express honestly their thoughts and feelings about Him
    3. Their disappointment
      1. They talked about Jesus in the past tense
      2. When Jesus died on the cross, their hopes died with Him
    4. Jesus revealed Himself to them not through their sight, but through their ears as they listened to Him talk about Scripture (see Romans 10:17)
  2. A Scriptural Talk (vv. 25-27)
    1. Jesus rebuked them, then informed them
      1. "Slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken" (v. 25)
        1. Some people are slow of heart to believe the things of the Scripture
        2. If you are slow to believe God's promises, you will be slow to receive His benefits
      2. The first Bible study Jesus gave after His resurrection was an exposition on biblical prophecy
    2. The prophets foretold
      1. Jesus started at Moses and expounded on all Scriptures about Himself
        1. He would crush Satan (see Genesis 3:15)
        2. He, God's only Son, would be sacrificed, just as Abraham almost sacrificed his only son whom he loved (see Genesis 22:2-18)
          1. First time love is mentioned in Scripture: love of a father sacrificing his son
          2. Same mountain Jesus would be sacrificed on
        3. He would be the perfect Lamb sacrifice (see Exodus 12:1-27)
        4. Practices in Leviticus
          1. Sacrifices
          2. Tabernacles
          3. Festivals
        5. He would be lifted up (see Numbers 21:8-9; John 3:14)
        6. He would die by crucifixion (see Psalm 2; 16; 22)
        7. He would be born of a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14-16)
        8. He would be a Child (see Isaiah 9:6-7)
      2. One-fourth of the Bible is prophecy
    3. Jesus fulfilled
      1. Anyone can make predictions; getting them fulfilled is another story
      2. The more detailed the prophecy, the less probable it will come to pass
      3. There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus
      4. Just sixteen of those prophecies:
        1. Born of a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14)
        2. Born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
        3. From the tribe of Judah (see Genesis 49:10)
        4. Begin ministry in Galilee (see Isaiah 9:1-2)
        5. Work miracles (see Isaiah 35:5-6)
        6. Enter Jerusalem on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9)
        7. Betrayed by a friend (see Psalm 41:39)
        8. Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (see Zechariah 11:12)
        9. Wounded and bruised (see Isaiah 53:5)
        10. Hands and feet pierced (see Psalm 22:16)
        11. Crucified (see Isaiah 53:12)
        12. Garments torn (Psalm 22:18)
        13. Bones not broken (see Psalm 22:17; 34:20)
        14. Side pierced (see Zechariah 12:10)
        15. Buried in a rich man's tomb (see Isaiah 53:9)
        16. Would rise from the dead (see Psalm 16:8-11)
      5. Some of these are impossible to manage
        1. In his book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the messianic prophecies
          1. Eight fulfilled prophecies: one in 1017
          2. Sixteen fulfilled prophecies: one in 1045
          3. Forty-eight fulfilled prophecies: one in 10157
        2. There is no way to explain the Bible's ability to predict the future unless you see God as the author
      6. We should not be amazed at these fulfilled prophecies, because God is omniscient—all-knowing (see John 5:39)
      7. When the prophets wrote these things, they didn't always know what they were writing (see 1 Peter 1:10-11)
  3. A Satisfied Flock (vv. 28-35)
    1. Opened eyes
      1. When they arrived at their destination, Jesus acted like He was going to keep going, but the disciples begged Him to stay
      2. Jesus will never force Himself on anyone
      3. He works by invitation only (see Revelation 3:20)
    2. Burning hearts
      1. Their hearts burned when they stopped talking and started listening to what He was saying to them
      2. A new understanding of old things
      3. Jesus didn't tell them anything they didn't know
      4. We do not need a new revelation; we need a new application of the old revelation
  4. Closing
    1. A God who is this detailed and accurate deserves our trust
    2. He can handle our problems and issues

Works referenced: Dumb and Dumber, Science Speaks

Figures referenced: Jeane Dixon, Peter Stoner

Cross references: Genesis 3:15; 22:2-18; 49:10; Exodus 9:18-26; 12:1-27; Numbers 21:8-9; 1 Kings 18:36-38; Psalm 2; 16; 22; 34:20; 41:39; Isaiah 7:14-16; 9:1-2, 6-7; 35:5-6; 41:21-23; 53:5, 9, 12; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; 11:12; 12:10; Matthew 14:25-26; 27:45; Mark 6:49; 15:33; Luke 1:26-38; 23:44; John 3:14; 5:39; 13:19; 20:15; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Revelation 3:20

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, future, predictions, Scripture, Messiah, prophets, omniscient, revelation, trust



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:1-9; Micah 5:2

It was the Methodist preacher Phillips Brooks who gave the world the Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” He was visiting the Holy Land, on road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, when inspiration struck. Bethlehem was where King David was born and where his descendant Jesus Christ would be born. Because of Micah’s prediction made 700 years before Jesus’ birth, four details were anticipated.

Connect Recap Notes: January 15, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem"
Text: Matthew 2:1-9; Micah 5:2


The Episcopal preacher Phillips Brooks gave the world the Christmas hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem." He was visiting the Holy Land, on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, when inspiration struck. Bethlehem was where King David was born and where his descendant Jesus Christ would be born. Because of Micah's prediction made 700 years before Jesus' birth, four details were anticipated:


The Place of MessiahThe Person of MessiahThe Purpose of MessiahThe Preexistence of MessiahPractice

Connect Up: Jesus said when you see Him, you see the Father (see John 14:9). Jesus is both man and God, and though we can't completely comprehend this truth, we can apprehend what the Bible declares. How do Christ's two natures give us insight into the nature and love of God?

Connect In: The body of Christ is the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. Discuss ways we can proclaim both Christ's humanity (in service to others) and His divinity (His salvation, love, second coming, etc.).

Connect Out: How can you use Christ's specific prophetic fulfillments to share with Jews? Share two points you found fitting.


  1. Introduction
    1. The village of Bethlehem is the most famous town in the world
      1. The place of Jesus' birth
      2. Most people are disappointed when they go there
    2. The Messiah was predicted to be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-9)
    3. Two basic things to discover
      1. Nothing happens that is not anticipated by a sovereign God
      2. God arranges events against all odds to show His power and that He has a plan
    4. Wise men from the east went to see Jesus
      1. Magos = wise men, magi
      2. They were not kings
        1. Spiritual advisors
        2. Kingmakers
      3. There were not three of them
        1. We think there were three because of the three gifts mentioned
        2. It is more likely there was an entire entourage
      4. They did not come from the Orient
        1. They came from Parthia
        2. Ancient northeastern Iran
      5. Zoroastrians
        1. A monotheistic religion
        2. Their god is Ahura Mazda
        3. The words magic and magician come from the word magi
        4. The word magistrate also comes from the word magi
          1. They were very involved in the political field
          2. Worked in the courts of ancient kings like Nebuchadnezzar
          3. Daniel became the chief of the wise men of Babylon (see Daniel 2:2-48)
  2. The Place of Messiah
    1. Bethlehem in the land of Judah
      1. Bethlehem Ephrathah in Micah 5:2
        1. Ephrathath is an ancient term for Bethlehem
        2. There is a town next to Bethlehem called Ephrath
      2. There were two Bethlehems in Israel
        1. Bethlehem in the north, six miles from Nazareth
        2. Bethlehem in the south, in the land of Judah
    2. The odds
      1. One chance in 100,000 that a person would be born in Bethlehem
      2. The margin narrows as more details are layered on
        1. Born in Bethlehem
        2. Of the lineage of King David
        3. Would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey
        4. Would be traded for thirty pieces of silver
    3. The prophet Micah made this prediction 700 years before it happened
      1. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, ninety-two miles from Bethlehem Ephrathah
      2. We serve a sovereign God who likes to play chess
        1. We are all pawns (see Proverbs 21:1)
        2. God calls the shots
      3. God compelled Caesar Augustus to send out a decree stating everyone had to return to their hometown to register (see Luke 2:1-5)
      4. Caesar may have been ruling, but God was overruling
    4. These were actual prophecies
      1. Some people think the prophecies were written after Jesus fulfilled them
      2. If this is the case, the Bible is a fraudulent document
      3. There had to be adequate time between the date of writing and the date of fulfillment
        1. 400-year gap between the last Old Testament prophecy and Jesus' birth
        2. During those years, the canon of the Old Testament was codified
          1. Books of the Old Testament were systematized
          2. Regarded as Scripture
        3. By the time Jesus was born, the books that contained the prophecies about Him were already Jewish Scripture
        4. The Dead Sea Scrolls
          1. Written 200 years before Jesus' birth
          2. Preserved in caves in Israel
        5. It's obvious the Jewish leaders expected the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:5)
      4. The New Testament events had to have been accepted as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy by those who were closest to those events
  3. The Person of Messiah
    1. Herod referred to Jesus as the Christ
      1. Christ is an English word from the Greek word Christos, which is from the Hebrew word mashiach, which means anointed one
        1. Original meaning of Messiah, or anointed one, is to smear with oil
        2. A priest, prophet, or king who was chosen would be poured over with oil
      2. The Old Testament kept pointing to a Deliverer, Messiah, and Anointed One who would come (see Psalm 45:7)
      3. Jesus claimed to be the Christ when He taught in the synagogue (see Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-29)
      4. His disciples recognized that He was the Christ (see Matthew 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20)
    2. It was the common belief that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see John 7:41-42)
      1. Jewish Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash, Targums, and Gemara
        1. Translations, interpretations, paraphrases, commentary, and traditions of rabbis about the Scriptures
        2. Help us understand what Jewish people thought of Old Testament texts
      2. The Jews expected:
        1. A Messiah, a Deliverer
        2. A Messiah born in Bethlehem
        3. A Messiah from the line of King David
    3. Although the Jews expected Jesus, many did not and do not accept Him as their Messiah
      1. Many of the prophecies also predicted that when the Messiah came, He would set up a kingdom and rule the entire world
      2. The prophecies were not given in chronological order
      3. Prophetic foreshortening
        1. From a distance, it appears the happenings of the Messiah will all occur at the same time
        2. There is a difference between His first and second comings
  4. The Purpose of Messiah
    1. The magi called the Messiah the King of the Jews
      1. This got King Herod's attention
      2. Caesar was the king of the entire Roman Empire at the time
        1. To say there was another king was a direct competition to Caesar
        2. Caesar was seen as the savior of the world
      3. Caesar and the Roman Senate gave Herod the title "King of the Jews"
        1. Herod was paranoid
        2. Killed one of his wives and two sons because he thought they were going to take his kingdom
    2. The Messiah would be a ruler who would shepherd His people
      1. A gentle rule
      2. David was a shepherd; Jesus is the Good Shepherd (see Psalm 23:1; John 10:11)
      3. Jesus came the first time to be our Savior; He will come the second time to be our sovereign King
  5. The Preexistence of Messiah
    1. The chief priests and scribes left out one important detail of Micah's prophecy: the deity of Christ
    2. Modern Jewish people expect the Messiah to be a mere man
      1. This is not what Judaism always believed
        1. Messiah would be an eternally existing being
        2. The Jews expected the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem, preexist, and rule over the world
      2. This is exactly how Jesus presented Himself (see John 1:1-3, 15; Colossians 1:17)
      3. Jesus is the only person who lived before He was born
  6. Closing
    1. The scribes were able to tell Herod immediately where the Christ would be born, but they did not go check to see if it was true
    2. Some people have just enough religion to keep them immune to the truth
      1. The wise men showed up
      2. Some people won't dig deep enough to find out the truth about Jesus
Figures referenced: Caesar Augustus, Alfred Edersheim, Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus, Virgil

Works referenced: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "We Three Kings of Orient Are"

Greek/Hebrew words: Christos, magos, mashiach

Cross references: Psalm 23:1; 45:7; Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 61:1; Daniel 2:2-48; Matthew 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-29; Luke 2:1-5; 4:18-29; 9:18-20; John 1:1-3, 15; 7:41-42; 10:11; Colossians 1:17

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: Bethlehem, Jesus' birth, magi, wise men, Zoroastrians, prophet, prophecy, canon, Dead Sea Scrolls, Messiah, Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash, Targums, Gemara, kingdom, prophetic foreshortening, shepherd, preexistence



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: The World's Most Unusual Birth
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 1:18-23; Isaiah 7:14

We've seen how God repeatedly makes specific predictions about a coming Messiah throughout the books of the prophets, adding layers of details that exponentially decrease the odds of any success of their fulfillment. It's one of His unique traits (see Isaiah 41:21-24). Today we come to a prediction that is simply off the charts—the prediction that the Messiah would be virgin-born. We explore a bit of why the virgin birth is not an incidental but an absolute necessity.

Connect Notes:  January 22, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The World's Most Unusual Birth"
Text:  Matthew 1:18-23; Isaiah 7:14


We've seen how God repeatedly makes specific predictions about a coming Messiah throughout the books of the prophets, adding layers of details that exponentially decrease the odds of any success of their fulfillment. It's one of His unique traits (see Isaiah 41:21-24). In this study, Pastor Skip unpacked a prediction that is simply off the charts—the prediction that the Messiah would be virgin-born. We explore a bit of why the virgin birth is not an incidental occurrence but an absolute necessity.


A Savior Is Promised
A Son Is Predicted
A Solution Is Provided

Connect Up: God works supernaturally, naturally. In the case of the virgin birth, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary (natural physiology) by the Holy Spirit (supernaturally). What does this tell us about God's nature and His sovereignty over all things? Also, how does the virgin birth fit within the specific (found in the Bible, denoting supernatural acts) and general (found in nature, the laws prescribed and created by God) revelations of God? How are the two both related and different?

Connect In: The earliest statement of faith—the Apostles' Creed—says Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. Why is the virgin birth essential to a correct view of Scripture? Why is a biblical understanding of our faith important to the church? What happens when the church strays from the historical-grammatical meaning of the text?

Connect Out: As Pastor Skip noted, many people disbelieve the virgin birth. Discuss how you'd answer someone who doesn't believe in the virgin birth. What points would you make? Think of theses important aspects: Jesus' heavenly origin, His sinless nature, His perfect sacrifice, Christ's unique nature (God and man), and the trustworthiness of Scripture.


  1. Introduction
    1. There have been some unusual births throughout historythat defy the odds
      1. Woman with three children
        1. Birthdays fall on 08/08/08, 09/09/09, and 10/10/10
        2. Odds are one in fifty million
      2. Having surviving quadruplets
        1. One in 800,000
        2. Identical quadruplets: one in thirteen million
      3. Having surviving sextuplets: one in 4.7 billon
      4. Couple in California with octuplets
        1. Eight surviving children: six boys and two girls
        2. One in 20,971,520,000,000
    2. The most unusual birth is that of Jesus Christ becauseof the amount of fulfilled prophecy that surrounded it
      1. Micah predicted He would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
      2. Hosea predicted He would be called out of Egypt (see Hosea 11:1)
      3. Other prophets predicted He would come from the region of Galilee
      4. The odds of one person fulfilling just eight of the prophecies about Jesus are one in 1017
    3. The Messiah was predicted to be born of a virgin
      1. Gynecology gives messianic credentials to Jesus (see Matthew 1:1-17)
      2. The first fulfilled prophecy that Matthew addressed is the virgin birth
      3. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, with no contribution by a human male
    4. The virgin birth is possibly the hardest thing tobelieve about the Messiah
  2. A Savior Is Promised (Matthew 1:21)
    1. His Name: Jesus
      1. Joseph had the easy job: to name the Child
      2. His name denotes His mission
        1. Jesus = God of salvation
        2. Yeshua (Joshua)
    2. His Mission: To SavePeople from Sin
      1. Forgiveness is our greatest need (see Luke 23:34)
      2. Mankind's greatest need became Jesus Christ's greatest mission and accomplishment
      3. Many people do not see a need for a Savior because they fail to recognize the reality of sin in their lives
      4. God has saving sinners at the top of His list, and He sent Jesus on a rescue mission (see Luke 19:10; Mark 2:17; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15)
      5. The virgin birth is necessary to save us from our sins
  3. A Son Is Predicted (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:14)
    1. His Birth: Bornof a Virgin
      1. Isaiah predicted the virgin birth 700 years before it happened
      2. The political climate at this time was a brewing storm
        1. Pekah (king of Israel) and Rezin (king of Syria) formed a coalition to fight against Assyrians, and tried to get Ahaz (king of Judah) to join them
        2. When he refused, they threatened Judah
        3. Ahaz gave a bribe to the king of Assyria to get him to attack Pekah and Rezin
        4. Isaiah told Ahaz that God would provide a sign to the house of David: the virgin birth
          1. Sign in the Bible means a disruption in the natural flow; supernatural (see Exodus 14:21-31; 1 Kings 18:20-38)
          2. A virgin birth is a miraculous sign
      3. Parthenogenesis = reproduction without fertilization by a male
        1. Honeybees, silkworms, frogs, rabbits
        2. Parthenogenesis can only produce genetically identical beings
        3. If Mary had conceived by parthenogenesis, she would have had a daughter, not a Son
      4. Virgin birth is hinted at in Genesis 3:15
        1. "Seed of the woman"
        2. The seed does not come from woman; it comes from man
        3. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary
      5. Pneumagenesis = Spirit-conceived
    2. His Description: GodWith Us
      1. Immanuel = God with us
      2. Modern Jewish scholars deny the virgin birth because they do not believe the Messiah is God
      3. The prophecy sounds ridiculous unless it is ascribed to the Son of God
        1. Not an earthly king
        2. Not an angel
      4. Early Jewish sources ascribed this prophecy as a messianic description
        1. Tied Isaiah 7:14 with Isaiah 9:6-7
        2. Targum of Isaiah, the Midrash, and Babylonian Talmud all ascribe a messianic meaning to these verses
        3. Psalter of Solomon
          1. First century BC
          2. Cited these verses
      5. At the beginnings of Christianity, the Jewish rabbis began an argument against the ascription of the virgin birth to Christ
        1. Alma = Hebrew for virgin; also means a young girl
        2. Essentially, "A young girl will conceive and bear a son"
        3. Not a sign from God
        4. Does not solve the problem that the Son would be called Immanuel
        5. Septuagint translation of the Bible
          1. Translation from Hebrew to Greek
          2. In 280 BC, most people spoke Greek
          3. The word they chose for alma in the Greek is parthenos—only refers to a virgin
          4. This shows how scholars best understood the text
      6. This is clearly a prediction of a miraculous sign—a virgin birth
  4. A Solution Is Provided (Matthew 1:23)
    1. God saved us through the virgin birth
      1. The Child is both human and divine
        1. Human: born of a woman
        2. Divine: conceived by the Holy Spirit
      2. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, then He is not God
        1. If He is not God, all of His claims are lies
        2. If His claims are lies, salvation is a hoax
        3. Because the Scriptures say that it will be the virgin-born Son of God who will come and die and rise again
    2. Jesus is the perfect solution
      1. Because He was born of man, He is the perfect representative of us
      2. As God, He is the perfect sacrifice for us because He is sinless
      3. Jesus on the cross, hands stretched out, brought God and man together
    3. The virgin birth provides the solution to thesovereignty problem
      1. The line of King David was cursed (see Jeremiah 22:30)
        1. After Jeconiah, none of David's offspring sat on the throne
        2. His uncle sat on the throne for a while, but the line of David died out
      2. There are two genealogies in the New Testament
        1. Joseph's and Mary's
        2. Both trace back to King David
        3. Joseph is a descendant of Jeconiah and the royal line
          1. Jesus is not the physical son of Joseph
          2. Because of the relationship of adoption, Joseph gave Jesus the legal right to the throne
          3. Even though the lineage was cursed
        4. Mary's lineage traces back to David through Nathan, bypassing the curse
        5. God gave a curse to the lineage of David, and then got around His own curse by a virgin birth
        6. Jesus has the right to the throne dynastically
  5. Closing
    1. What happened in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago was againstall odds
      1. Intricately staged part of God's plan to provide a Savior
      2. This is how much God loves us
    2. If God went through all of that for your refusal, thatis a pretty serious no (seeJohn 3:16)

Works referenced: Redbook Magazine

Figures referenced: Tom Cruise, Millard Erickson, Gregory Pincus, Will Smith

Greek/Hebrew words: alma, Immanuel, parthenos, Yeshua

Cross references: Genesis 3:15; Exodus 14:21-31; 1 Kings 18:20-38; Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:6-7; 41:21-24; Jeremiah 22:30; Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:1-17; Mark 2:17; Luke 19:10; 23:34; John 1:29; 3:16; 1 Timothy 1:15

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: virgin birth, Immanuel, prophecy, Holy Spirit, Savior, supernatural, forgiveness, sin, sign, salvation



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Messiah on the Run
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:13-23

Very few events from Jesus’ childhood are even mentioned in Scripture. Much of His upbringing is simply not known. However, three events from Jesus’ early youth are given comment by Matthew because they fulfill prophetic Scripture. These predictions and their subsequent fulfillment tell a larger story and paint a grim picture—and that is the general response of the world to God sending His Son to save.


  1. Introduction
    1. It is foolish to refuse the cure that can fix a condition
      1. Jesus has the cure for what ails mankind
      2. Many people do not accept Him (see John 1:11)
      3. Jesus started feeling the rejection almost immediately after His birth
    2. Very little is written about Jesus' childhood
      1. One story in Luke (see Luke 2:40-52)
      2. In redemptive history, Jesus' childhood is not God's focus
      3. The gospel writers focused on the last three years of His life—that is where the power is
    3. Matthew gave the credentials of Jesus as the King
      1. His lineage (see Matthew 1:1-17)
      2. His fulfillment of several prophecies
        1. Virgin birth (see Isaiah 7:10-14; Matthew 1:22-23)
        2. Born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-9)
    4. Earthly response to the heavenly plan
      1. The plan (see John 3:16)
      2. As soon as the plan was set in motion, there was a negative response
  2. A Fugitive Messiah (vv. 13-15)
    1. Fleeing a King
      1. Gentile wise men came to King Herod looking for the King of the Jews (see Matthew 2:1-12)
        1. The Jewish establishment had, by and large, already rejected Him as their Messiah
        2. They knew the prophecy about His birth in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
        3. They did not even go check to see if He was born there
      2. An angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt
        1. Pheugó = flee
          1. From which we get our word fugitive
          2. Escape, on the run
        2. Why go to Egypt?
          1. The border of Egypt was seventy-five miles from Bethlehem, plus another hundred to get to civilization
          2. To fulfill Scripture
      3. There were already about a million Jews living in Egypt
        1. Between the Old and New Testament, there was a series of wars that produced enormous amounts of refugees
        2. Lived in Alexandria
          1. Alexander the Great sectioned off part of the city to be a Jewish enclave
          2. This is where Joseph and Mary would have taken Jesus
      4. For a time, Jesus grew up in Egypt
        1. Some works, not the Bible, give accounts of Jesus' youth here
        2. Gospel of Thomas: Jesus resurrected dead fish and made clay birds fly
        3. No merit in history—made up
    2. Fulfilling Scripture
      1. Fulfillment of Hosea 11:1
        1. Does not seem to refer to the future, but to the exodus
        2. This is a typological prophecy
          1. Something in the Old Testament becomes a type of something in the New Testament
          2. Passover lamb is a type of Christ (see Exodus 12:1-13, 29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)
          3. Serpent in the wilderness is a type of Jesus hanging on the cross (see Numbers 21:5-9; John 3:14)
      2. Hosea's prophetic message was the faithful love of God in the midst of an unfaithful people
        1. Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute
        2. While she was sleeping around town, he provided money and food to keep her alive
        3. Hosea bought her back from slavery
        4. An example of the brokenhearted love of God
      3. Matthew showed that the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is a type of Jesus' return to Israel from Egypt
        1. Not unusual for that time
        2. The ancient Jewish interpretation of Israel in captivity was tied to the Messiah
        3. Alfred Edersheim: ancient synagogues applied Exodus 4:22 to the Messiah
    3. Already in Jesus' life it was as if hell was stirring up the people on earth to reject the Messiah
  3. A Hunted Messiah (vv. 16-18)
    1. Murderous Plot
      1. Herod slaughtered every child in the area because he was paranoid that one of them would grow up and take his throne
      2. About twenty or fewer children
        1. It's not unusual that this event is not recorded in history because Herod killed a lot of people throughout his reign—including his wives and sons
        2. Only recorded murders were those with many people
    2. Fulfilling Scripture
      1. The last thing Herod wanted to do was fulfill prophecy
        1. He ended up doing it anyway
        2. He knew the Child would come from Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
      2. By killing the children, Herod fulfilled prophecy
        1. Jeremiah 31:15
        2. Messianic prophecy
      3. Ramah is a place near Jerusalem on a little hill
        1. Ramah = height
        2. Border between Judah and Israel
        3. Captives were brought here before being carted off to Babylon
          1. Happened twice
          2. 722 BC: Assyrians took the northern kingdom (Israel) captive
          3. 586 BC: Babylonians took the southern kingdom (Judah) captive
          4. Mourning, lamentation, and weeping
      4. Rachel weeping for her children
        1. Regarded as the mother of the nation
          1. Jacob's wife
          2. Barren at first (see Genesis 30:1)
          3. Her children had problems for generations
        2. Son Joseph had two sons
          1. Manasseh and Ephraim
          2. The term Ephraim was sometimes used to refer to the entire northern kingdom
        3. Son Benjamin's descendants became part of the southern kingdom
        4. Twice in their history, Rachel wept because both kingdoms were taken captive
        5. Rachel is used as a symbol of the nation weeping over their sin
      5. Dual fulfillment prophecy
        1. Most common type in Scripture
        2. A prophecy that is fulfilled in the near future, and then again in the far future
        3. Abomination of desolation
          1. Predicted in Daniel 11:31
          2. The sanctuary of the temple would be defiled by a foreign power
          3. Happened during the time between the Old and New Testament by Antiochus Epiphanes
          4. Jesus reiterated the prediction in the New Testament (see Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14)
      6. Near fulfillment: when the Assyrians and Babylonians invaded
      7. Far fulfillment: the birth of Jesus Christ
        1. There's a hill outside Bethlehem called Ramah
        2. Location of Rachel's tomb
      8. The undercurrent of these prophecies is rejection
        1. Revelation 12:4
        2. Satan has always wanted to destroy the Messiah
  4. A Despised Messiah (vv. 19-23)
    1. Growing Up in Insignificance
      1. Joseph's family was likely in Egypt for only a short time before they received word that King Herod was dead
        1. He died of ulcerated entrails, putrefied organs, and convulsions
        2. In his final week of life, he arrested all the notable citizens of Judea and ordered his men to kill them the moment he died so there would be tears shed because of his death
      2. Joseph probably would have gone right back to Bethlehem
        1. Not Nazareth because there were rumors about Mary and how she became pregnant
        2. The angel warned them to go to Nazareth
    2. Fulfilling Scripture
      1. The prophecy tied to verse 23 is not found anywhere in Scripture
      2. Most interpreters believe it is a reference to the messianic prophecy in Isaiah 11:1
        1. Netser = branch
        2. Same consonant construction as the word Nazareth
      3. Another possibility is that Matthew was referring to a commonly known but unrecorded prophecy
        1. Plural prophets
        2. Jude quoted a prophecy by Enoch that is not recorded in the Old Testament (see Jude 1:14)
        3. Paul attributed a quote to Jesus that is not recorded in the Gospels (see Acts 20:35)
        4. Not unusual (see John 21:25)
      4. Third, most likely possibility is that Nazareth had long been a term of contempt or scorn
        1. Podunk town that people rolled their eyes at (see John 1:46-47)
        2. When Jesus was on the cross, Pilate put a nameplate over Him that read "Jesus of Nazareth" (see John 19:19)
        3. Many prophets predicted Jesus would be scorned, despised, and rejected
          1. Psalm 22:6-7; Isaiah 53:2-3
          2. When Moses first came to lead the Israelites, he was rejected by them (see Exodus 2:14; Deuteronomy 18:15)
          3. Messiah given names like reproach, shame, dishonor (see Psalm 69:19)
          4. Zechariah predicted they would pierce or crucify Him—ultimate form of rejection (see Zechariah 12:10)
  5. Closing
    1. Take your pick of any and all types of prophecy—they all point to Jesus
      1. Direct verbal
      2. Typological
      3. Dual (near and far)
    2. There are many prophets who said the Messiah would be rejected
      1. He was rejected so you could be accepted
      2. He was forsaken so you'll never have to be
    3. You would never have heard of Nazareth if Jesus hadn't lived there
      1. But the risen Christ spoke of Nazareth from heaven (see Acts 22:8)
      2. What was scorned by man on earth was taken to heaven and made glorious by Christ
    4. The Nazareth principle
      1. Salvation came out of Nazareth
      2. What God did back then, He is still doing today
      3. He chooses the foolish things of the world (see 1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
      4. No matter what your background or baggage is, God can use you
Figures referenced: Alfred Edersheim, Antiochus Epiphanes, Flavius Josephus

Works referenced:Gospel of Thomas

Greek/Hebrew words: netser, pheugó, Ramah

Cross references: Genesis 30:1; Exodus 2:14; 4:22; 12:1-13, 29; Numbers 21:5-9; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalm 22:6-7; 69:19; Isaiah 7:10-14; 11:1; 53:2-3; Jeremiah 31:15; Daniel 11:31; Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 1:1-17, 22-23; 2:1-12; 24:15; Mark 13:14; Luke 2:40-52; John 1:11, 46-47; 3:14, 16; 19:19; 21:25; Acts 20:35; 22:8; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29; 5:7; Jude 1:14; Revelation 12:4

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: rejection, Jesus' childhood, prophecy, Egypt, verbal prophecy, typological prophecy, dual prophecy, Hosea, exodus, Herod, Ramah, Rachel, Nazareth



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Why Did Jesus Come?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 12:18-21

The prophets of the Old Testament gave hundreds of predictions over 1,500 years about the coming Messiah: where He would be born, how His birth would be different, where He would move to, and where He would be raised. They also predicted events and unique features of His life and ministry. But Matthew shows that Isaiah foretold His character and His conduct. He not only came to this world against all odds; He lived among people against all expectations.

Connect Notes: February 5, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Why Did Jesus Come?"
Text: Matthew 12:18-21


The prophets of the Old Testament gave hundreds of predictions over a span of 1,500 years about the coming Messiah: where He would be born, how His birth would be different, where He would move to, and where He would be raised. They also predicted events and unique features of His life and ministry. But Matthew shows that the prophet Isaiah foretold His character and His conduct. Jesus not only came to this world against all odds; He lived among people against all expectations. Prophecy demonstrates the reality of God, the authenticity of Scripture, and the validity of Jesus Christ. Pastor Skip helped us view Jesus through the lens of His mission:


He Came to Serve
He Came to Speak
He Came to Strengthen
He Came to Save

Connect Up: What do the various titles for Jesus tell us about all the persons of the Godhead---Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Reread the titles and find key elements to discuss.

Connect In: Like Jesus, the church is empowered by the Spirit. What does it mean to be filled and empowered by the Spirit? Take a moment to discuss these three key characteristics of our relationship with the Holy Spirit: He is with us, calling and convicting (see John 7:37-39; 14:17; 16:8); He is in us, saving and leading (see 1 Corinthians 13:6; 6:19; Ephesians 1:13-14); and He is upon us, empowering and emboldening us for a life of witness (see Acts 2:1-21; 10:44; 19:6).

Connect Out: Jesus seeks to save those who are hurting that they might repent and turn to Him. Discuss a time when life hurt. How did His grace and mercy help heal you? Use your story to tell others about Him.


  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus Christ has been the dominant figure in history for the last twenty centuries
      1. His coming divided time
      2. No one has influenced the world like Jesus
    2. The apostles appealed to two areas of Jesus' life to authenticate Him as the Messiah
      1. His resurrection
      2. Fulfilled prophecy
        1. Hundreds of predictions made over 1,500 years
        2. Far more than a good guess
    3. The odds
      1. One man in history fulfilling just eight of the prophecies about the Messiah is one in 1017
      2. One man fulfilling sixteen prophecies is one in 1045
      3. One man fulfilling thirty prophecies is one in 10100—the same odds of one person winning the lottery sixteen times in a row
      4. About 330 prophecies about Jesus in the Scriptures
      5. Shows us the reality of God and authenticity of the Bible
    4. Matthew quoted Isaiah 42:1-4, explaining why Jesus came
  2. He Came to Serve (v. 18)
    1. There are far more prophecies about Jesus' life than His birth
      1. He would be preceded by a messenger (see Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1)
      2. He would perform miracles (see Isaiah 35:4-6)
      3. He would teach in parables (see Psalm 78:1-4)
      4. His ministry would begin in Galilee (see Isaiah 9:1-2)
      5. He would be sent to heal the brokenhearted (see Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18)
      6. He would be praised by children (see Psalm 8:2)
      7. He would enter the temple suddenly (see Malachi 3:1)
      8. He would come into Jerusalem on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9)
      9. He would be rejected by the Jews (see Isaiah 53:3)
      10. He would come at a precise time and be killed (see Daniel 9:25-26)
      11. He would be betrayed by a close friend (see Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13)
      12. He would be silent when accused at His trial (see Isaiah 53:7)
    2. He Served the Father
      1. All of the prophecies can be summed up: He was a Servant to the Father
      2. There are roughly 150 names for Jesus in the Bible
        1. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6)
        2. Bread of Life (see John 6:35, 48); Good Shepherd (see John 10:11, 14)
        3. Chief Shepherd (see 1 Peter 5:4); Messiah; Cornerstone (see Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:6)
        4. Great High Priest (see Hebrews 4:14)
      3. Isaiah's favorite title for Jesus was that He would be the Servant of the Lord
        1. Not an uncommon title
          1. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses
          2. Many other prophets
        2. Isaiah uniquely highlighted Jesus' role as a servant in four sections of his book
      4. There was a resistance mounting against Jesus (see Matthew 12:9-21)
      5. Jesus must have been a bitter disappointment to the religious leaders
        1. They expected the Messiah to free them from Rome
        2. They expected Him to set up His earthly kingdom
        3. They expected Him to be a strict follower of the Law
      6. Jesus was on earth to fulfill the Father's agenda
        1. His goal was to please the Father
        2. He was there to redeem the world from sin
        3. John 4:34; 8:29
    3. He Served People
      1. Even the disciples had expectations Jesus did not fulfill
      2. Jesus wants to serve you, but that does not mean He will give you everything you want
        1. He gives you everything you need
        2. He did not come to be served Himself (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45)
      3. Jesus did not come to meet your expectations; He came to end your condemnation
  3. He Came to Speak (v. 18b)
    1. He came to declare justice
      1. Apaggelló = to report, announce
      2. He came to deliver a message that the world needed to hear
      3. He did miracles, but He came to do more
      4. He taught and preached (see Luke 20:1)
        1. In the temple and synagogue
        2. From a boat (see Matthew 13:2-3; Mark 4:1-2)
        3. At a mountain (see Matthew 5:1)
        4. People packed Peter's house to hear Him teach (see Mark 2:2)
      5. Hearing truth for your soul is better than healing for your body
      6. He came to teach
        1. In the Gospels, Jesus is said to teach thirty-six times
        2. He is called a teacher forty-seven times
        3. Came to speak God's truth to people who were in bondage to their own lies (see John 8:32)
        4. The exposition of Scripture unleashes God's truth in your life
        5. Hosea 4:6
      7. The Bible is the one miracle you can hold in your hand
    2. Justice to the Gentiles
      1. Many of us are not Jewish
      2. If we lived in the New Testament, we would not be permitted to go into the inner court of the temple
      3. Jesus came to embrace the world (see Genesis 12:3; John 3:16)
      4. The first worshipers of Jesus were Gentiles: the magi (see Matthew 2:1-11)
      5. Jesus said of a Roman soldier that he had more faith than all of Israel (see Matthew 8:5-10; Luke 7:1-9)
      6. Jesus first revealed Himself as the Messiah to a woman of Samaria (see John 4:26)
  4. He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)
    1. Not an Attacker
      1. Quarrel = to harass or annoy
      2. Jesus did not come to annoy
      3. Cry out
        1. To shout or scream excitedly
        2. Used in ancient times to describe a dog barking
      4. Not a political rabble-rouser
      5. Jesus always spoke with control, poise, and dignity (see Ecclesiastes 9:17)
    2. But an Equipper
      1. In ancient times, reeds were used to make many different things
        1. Mats, pens, flutes
        2. As they grew old, they became brittle and useless
      2. Smoldering flax is the burned-out wick of a lamp, thrown out as useless
      3. Refers to worn out people who have broken lives, people who are regarded as useless
      4. Jesus restores and strengthens
        1. He won't put your fire out; He'll stoke your fire up
        2. He won't discard your life; He'll deliver your life
        3. He gives rest (see Matthew 11:28-29)
        4. He responds to our weakness with His meekness
      5. More people come to Christ when they are broken than at any other time
      6. Never underestimate the value of broken things to God
        1. Broken pots won a battle (see Judges 7:16-22)
        2. Broken bread fed a multitude (see Matthew 14:19)
        3. Broken flask gave a beautiful scent that filled a house (see Mark 14:3)
        4. The broken body of Jesus brought salvation
      7. We should worship with our broken hearts (see Psalm 51:17)
  5. He Came to Save (v. 21)
    1. He Can Triumph
      1. His name signals hope to far-off unbelievers
      2. He wants your life
      3. You get the victory by simple faith (see Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:4)
    2. He Can Be Trusted
      1. Religion says you have to work your way to God
      2. The Gospels say all you have to do is trust your way to Him (see Romans 10:9)
      3. The One who came to fulfill all the prophecies came for you
Figures referenced: Aristotle, James Hefley, Plato, Socrates

Works referenced: Encyclopedia Britannica

Greek words: apaggelló

Cross references: Genesis 12:3; Judges 7:16-22; Psalm 8:2; 41:9; 51:17; 78:1-4; 118:22; Ecclesiastes 9:17; Isaiah 9:1-2, 6; 35:4-6; 40:3; 42:1-4; 53:3, 7; 61:1; Daniel 9:25-26; Hosea 4:6; Zechariah 9:9; 11:12-13; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 2:1-11; 5:1; 8:5-10; 11:28-29; 12:9-21; 13:2-3; 14:19; 20:28; 21:42; Mark 2:2; 4:1-2; 10:45; 12:10; 14:3; Luke 4:18; 7:1-9; 20:1, 17; John 3:16; 4:26, 34; 6:35, 48; 8:29, 32; 10:11, 14; Acts 4:11; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 4:14; 1 Peter 2:6; 5:4; 1 John 5:4

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, Jesus' life, Servant of the Father, Servant of the Lord, Messiah, justice, miracles, teaching, preaching, truth, Scriptures, Gentiles, reeds, dignity, strength, broken, brokenness, salvation



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Learning to Tell Time
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Galatians 4:3-5; Genesis 49

We have been examining the amazing prophecies of the Old Testament and how Jesus Christ has fulfilled them. The prophets predicted His lineage, extraordinary birth, places of His residence, and character of His ministry. But why did Jesus come at the time that He did? Why not earlier? Why not later? Were there any indicators that pointed to His timely entrance into the world? Let me suggest there were five things that were just right.

Connect Recap Notes:  February 19, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "Learning to Tell Time"
Text: Galatians 4:3-5; Genesis 49


We have been examining the amazing prophecies of the Old Testament and how Jesus Christ has fulfilled them. The prophets predicted His lineage, extraordinary birth, places of His residence, and character of His ministry. But why did Jesus come at the time that He did? Why not earlier? Why not later? Were there any indicators that pointed to His timely entrance into the world? Pastor Skip suggests there were five things that were just right:
I. The Expectation Was Right: "We...were in bondage"
II. The Season Was Right: "When the fullness of the time had come"
III. The Action Was Right: "God sent forth His Son"
IV. The Person Was Right: "Born of a woman, born under the law"
V. The Reason Was Right:"To redeem"


The Expectation Was Right

The Season Was Right:
The Action Was Right:
The Person Was Right:
The Reason Was Right:

Connect Up: As Pastor Skip stated, "The precision God keeps and the plan that God made all revolve around the Person that God sent." Discuss God's precision in both the Bible (prophecy, etc.) and in your own life. How has the Lord showed His perfect timing in circumstances you've faced?

Connect In: Pastor Skip said that one of the questions he gets asked most often is about the last days. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, the apostle Paul told the church to "comfort one another with these words." Paul was referencing the rapture and the fulfillment of the church's time on earth. Why is it important for the church to discuss the end times? How can the last days encourage us?

Connect Out: As important as Jesus' teaching and truths are, Pastor Skip reminded us that Jesus never said, "Follow My teachings." Rather, Jesus said, "Follow Me." The message of the Messiah is found in the promise of a person—Jesus. How would you communicate this truth to an unbeliever: Jesus is the pinnacle of our faith, not necessarily teachings or ethics? Conversely, the teachings are important because of the Person. Discuss the interconnected role between Jesus and His teachings.


  1. Introduction
    1. Many people want to know what time it is prophetically
      1. Not enough people asked that question when Jesus was on the earth
      2. Jesus rebuked the leaders for not knowing what time it was (see Matthew 16:3; Luke 12:56)
      3. He held them accountable to the point that He pronounced judgment on the nation for not knowing the time (see Luke 19:43-44)
    2. Why did God send Jesus when He did?
      1. Why not in the garden after the fall? (see Genesis 3)
      2. Why not in more modern times?
    3. To answer, we must understand the term Shiloh
      1. First appears in Genesis 49
        1. Jacob was on his deathbed
        2. Gathered his sons around him and prophesied over each of them
        3. Shiloh appears in Jacob's prediction about Judah (see Genesis 49:10)
      2. Shiloh= the Messiah
      3. What became of the sons and their tribes?
        1. Grew into a small nation
        2. In bondage in Egypt for 400 years
        3. God sent a deliverer
          1. Moses
          2. From the tribe of Levi, not Judah
          3. Not Shiloh
        4. Inherited the Promised Land
          1. Under Joshua
          2. From the tribe of Ephraim, not Judah
          3. Not Shiloh
        5. Cried out for a king
          1. God allowed Saul to be king
          2. From the tribe of Benjamin, not Judah
          3. Not Shiloh
        6. God raised up David
          1. A man after God's heart (see Acts 13:22)
          2. From the tribe of Judah, but still not Shiloh
          3. God told David his son would occupy the throne
        7. Solomon ruled after David, but he was not Shiloh
    4. The central theme of all of Scripture is Jesus Christ
      1. He is the focal point of history
      2. Old Testament prophets promised Him
      3. In the Gospels, He was presented
      4. In Acts, He was proclaimed
      5. In the Epistles, He was pondered
      6. In Revelation, He was predicted
    5. If you study the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament, it's like going to a play during the second act
  2. The Expectation Was Right: "We…were in bondage"
    1. Paul described Judaism as a child coming of age
      1. Trained at home until he was grown up and launched into the world
      2. Just as a child is tethered to teachers until he comes of age, the Jews were tethered to Judaism until Jesus came
    2. In bondage
      1. The language of slavery
      2. Redeem = to buy back
      3. The Jews understood slavery because they had been slaves for thousands of years
        1. In Egypt for 400 years; Moses delivered
        2. Assyrians
        3. Babylonians; came back to the land under Ezra and Nehemiah
        4. Seleucid Syrians; Judas Maccabeus delivered
        5. At the time the New Testament was written, they were subjugated by Rome
      4. Even if they were not physically in bondage, they were still slaves to the law
        1. No one could keep it
        2. God put in it a system of animal sacrifices
        3. Never ending
    3. With the bondage came a longing, an anticipation
      1. They had always expected the Deliverer to come
      2. At Jesus' birth, the expectation for His coming was at an all-time high
      3. They thought John the Baptist might be the Messiah (see John 1:21)
  3. The Season Was Right: "When the fullness of the time had come"
    1. Fullness of the time
      1. Pléróma = fullness
      2. Just the right moment
    2. God is into doing things on time (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-9)
      1. God keeps perfect time; He is never early, never late
      2. Mark 1:15
    3. The time was right:
      1. Spiritually
        1. The Jews were hungry for the Messiah to come
        2. Many people were burnt out on polytheistic religious systems
        3. People were converting to Judaism
        4. Jesus marveled at the faith of a Roman centurion (see Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9)
        5. A Roman centurion invited Peter into his house and came to Christ (see Acts 10)
        6. Paul referred to people from Caesar's household who were converted (see Philippians 4:22)
      2. Culturally
        1. For the first time since the Tower of Babel, there was a common language around the world
          1. Greek
          2. The most precise language ever to convey human thought
        2. Alexander the Great encouraged the Jews to colonize the world into pockets of Judaism
        3. Synagogues in virtually every city in the world
      3. Politically
        1. Rome was the king of the world
          1. Pax Romana = the Roman peace
          2. Stability enforced by Roman military
        2. Rome connected the world with a road system
          1. 250,000 miles of roads
          2. Paved the world
        3. Relative safety in world travel
          1. Paul took advantage of that
          2. Traveled 15,000 miles on foot and by sea
  4. The Action Was Right: "God sent forth His Son"
    1. Implies Jesus' preexistence
      1. Isaiah 9:6; John 18:37
      2. Jesus was born, but He was first sent (see John 6:38; 8:42)
    2. Jesus was in the presence of God the Father, eternally existing as the second person of the triune God, and at just the right time, the Father dispatched His Son on a rescue mission to this earth
  5. The Person Was Right: "Born of a woman, born under the law"
    1. Born of a woman
      1. No mention of a man
      2. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit
    2. Born under the law
      1. A Jewish man raised in a Jewish home
      2. Unlike every other man, He kept the law
    3. Jesus had to be fully God and fully man
      1. Man: to represent humanity and feel the pain of the cross
      2. God: so His sacrifice was valuable enough to cover sin
    4. This is what differentiates Christianity from other religions and teachings
      1. It centers on a person, not teachings
      2. Centered on Christ
      3. Jesus never said to follow His teachings, but to follow Him (see John 1:12; 14:6)
  6. The Reason Was Right: "To redeem"
    1. The language of slaves
      1. Abba = father
      2. Exagorazó = to redeem
      3. God went to the slave market of sin, adopted us, and took us home
      4. The Son of God became a slave so that slaves could become sons
    2. We are no longer under bondage
      1. We do not have to make God like or accept us
      2. Though we do need to be obedient, we don't have to perform for Him
  7. Closing
    1. The right to rule and enforce the law of Moses would not depart from Judah until Shiloh came (see Genesis 49:8-10)
      1. Shiloh = he whose it is, or the one to whom it belongs
      2. Prediction of the Messiah who would come
      3. Specific time of arrival
    2. When Israel was taken captive by Babylon in 586 BC, they lost national sovereignty
      1. They never lost their national identity
      2. They still had lawgivers and judges
    3. Twenty-three years before Jesus' trial, Rome took away Judah's right to capital punishment
      1. The Jews knew this was the fulfillment of Genesis 49
      2. They mourned because they thought the Messiah had not come
    4. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, many people realized that Shiloh had indeed come (see Matthew 21:7-9; John 12:12-15)
    5. God is always on time
      1. If He would go through this intricate plan, we can be confident He has control over our lives
      2. We must lay down our worry and trust in Him
Figures referenced: Alexander the Great, Judas Maccabeus, Rabbi Rachmon, Rabbi Hillel Silver, Charles Spurgeon

Works referenced: Groundhog Day, The History of Messianic Speculation in Israel

Greek/Hebrew words: abba, exagorazó, pléróma, Shiloh

Cross references: Genesis 3; 4:8-10; 49; Ecclesiastes 3:1-9; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 8:10; 16:3; 21:7-9; Mark 1:15; Luke 7:9; 12:56; 19:43-44; John 1:12, 21; 6:38; 8:42; 12:12-15; 14:6; 18:37; Acts 10; 13:22; Philippians 4:22

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, Shiloh, Judah, Judaism, Jesus Christ, bondage, slavery, anticipation, faith, synagogue, virgin birth, the Law, redeem, redemption, preexistence, God's timing



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Believing the Miracle-Making Messiah
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:1-6

We have discovered that the evidence that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah as predicted by the ancient prophets was compelling and even overwhelming. Yet not everyone believed in Jesus. And even Jesus’ own forerunner, John the Baptist, struggled with doubts. How can that be? And what evidence is helpful in reasoning through those doubts? Jesus indeed fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, but not all of them…yet! Let’s look together at how Jesus’ miracles provided solid evidence of His identity.

Connect Recap Notes: February 26, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "Believing the Miracle-Making Messiah"
Text: Matthew 11:1-6


We have discovered that the evidence that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah as predicted by the ancient prophets is compelling and even overwhelming. Yet, even in His own day, not everyone believed in Jesus. Even Jesus' own forerunner, John the Baptist, struggled with doubts. How can that be? What evidence is helpful in reasoning through those doubts? Jesus indeed fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, but not all of them...yet! In this teaching, Pastor Skip looked at how Jesus' miracles provided solid evidence of His identity, and showed us how believers deal with doubt:

  1. Devout Believers Wrestle with Their Faith (vv. 1-3)

  2. Developing Believers Reason through Their Faith (vv. 4-5)

  3. Determined Believers Remain in Their Faith (v. 6)


Devout Believers Wrestle with Their Faith
Developing Believers Reason through Their Faith
Determined Believers Remain in Their Faith

Connect Up: A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Pastor Skip mentioned that Jesus performed thirty-five miracles during His ministry. Read Luke 4:18-21. Then, discuss the role of miracles in Jesus' life. How did they provide verification of His mission as the Messiah?

Connect In: Miracles are listed as one of the "gifts of the Spirit" (see 1 Corinthians 12:8-10). Calvary Albuquerque believes in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts—we believe the gifts are still active and present in the church today. Talk about a time when you believe a miracle occurred. How did the miracle transcend a natural explanation?

Connect Out: One of the phenomena of the early church was how miracles were used to verify the power of Christ via the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:43, 4:31, 5:12-16, 6:8, 8:6-13, 9:39-42). How can miracles demonstrate the power of God in a person's life, whether they are a believer or unbeliever?


  1. Introduction
    1. We have been looking at prearranged predictions as to the identity of the Messiah
      1. God wanted to make sure it was impossible to misidentify the Messiah
      2. Born of a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14)
      3. Born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
      4. Called out of Egypt (see Hosea 11:1)
      5. His ministry would begin in Galilee (see Isaiah 9:1-2)
      6. He came to serve (see Isaiah 42:1)
      7. He came at just the right time (see Galatians 4:3-5)
    2. When you put all the puzzle pieces together, you have an accurate description of who the Messiah would be
    3. One puzzle piece is that He would perform miracles (see Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6)
      1. When Jesus came on the scene, almost immediately miracles started to happen
      2. Turned water into wine (see John 2:1-10)
      3. Healed people who were sick
      4. Raised people who were dead (see Mark 5:35-43; Luke 7:11-15; 8:49-55; John 11:1-44)
      5. Controlled forces of nature (see Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:37-39)
    4. Even people who hated Him had to admit something was different about Him
    5. The Gospels record thirty-five miracles, but there were more (see John 21:25)
    6. John the Baptist
      1. Pointed to Jesus and believed in Him
      2. Was imprisoned and eventually died there
      3. Struggled with doubts
  2. Devout Believers Wrestle with Their Faith (vv. 1-3)
    1. An Uncommon Messenger
      1. The predicted forerunner of Jesus (see Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1)
      2. Jesus called him the greatest man to have ever lived (see Matthew 11:11)
      3. A strange man
        1. Lived in the desert
        2. Ate bugs
        3. Wore animal skins
      4. Unique teaching style (see Matthew 3:1-2)
        1. Called people to repentance
        2. This is what got him into trouble
      5. Family history (see Luke 1:5-64)
        1. Father was Zacharias and mother was Elizabeth
          1. Zacharias was a priest in the temple
          2. Both past the age of having children
        2. Zacharias was visited by an angel and told he would have a son
          1. He did not believe the angel
          2. He was made mute until the birth of the child
        3. When Elizabeth was about six months along, her cousin Mary was also visited by an angel and told she would be the mother of the Messiah
          1. Mary visited Elizabeth
          2. When Elizabeth heard her voice, Elizabeth's baby leapt for joy in her womb
        4. When John was born, Zacharias called him the prophet of the Most High
        5. John and Jesus were second cousins
          1. Grew up together
          2. Added to the authenticity of John's testimony about Jesus
          3. John was absolutely convinced Jesus was the Messiah
      6. John was arrested and thrown in prison
        1. Herod Antipas married his brother's wife, Herodias
        2. John called him out on this and was subsequently imprisoned (see Matthew 14:3-4; Mark 4:17-18; Luke 3:19-20)
    2. A Common Misconception
      1. John's doubt was based on an unfulfilled expectation
        1. From prison, he heard about the things Jesus was doing
        2. He was under the impression that when the Messiah came, He would immediately set up His earthly kingdom
      2. John knew the words of the prophets about the Messiah
        1. He would establish an everlasting kingdom (see Daniel 7:27; 9)
        2. John knew the words Jesus had spoken
          1. He came to set the captives free (see Luke 4:18)
          2. John was a captive at that time and wondered why he wasn't free
      3. It is not unusual for spiritual leaders to have times of uncertainty
        1. Moses second-guessed his calling (see Exodus 5:22)
        2. Jeremiah wanted to quit (see Jeremiah 20:9)
        3. Elijah wanted to die (see 1 Kings 19:4)
        4. In the New Testament, all but one mention of the word doubt refers to believers doubting
          1. Jesus rebuked His followers for doubting (Matthew 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Luke 12:28)
          2.  Some even doubted Him after His resurrection (see Matthew 28:17)
      4. You almost have to believe before you can doubt
        1. A believer who has served the Lord faithfully can be shaken by an unexpected event
        2. John had been preaching to thousands of people, then suddenly found himself in a pit in the middle of the desert
      5. When in doubt, go to Jesus
        1. John sent people to ask Jesus about his doubt
        2. If you are doubting, the first thing you should do is take it to Jesus
  3. Developing Believers Reason through Their Faith (vv. 4-5)
    1. The Appeal to Human Experience
      1. Personal discovery
      2. Subjective
      3. Your personal testimony is the most powerful tool you have in your spiritual arsenal
    2. The Appeal to Biblical Prophecy
      1. Objective
      2. Jesus knew John knew prophecy, especially that of Isaiah
        1. People would be healed (see Isaiah 35:5-6)
        2. Gospel would be preached to the poor (see Isaiah 61:1)
      3. Jesus' message was proved by His miracles
      4. People make two mistakes concerning miracles
        1. Naturalize them
          1. Make miracle a common term
          2. Miracles are extraordinary, uncommon events
          3. Cheapens the term
        2. Trivialize them
          1. Explain them away
          2. If there is a God who can act, then acts of God can exist
          3. If Genesis 1:1 is possible, then anything is possible
          4. God is never a prisoner to His natural laws
      5. Let your faith be reasonable faith, not ransacked faith
  4. Determined Believers Remain in Their Faith (v. 6)
    1. Jesus added a P.S. to the end of His message to John
      1. Skandalizó = cause to stumble, cause to sin, cause to become indignant, shock, offend
      2. A gentle rebuke to John the Baptist
      3. Jesus gave him enough evidence that could keep him tethered
    2. Never give up what you know for what you don't know
      1. Let God be God and you be you
      2. Let God be the one seated on the throne and you be the one who bows before it
  5. Closing
    1. If you are struggling with your faith:
      1. Wrestle with it
      2. Reason through it
      3. Remain in it
    2. Some of the strongest believers were once struggling believers
    3. "With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27)
Figures referenced: Herod Antipas, Francis Collins, David Greenglass, Herodias, C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Charles Spurgeon

Works referenced: Dead Sea Scrolls, Miracles, Talmud

Greek words: skandalizó

Cross references: Genesis 1:1; Exodus 5:22; 1 Kings 19:4; Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-2; 29:18; 35:5-6; 40:3; 42:1; 61:1; Jeremiah 20:9; Daniel 7:27; 9; Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:2; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-2; 6:30; 8:23-27; 11:11; 14:3-4, 31; 16:8; 19:26; 28:17; Mark 4:17-18, 37-39; 5:35-43; 10:27; Luke 1:5-64; 3:19-20; 4:18; 7:11-15; 8:49-55; 12:28; John 2:1-10; 11:1-44; 21:25; Galatians 4:3-5

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, predictions, miracles, John the Baptist, doubt, faith, messenger, forerunner, testimony



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: The Visitation
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:28-44

What do you suppose the odds would be of someone showing up exactly 483 years after it was predicted he would come? Then add to that the prediction that he would come riding a donkey. Then add to that the prediction that he would not be accepted but rather rejected and subsequently killed. Sound far-fetched? It isn’t. It happened and it’s astounding. Today we continue our series Against All Odds as we consider the stand-alone event Jesus referred to as "the visitation."

Connect Recap Notes:  March 12, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "The Visitation"
Text:  Luke 19:28-44


What do you suppose the odds would be of someone showing up exactly 483 years after it was predicted he would come? Then add to that the prediction that he would come riding a donkey. Then add to that the prediction that he would not be accepted but rather rejected and subsequently killed. Sound far-fetched? It is, but it happened and it's astounding. In this study, Pastor Skip considered the stand-alone event Jesus referred to as "the visitation."

  1. I. Presentation (vv. 28-36)
  2. Celebration (vv. 37-38)
  3. Consternation (vv. 39-40)
  4. Lamentation (vv. 41-44)


Connect Up: Pastor Skip asked, "With a God who is this accurate, can't we trust Him for all things?" Discuss a time when God was on time in your life, even if the timing was not according to your plan. What does this tell you about God's timetable versus our timetable?

Connect In: Prophecy is important for the church. It shows that God is in control over all history in that what He predicts will come to pass. And prophecy is particularly profitable to those who look to its fulfillment (see 1 Peter 1:12). Discuss how a series like Against All Odds helps strengthen our faith, reminding us of God's control and sovereignty.

Connect Out: Pastor Skip asked, "How will you respond on a day of opportunity, when God visits you?" How can you use fulfilled prophecy to share the gospel with unbelievers? The simple reasoning is that  prophecy authenticates God's Word, and if prophecy can be trusted, the rest of Scripture can be trusted; therefore, God can be trusted.


  1. Introduction
    1. Our brains are capable of storing massive amounts of information
      1. Some information is important; some is useless
      2. When we compare our brains to God's intellect, there is no comparison
      3. Not only does He know everything, but sometimes He states what He knows in advance
      4. We know these things are from God when they come to pass
    2. There were specifics given about Jesus in the Old Testament
      1. Group of predictions that talk about the Messiah's coming to Jerusalem (see Daniel 9:24-25; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1)
      2. The prophets must have wondered who it would be they were writing about (see 1 Peter 1:10)
  2. Presentation (vv. 28-36)
    1. This was a unique way for Jesus to enter the city
      1. He had been there several times but had always walked with His disciples
      2. On this occasion, He called for a donkey to be brought for Him to ride
    2. They disciples knew that if Jesus wanted something, it was for a reason
      1. Jesus fed 5,000 with fives loaves of bread and two fish (see Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:37-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-13)
      2. Jesus told Peter and the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they caught many fish (see Luke 5:4-9; John 21:2-6)
    3. We're not sure which disciples went to get the animal, but it could have been Peter and John
      1. Peter would have wanted to do the talking, because he was the blessed one (see Matthew 16:17)
      2. John would have rebutted that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved
      3. Whatever the case, they brought the donkey back
    4. The date is important
      1. Took place on the tenth of Nisan
      2. Same day the lambs were selected by the families for sacrifice at Passover
      3. Jerusalem was packed with people
        1. Five times the normal amount
        2. Between two and two-and-a-half million people
    5. Jesus' request was not a spur-of-the-moment decision
      1. This was predicted by the prophets (see Zechariah 9:9)
      2. Deliberate claim to be the King of Israel
        1. Kings rode horses in times of war, but donkeys in times of peace
        2. When a king entered a town on a donkey, he was extending terms of peace
    6. Jesus had never done this before
      1. He had deliberately avoided any overtures of making Himself a king (see John 6:15)
      2. He cautioned the people He healed not to tell others about what He had done for them
  3. Celebration (vv. 37-38)
    1. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, people sang His praises and waved palm leaves (see John 12:13)
      1. Palm leaves were a sign of deliverance
      2. 150 years earlier, there was a war between Judas Maccabeus and the Syrians who had control of the city
      3. When Maccabeus won and delivered the people, they sang and waved palm branches as he entered the city
    2. The lyrics they sang were from Psalm 118:26
      1. Messianic psalm
      2. Hósanna = save, we pray
        1. Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10; John 12:13
        2. "Save us now!"
    3. They sang loudly
      1. Whatever you speak in praise should be done with confidence
      2. Revelation 5:11-12
      3. In our worship, we should sing it like we mean it
  4. Consternation (vv. 39-40)
    1. Not everyone was singing His praise
      1. The Pharisees knew prophecy
        1. They knew the predictions about the Messiah coming on a donkey
        2. They knew about Psalm 118:26 and hósanna
      2. They knew the crowd thought Jesus was the Messiah, but they didn't think so
    2. One reason Jesus presented Himself as He did was to force the Jewish leaders to act
      1. They originally wanted to wait to arrest Him until after the Passover (see Matthew 26:3-5)
      2. God's plan was that His Son, the Lamb of God, would die on Passover
        1. Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover
        2. Just as the lambs were being presented for Passover on the tenth of Nisan, the Lamb of God was presented to the city
        3. Just as Passover would take place a few days later, Jesus would die on that date
    3. If the people had been silent, even the rocks would cry out
    4. The crowd was celebrating
      1. In a few days, some of those same people would call for His crucifixion
      2. Not all of them were true disciples of Jesus
      3. When they discovered He was not going to deliver them from Rome, they were done with Him
      4. God is not seeking frantic or frenetic worshipers, but authentic worshipers (see John 4:23)
  5. Lamentation (vv. 41-44)
    1. Jesus wept over the city
      1. Klaió = weep, mourn, lament
      2. Only the second time Jesus wept in public (see John 11:35)
    2. Jesus looked around and looked ahead
      1. Looked around at the spiritual blindness
      2. Looked ahead and saw what was coming to the city
        1. In AD 70 the Romans surrounded the city
        2. Laid siege for 143 days, leaving 600,000 people dead and the temple destroyed
    3. It was as though Jesus was holding them accountable for knowing that day
      1. Daniel 9:24-26 gave the very countdown to the coming of the Messiah
      2. This prophecy concerns the Jews
    4. Set period of time
      1. Determined = set aside, divided, cut off from
      2. God marked a specific time to accomplish these purposes
      3. Shibim shabua = seventy sevens
        1. Seventy sets of seven
        2. We in the West use tens (decades) to mark time; the Jews used sevens (heptads)
        3. Sevens were important in Jewish culture
          1. Work for six days, rest on the seventh
          2. Work the land for six years, let it rest on the seventh
        4. Seventy weeks of years, or 490 years
    5. Daniel was studying the prophecies of Jeremiah
      1. Jeremiah predicted the Jews would be in captivity seventy years (see Jeremiah 29:10)
      2. The seventy years was almost up
      3. These years of exile were punishment for 490 years of disobedience by the Jewish nation (see 2 Chronicles 36:20-21)
        1. They did not keep the Sabbath year—for 490 years, they did not let the land rest on each seventh year
        2. The Lord took back the seventy years by removing them from the land
    6. The angel Gabriel visited Daniel and told him about another set of 490 years where God would accomplish His purposes
      1. Start date is found in Daniel 9:25
        1. The day the commandment went forth to rebuild Jerusalem
        2. At the time Daniel received the vision, the city lay in ruins
      2. From the date of that commandment, it would be 483 years until the Messiah showed up
        1. From history, we know that there were four edicts to rebuild Jerusalem
          1. Only one fits the details of this prediction
          2. Given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 BC (see Nehemiah 2)
        2. It took them forty-nine years to restore Jerusalem (seven sevens)
        3. If you count 483 years from that date, you should arrive at the time of Messiah
    7. This so intrigued Sir Robert Anderson that he decided to calculate it
      1. Converted 483 years into days (176,880)
      2. Counted 176,880 days from March 14, 445 BC
      3. Came to April 6, AD 32—the tenth of Nisan
    8. This was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey
      1. Jesus showed up on the exact day predicted by Daniel the prophet
      2. Daniel also said the Messiah would be cut off (see Daniel 9:26)
        1. Karath = to cut off
        2. To be killed because of the death penalty
  6. Closing
    1. When are we as believers going to just trust the Lord for our future?
      1. If God is this precise, don't you think He can handle your tomorrow?
      2. All of the promises God made that He has already kept is the track record that lets us know we can trust Him
    2. How will you respond in your day of visitation?
      1. Like the fickle crowd: trust Him one day but not the next
      2. Like the Pharisees: have enough of Him
      3. Like the donkey: the most compliant one in the story
Figures referenced: Sir Robert Anderson, William Barclay, Flavius Josephus, Artaxerxes Longimanus, Martin Luther, Judas Maccabeus, Charles Spurgeon

Works referenced: Mishnah

Greek/Hebrew words: hósanna, karath, klaió, shibim shabua
Cross references: 2 Chronicles 36:20-21; Nehemiah 2; Psalm 118:26; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:24-26; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 14:13-21; 16:17; 21:9; 26:3-5; Mark 6:37-44; 11:10; Luke 5:4-9; 9:12-17; John 4:23; 6:5-13, 15; 11:35; 12:13; 21:2-6; 1 Peter 1:10; Revelation 5:11-12

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, predictions, triumphal entry, donkey, Jerusalem, Passover, Lamb of God, worship, celebration, set time, seventy weeks prophecy, trust



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: The Long-Expected Traitor
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 13:18-19

We have learned that Jesus’ whole life, ministry, and atoning sacrifice were foreseen and expected by the Old Testament writers. But did you know that His betrayer was also expected and anticipated? The prophets predicted him, and Jesus announced him. Judas had no idea he was fulfilling the Scriptures by being the turncoat—but he was. Let’s also ponder what Jesus knows about us and how we can be a joy and delight to His heart.

Connect Recap Notes: March 19, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "The Long-Expected Traitor"
Text: John 13:18-19


We have learned that Jesus’ whole life, ministry, and atoning sacrifice were foreseen and expected by the Old Testament writers. But did you know that His betrayer was also foretold and anticipated? The prophets predicted him, and Jesus announced him. Judas had no idea he was fulfilling the Scriptures by being the turncoat—but he was. Josh McDowell noted that, over a 500-year period, twenty-nine prophecies were given about Jesus’ betrayal, death, and burial, and all were fulfilled within a twenty-four hour period—against all odds. Let’s consider what the Bible tells us about Jesus’ betrayer, Judas Iscariot:

  1. He Was Among the Followers (v. 2)

  2. He Was Against the Master (v. 18)

  3. He Was Anticipated by Scripture (vv. 18-19)

He Was Among the Followers:
He Was Against the Master:
He Was Anticipated by Scripture:

Connect Up: Judas’ betrayal came because he put his own agenda ahead of God’s. He had a critical eye and ahypocritical heart. How can we make sure not to make the same mistake?

Connect In: Some people play the game, acting like Christians at church but acting the exact opposite elsewhere. But for every star that falls, billions stay in their place and shine brightly. Who are some shiningstars in your life? Take time to thank God for them.

Connect Out: Knowing that all love, aside from the love of God in Christ, carries inherent risk, how can you reach out to people who have been hurt by love in the name of Jesus? What can you tell them about the impact of God’s ability and desire to forgive sin and heal bitterness and pain?


  1. Introduction
    1. People try to predict the future
    2. God knows the future because He controls it
      1. He makes detailed predictions
      2. We can examine them objectively
      3. The more detailed the predictions, the more impressive it is when they are fulfilled
    3. For one person to fulfill all the prophecies Jesus did is a statistical impossibility from a man's perspective
      1. Jesus came not to destroy the prophets, but to fulfill them (see Matthew 5:17)
      2. Fulfill means to complete, accomplish, or verify by a prediction
      3. Jesus came to verify the law and the prophets
    4. One of those prophecies was that the Messiah would be betrayed
      1. Twenty-nine prophecies about the betrayal, death, and burial of Jesus, all written over 500 years
      2. All fulfilled in a twenty-four-hour period in the New Testament
    5. Judas Iscariot is the most infamous traitor in history
  2. He Was Among the Followers (v. 2)
    1. On the Same Team
      1. Jesus chose Judas to be on His team
      2. His name has become a synonym for treachery, hypocrisy, and betrayal
        1. His name was once an honorable name, meaning praise
        2. Probably named after Judas Maccabeus, one of the heroes of Jewish history
          1. Son of the leader who revolted against the Syrians when they came to oppress Israel
          2. That family rededicated the temple
        3. A common name
          1. Jesus had a stepbrother named Judas
          2. Jesus had another disciple named Judas
        4. List of disciples in the New Testament (see Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16)
          1. Peter is always listed first
          2. Judas Iscariot is always listed last
      3. Jesus chose His disciples after a night of prayer (see Luke 6:12-16)
    2. Near the Same Lord
      1. For three years, Judas walked and talked with the living Son of God
      2. Judas was given a prominent place around Jesus
        1. He was the treasurer, the keeper of the money box
        2. This is one of the reasons none of the other apostles suspected him of being a traitor
        3. When Jesus announced there was a betrayer among them at the Last Supper, they all asked, "Is it I?" (see Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-19)
      3. Jesus positioned Judas
        1. Judas sat in a prominent place at the Last Supper: on Jesus' left side (see John 13:21-30)
          1. They sat at a triclinium—a u-shaped, three-sided table
          2. Reclined on their left elbow, leaving their right hand free
          3. John was to Jesus' right, leaning left toward His breast
        2. At Passover, the places of honor were at the right and left hands of the host
          1. James and John's mother requested that her sons be given these positions in Christ's kingdom (see Matthew 20:20-21)
          2. Positioned offered by the host
        3. When John asked Jesus who the betrayer was, Jesus answered that it was the one to whom He gave the bread
          1. He gave it to Judas
          2. The only person He could have reached to give bread to was the person sitting to His left
          3. Judas had to be the one seated on the left side
      4. Jesus must have come to Judas before the dinner and asked him to sit there
        1. It was as if Jesus was making one last reach for his heart
        2. John was where Jesus wants us to be
        3. Jesus does not want to just be in your midst; He wants to be in your heart
        4. Are you leaning toward Jesus like John, or away from Him like Judas?
  3. He Was Against the Master (v. 18)
    1. Lifted up His Heel
      1. Some people don't think Judas was a bad guy
        1. They make Judas out to be a misunderstood hero who was trying to save Jesus from Himself
        2. Jesus called Judas a devil and the son of perdition (see John 6:70; 17:12)
      2. Judas didn't serve Christ; he sabotaged Him
        1. Judas saw Jesus as his servant who would give him what he wanted
        2. Judas, like many Jews, expected a political Messiah who would deliver them from Roman oppression
        3. Perhaps Judas betrayed Jesus to force Him to conquer or be conquered
    2. Turned away His Heart
      1. Judas had no place for the cross
        1. He didn't want the cross; he wanted a crown
        2. You have to go to the cross to wear the crown
      2. He was covetous (see John 12:3-8)
        1. When Mary poured perfume on Jesus' feet, Judas rebuked her, saying it should have been sold and the money given to the poor
        2. He did not care about the poor; he wanted to steal from the money box
        3. Jesus rebuked him, which could have been what pushed him over the edge in his betrayal
  4. He Was Anticipated by Scripture (vv. 18-19)
    1. Quoting David
      1. Psalm 41:9
      2. It's believed David wrote this psalm when he was betrayed by Ahithophel, his trusted advisor (see 2 Samuel 15)
      3. In quoting David, Jesus left out the phrase "Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted"
        1. Jesus never trusted Judas
        2. He always knew it was Judas (see John 6:64; 13:10-11)
      4. If Jesus knew Judas so well, why did He pick him?
        1. To fulfill Scripture (see John 17:12)
        2. To love anyone is to make yourself vulnerable
          1. When you give someone your love, it's almost guaranteed that you will get hurt
          2. Anyone can love an ideal person; the challenge is to love the real person
          3. Though you have been hurt, love anyway
          4. Forgive those who have hurt you (see Matthew 6:12)
    2. Fulfilling Zechariah
      1. Zechariah 11:11-13; Matthew 26:14-16
      2. Zechariah predicted Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver 520 years before it happened
        1. A good shepherd would be betrayed
        2. Haggling over the price (see Matthew 26:15)
        3. Metal would be silver
        4. Amount would be thirty pieces
          1. In the Old Testament, thirty pieces of silver was the price to repay someone whose servant had been gored by an ox
          2. Jesus is called the Servant of God (see Philippians 2:8)
        5. Once the money was paid, it would be thrown into the house of the Lord and used to buy a potter's field (see Matthew 27:3-8)
  5. Closing
    1. There are people who come to church who are like Judas
      1. They play the game and know the rules, fitting right in
      2. Outside, they lie, curse, scheme, gossip, grumble, complain, barhop, cheat on their spouses, and deny their Lord
    2. Fallings stars are rare
      1. For every one that falls, there are billions that don't
      2. Solid believers don't fall
Figures referenced: Francis Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Judas Maccabeus, Josh McDowell

Cross references: 2 Samuel 15; Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:11-13; Matthew 5:17; 6:12; 10:2-4; 20:20-21; 26:14-16, 21-25; 27:3-8; Mark 3:16-19; 14:18-19; Luke 6:12-16; John 6:64, 70; 12:3-8; 13:10-11, 21-30; 17:12; Philippians 2:8

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, betrayal, traitor, prayer, disciples, Last Supper, hypocrisy, Judas Iscariot



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: Cross Examination
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig

Today we begin to examine the cross in light of Old Testament prophecy. Even though the expectation of the Jews at the time of Christ was for a conquering Messiah, the Scripture also paints a picture of a suffering and dying Messiah. This means He would need to come two separate times. In their rejection of Jesus, the people were actually fulfilling the very Scriptures they denied as referring to Christ. Today let’s stand at the foot of the cross and not only examine the event, but also examine our hearts.

Connect Recap Notes:  March 26, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "Cross Examination"
Text: Psalm 22


In this teaching, Pastor Skip examined the cross in light of Old Testament prophecy. Even though the expectation of the Jews at the time of Christ was for a conquering Messiah, the Scripture also paints a picture of a suffering and dying Messiah. This means He would need to come two separate times. In their rejection of Jesus, the people were actually fulfilling the very Scriptures they denied as referring to Christ. Pastor Skip looked at the incredible prophecies about Jesus' death and resurrection found in Psalm 22. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part is prayer and agony; the second part is praise and accomplishment.

  1. The Torture of the Cross (vv. 1-21)
  2. The Triumph of the Cross (vv. 22-31)

The Torture of the Cross
The Triumph of the Cross

Connect Up: Andrew Murray said, "Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ." Why do you think the Father accomplished salvation by this means? See Hebrews 9:22 for insight.

Connect In: Why is the death of Christ so central for the church, becoming one of the symbols of the faith? Why does the cross seem foolish to those that don't believe? See 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Connect Out: The apostle Paul said, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel… lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (1 Corinthians 1:17). Just as Paul was called to preach the cross of Christ, how are we to incorporate the death of Christ in our evangelism and outreach?


  1. Introduction
    1. The opening and closing statements of this psalm are both statements Jesus made while hanging on the cross
      1. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (v. 1)
      2. "It is finished" (see v. 31)
    2. This psalm is quoted seven times in the New Testament, referring to Christ each time
      1. The New Testament authors regarded this psalm as a messianic prophecy
      2. John 19:24
    3. A psalm of David
      1. We cannot find any instance in David's life that matches this text
      2. A prayer of anguish
    4. Describes an execution
      1. A righteous man being killed
      2. A more accurate description of the crucifixion than the Gospels give
    5. David wrote this 1,000 years before Jesus' death
      1. 600 years before the invention of crucifixion
      2. Accuracy and detail of a method of capital punishment he knew nothing about
      3. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:30)
    6. Psalm 22 is divided into two parts
      1. First part (vv. 1-21)
        1. Prayer
        2. Agony
        3. Deserted by God
      2. Second part (vv. 22-31)
        1. Praise
        2. Accomplishment
        3. Delivered by God
  2. The Torture of the Cross (vv. 1-21)
    1. Verse 1 is the fourth statement Jesus made on the cross (see Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)
      1. Up to a point, all of Jesus' statements on the way to His execution and while hanging on the cross concerned other people
      2. People who suffer have a hard time thinking about anyone else
      3. Statements concerning others
        1. To the weeping women (see Luke 23:28-29)
          1. Foresaw the fall of Jerusalem
          2. Knew the anguish that would befall the city
        2. Asked for forgiveness for the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross (see Luke 23:34)
        3. To the repentant, dying thief (see Luke 23:43)
        4. To John regarding His mother, Mary (see John 19:26-27)
    2. Deserted by God
      1. Darkness covered the land in the middle of the day
      2. Jesus was silent during this time
      3. He broke the silence with the words Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (see Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)
        1. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1)
        2. First and only time recorded that Jesus referred to God as My God and not My Father
        3. He was experiencing the rift in His relationship with God as the sin of the world came upon His shoulders
        4. Separation from God
        5. Not a lapse of faith; a cry of disorientation
        6. He had never experienced the feeling of being separated from the Father (see John 11:41-42; 16:32)
        7. He experienced the full effects of sin for all humanity (see Isaiah 53:6)
      4. The pain, anguish, and separation were needed because God is holy (see Psalm 22:3)
        1. The reason for the cross
        2. God's perfection can't mingle with our imperfection
        3. Jesus, the perfect One, became the substitution for the imperfect ones—all people throughout history (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)
        4. We have an imputed righteousness, not an intrinsic one
    3. Despised by People (vv. 6-8)
      1. The chief priests and scribes mocked Jesus as He died on the cross, quoting this psalm almost verbatim (see Matthew 27:41-43)
      2. "I am a worm, and no man" (Psalm 22:6)
        1. Jesus made several I am statements (see John 6:35; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 11-14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1)
        2. This is one of the forgotten I am statements of Jesus Christ
        3. A worm is one of the lowest creatures in the world
          1. He was not treated like a human while He was on trial
          2. He was denied human and legal rights
          3. He was tortured (see Isaiah 52:14)
      3. Tola
        1. Sometimes translated worm; sometimes translated scarlet
        2. Crimson worm
          1. In ancient times, they would extract the fluid from this worm to make scarlet dyes
          2. The only way to get the dye is to crush the worm
        3. Jesus was the scarlet worm, lowly and ugly to look upon
        4. When His life was crushed, His blood was the source to change our eternity
        5. Life cycle of the crimson worm
          1. When the female is ready to give birth, she embeds herself into the wood of a tree or branch
          2. After giving birth, she dies
          3. The crimson dye explodes onto the wood, staining it
          4. In giving His life, Jesus brought life
          5. After three days, the crimson dye turns flaky white and falls to the ground (see Isaiah 1:18)
    4. Distressed by Physical Pain (vv. 14-18)
      1. Physical effects of crucifixion
        1. Excruciating comes from a Latin word that means out of the cross
        2. Excruciating pain
      2. Profuse sweating that dehydrates the body
        1. Jesus began that process in the garden of Gethsemane when He sweat drops of blood (see Luke 22:44)
        2. Hematidrosis: the tiny capillaries burst into the sweat glands
      3. Bones out of joint
        1. The body slumps and causes the joints to move out of place
        2. This causes suffocation of the vital organs
        3. Crucifixion victims die of asphyxiation
      4. Heart like wax
        1. When Jesus was dead, a soldier pierced His side, causing blood and water to come out (see John 19:34)
        2. Evidence that the pericardium had engorged, crushing the heart
      5. Intense thirst
        1. One of Jesus' sayings on the cross was "I thirst!" (John 19:28)
        2. Strength dried up
      6. Pierced hands and feet
      7. Divided garments
        1. John quoted this verse in his gospel (see John 19:24)
        2. The soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garments
  3. The Triumph of the Cross (vv. 22-31)
    1. Resurrection
      1. The second half of Psalm 22 is completely different from the first half
      2. Death is over (see vv. 22-25)
      3. Now there is life
      4. Something happened between verses 21 and 22: the resurrection
    2. Expansion
      1. The New Testament quotes verse 22, speaking of the expansion of the gospel (see Hebrews 2:11-12)
      2. Started small and expanded outward
        1. "My brethren" (v. 22)
        2. "Descendants of Jacob…offspring of Israel" (v. 23)
        3. "Great assembly" (v. 25)
        4. "All the ends of the world…all the families of the nations" (v. 27)
        5. "The next generation" (v. 30)
        6. "A people who will be born" (v. 31)
      3. Jesus instructed His disciples to take the message to the entire world (see Acts 1:8)
      4. You were never an afterthought for God
        1. We were chosen and He had us in mind all along
        2. Jesus endured the cross for us (see Hebrews 12:2)
    3. Completion
      1. "That He has done this" (v. 31)
        1. One word in Hebrew: asah
        2. One word in Greek: tetelestai
        3. It is completed or It is finished (see Luke 23:46; John 19:30)
      2. A completion of the work of Christ
      3. Your life should have this banner statement over it
      4. Quit trying to convince God you are good enough to be saved (see Isaiah 64:6)
  4. Closing
    1. The great word of the gospel is not do; it is done
    2. Some Christians feel forsaken by God
      1. It is an impossibility
      2. You may be experiencing His silence
      3. You may be experiencing His discipline
      4. You may be experiencing His displeasure
        1. Due to sin, a barrier
        2. Isaiah 59:1-2
    3. You can never be forsaken by God
      1. Jesus was forsaken so we wouldn't have to be
      2. He went through the darkness so we would walk in the light
Figures referenced: J. Vernon McGee, Ralph Muncaster

Works referenced:Examine the Evidence

Greek/Hebrew words: asah, tetelestai, tola

Cross references: Isaiah 1:18; 52:14; 53:6; 59:1-2; 64:6; Matthew 27:41-43, 46; Mark 15:34; Luke 22:44; 23:28-29, 34, 43, 46; John 6:35; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 11-14; 11:25, 41-42; 14:6; 15:1; 16:32; 19:24, 26-28, 30, 34; Acts 1:8; 2:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:11-12; 12:2

Topic: Jesus' Death

Keywords: cross, crucifixion, psalm, torture, execution, pain, darkness, perfection, holiness, righteousness, worm, pain, excruciating, suffocation, resurrection, gospel, forsaken



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: The Servant
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 52-53

Of all the Old Testament writings that predict the Messiah, Isaiah 53 is the Grand Canyon of the prophetic landscape. It captures the person and work of Christ with precise clarity, and it unfolds His atoning sacrifice on the cross like no other text. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, His death was announced and detailed. Isaiah the prophet shows us that Jesus would be the perfect servant of the Father in dealing with the most serious problem of the human race.

Recap Notes: April 2, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "The Servant"
Text: Isaiah 52-53


Of all the Old Testament writings that predict the Messiah, Isaiah 53 is the Grand Canyon of the prophetic landscape. It is called a Servant Song, one of four found in Isaiah. It captures the person and work of Christ with precise clarity, unfolding His atoning sacrifice on the cross like no other text. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, His death was announced and detailed. Against all odds, Isaiah showed us that Jesus would be the perfect Servant of the Father in dealing with the most serious problem of the human race: sin. This chapter addresses the most important question in life: how can a person be right with God? Pastor Skip described Isaiah's vision of God's perfect Servant:


He's a Sovereign Servant
He's a Sinless Servant
He's a Suffering Servant
He's a Substitutionary Servant
He's a Silent Servant
He's a Saving Servant

Connect Up: In theology, the doctrine of salvation has its own field called soteriology. Why is salvation so important that it deserves a whole field of study? What does this tell you about the Father's will for people? See 2 Peter 3:9.

Connect In: The living church is a group of saved people. Being that the true church is a saved church, how should our salvation influence and affect our life? Read Galatians 5:13, Hebrews 6:10, and 1 Peter 4:10. Should a saved church be a serving church? What does a serving church look like?

Connect Out: How would you summarize Isaiah 53 as an evangelical statement so you can share it with a nonbeliever?


  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus is unlike anyone else (see Luke 19:10)
    2. Isaiah 53 is the pinnacle of all messianic prophecies in the Old Testament
      1. Penned 680 years before Christ
      2. Sum and substance of the gospel message
      3. Jesus quoted from it
      4. Referred to in fifteen New Testament books
      5. Known by the New Testament authors to be a messianic passage
      6. Read by the eunuch that Philip ministered to (see Acts 8:27-39)
    3. A Servant Song
      1. One of four in the book of Isaiah (see Isaiah 42; 49; 50; 53)
      2. All refer to Christ
      3. Five stanzas
  2. He's a Sovereign Servant (52:13)
    1. God the Father's Servant who came to earth to serve the will of the Father in redemptive history (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 6:38)
    2. There is some dispute as to the identity of the Servant in Isaiah 52-53
      1. Not everyone agrees that this refers to Jesus
      2. Isaiah used the term servant to refer to several different people
        1. The nation of Israel
        2. Himself
        3. The Messiah
      3. This prophecy is so obviously fulfilled in Jesus that it has become an embarrassment to the Jews
        1. They knew that historically, Isaiah 53 is a messianic prophecy
        2. The Targums translate Isaiah 52:13 as "Behold, My Servant Messiah"
        3. They came up with an alternate interpretation
          1. It became common to refer Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel
          2. History of the Jews, the despised nation of the world
    3. It cannot refer to Israel
      1. It does not fit
      2. Israel never suffered vicariously for another nation
      3. They never suffered voluntarily
      4. They never suffered silently
      5. In Isaiah 49, God speaks to His Servant Messiah about His servant Israel
  3. He's a Sinless Servant (53:9)
    1. Buried in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb (see Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42)
    2. No one could convict Him of sin (see John 8:46; 18:38; 19:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
    3. The punishment He received was undeserved
      1. He paid a debt He did not owe
      2. His esteemed position as the Son of God made what He did that much more powerful (see Philippians 2:6-7)
  4. He's a Suffering Servant (52:14; 53:4-5, 7, 10, 12)
    1. His visage was marred
      1. Visage = face
      2. Disfigured
    2. The crowd wanted blood (see Mark 15:13-14; Luke 23:21; John 19:6, 15)
      1. Pilate thought he could placate the crowd by beating Jesus (see John 19:1)
        1. People sometimes died from Roman scourging alone
        2. Two soldiers with whips made with leather strips and pieces of glass, metal, and bone
        3. The whips would tear the skin and tissue from the back of the victim, exposing the vital organs
      2. Ecce homo = behold the man (see John 19:5)
    3. He carried His cross
      1. Patibulum = the crossbeam
      2. He didn't even make it all the way (see Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26)
      3. This was God's sinless Servant taking this torture
      4. No other religion has at its heart the humiliation of its God
  5. He's a Substitutionary Servant (53:4-7, 10, 12)
    1. The human race has a sin problem (see Romans 3:23)
      1. We all have a sorrow that comes from a sickness that is brought on by sinfulness
      2. Our disease requires a specialist
      3. It requires a substitute who will take our place
    2. Jesus died instead of you
      1. Vicarious atonement= someone dying in your place
      2. Jesus volunteered to do it for us
      3. We are not good enough; we need someone to stand in for us
    3. Jesus stepped into critical mass, stopping the chain reaction that sin brought to humanity
      1. He was slaughtered so we could be saved
      2. The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God; the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man
  6. He's a Silent Servant (53:7)
    1. Jesus was brought before the chief priests, high priest, Sanhedrin, Herod, and Pilate
      1. He remained silent as they hurled accusations at Him (see Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61; Luke 23:9)
      2. This astonished Pilate (see Matthew 27:14)
        1. He had seen many prisoners go to a cross before, but none of them were silent
        2. He had never seen someone stand silent while accusations were hurled at them
    2. Silence can be intimidating
      1. But silence gives you time to think
        1. Perhaps Jesus had said everything He needed to say to Pilate
        2. Perhaps He wanted to give Pilate time to think about what He said
      2. Some people worry when they feel God is not speaking to them
        1. It could be that He is silently giving you time to think about what He has already said
        2. Maybe He wants you to contemplate before you act
  7. He's a Saving Servant (52:15; 53:11)
    1. The priests used to sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of the lamb sacrifice
    2. Signified the cleansing of sins
    3. Jesus would cleanse the sins of many nations
    4. Jesus would justify many people
      1. Many does not mean all
        1. Not all will be saved
        2. Many will be saved, but many won't
      2. Many will not admit they need a savior
        1. God has a big eraser, but you must first admit you have smudges
        2. So many people do not see their need for a substitute
  8. Closing
    1. It is embarrassing to be thought guilty when you're not
      1. It's worse to not think you're guilty when you are
      2. The vast majority of the human race lives like this
    2. Isaiah 53 answers the most important question ever asked: How can a sinner be made right with God so as to escape eternal punishment and live in heaven?
      1. The answer is by accepting the substitute: Jesus
      2. Until you admit you have a need and ask Him to do something about it, you're under the death sentence
      3. You only get to heaven by your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Figures referenced: D.L. Moody, Rabbi Rashi, Louis Slotin, Charles Spurgeon

Latin words: ecce homo

Cross references: Isaiah 42; 49; 50; Matthew 20:28; 26:63; 27:14, 32, 57-60; Mark 10:45; 14:61; 15:13-14, 21, 43-46; Luke 19:10; 23:9, 21, 26, 50-53; John 6:38; 8:46; 18:38; 19:1, 4-6, 15, 38-42; Acts 8:27-39; Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:6-7

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: prophecy, gospel, Servant Song, Servant, sinless, sin, vicarious atonement, substitution, silence, salvation, lamb, sacrifice, Savior, guilty



SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: An Empty Tomb; A Full Life
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:22-32

We have spent twelve weeks examining the remarkable nature of predictive prophecy. We’ve considered the chances of one person in history fulfilling the precise forecasts about the then-coming-Messiah made by the Old Testament prophets. The chances of over 300 predictions all coming true in one individual defies all the odds and challenges the willful unbelief of any detractor. Today, on this Easter Sunday, we especially rejoice that death has been conquered by the same predicted One whose life, death, and resurrection set Him apart from anyone else.

Connect Recap Notes: April 16, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "An Empty Tomb; A Full Life"
Text: Acts 2:22-32


We have spent twelve weeks examining the remarkable nature of predictive prophecy. We've considered the chances of one person in history fulfilling the precise forecasts about the coming Messiah made by the Old Testament prophets. The chances of over 300 predictions all coming true in one individual defies all the odds and challenges the willful unbelief of any detractor. On this Easter Sunday, Pastor Skip taught about the One to whom the prophecies point: the predicted life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  1. His Miraculous Life (v. 22)
  2. His Meaningful Death (v. 23)
  3. His Magnificent Resurrection (vv. 24-32)

His Miraculous Life
  1. It Was Evidence
  2. It Was Eminent
His Meaningful Death
  1. Human Plot: Jesus' death was different than anyone else's.
  2. Divine Plan: The resurrection was part of God's plan, a plot hatched in heaven.
His Magnificent Resurrection
  1. Predicted by David
  2. Fulfilled by Christ

Connect Up: Review the topics and prophecies discussed throughout this series. What do they tell you about the importance of prophecy as a means of pointing us to Christ? How does prophecy indicate that God has a plan for people?

Connect In: Jesus fulfilled these various prophecies: He was born of a virgin. He was born in Bethlehem. He was from the tribe of Judah. His ministry began in Galilee. He worked miracles. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. He was betrayed by a friend. He was sold for thirty pieces of silver. He was wounded and bruised. His hands and feet were pierced. He was crucified with thieves. His garments were torn and lots were cast for them. His bones were not broken. His side was pierced. He was buried in a rich man's tomb. He rose from the dead.
Of all the predictive prophecies, how does the resurrection put a cap on all of them? To help you internalize the various Old Testament prophecies surrounding Christ's resurrection, commit at least three prophecies to memory (see Psalm 16:9-11; 110:1; Isaiah 53:10). Take a moment to discuss these.

Connect Out: As you tell others about Christ's resurrection, you'll find that people will come to Christ. Remember these steps in your outreach and evangelism:
Pray for family and friends who don't know Christ.


  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus was only in the grave for part of three days before He rose from the dead
    2. In Acts 2, Peter gave his first recorded sermon
      1. 3,000 people were saved that day
      2. Message filled with hope
    3. Peter was a fisherman by trade
      1. One day, Jesus stepped into his life (see Matthew4:19; Mark 1:17)
      2. In hanging around Jesus, Peter's heart was filledwith hope
    4. Peter's hope was shattered when Jesus died on the cross
      1. Luke 24:21
      2. Peter went from an all-time high to an all-time low
    5. The resurrection moved Peter's life from hopeless living into a living hope (see 1 Peter 1:3)
    6. The subject of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 is Jesus
      1. He wanted to show that Jesus was no ordinary man
      2. Jesus was God's predicted Messiah
      3. Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies
  2. His Miraculous Life (v. 22)
    1. It Was Evidence
      1. Jesus' miracles got people's attention
      2. The New Testament records over thirty miracles Jesusperformed, suspending natural law and enacting supernatural force
        1. Jesus appealed to His own power (see John 3:2; 10:25; 14:11)
        2. The most bitter enemies Jesus had were forced to admit He had power (see John 11:47)
    2. It Was Eminent
      1. If Jesus could do those miracles, He could performthe greatest miracle of all: saving someone from their sin
      2. What greater miracle could there be than getting aperson from earth into heaven?
  3. His Meaningful Death (v. 23)
    1. It seems unimaginable that a Man like Jesus could even die
    2. Human Plot
      1. On one hand, the cross was a vicious plot
      2. Human responsibility
      3. Every person who has ever and will ever live isresponsible for Jesus' death
    3. Divine Plan
      1. On the other hand, the cross was a victorious plan
      2. Divine sovereignty—God purposed it
      3. God is also responsible for Jesus' death
        1. God predetermined this event
        2. It was part of His plan all along
      4. The Passover Plot
        1. States that Jesus' death and resurrection were staged
        2. States that Jesus did not die, but was placed in the tomb and Joseph of Arimathea nursed Him back to health
      5. Rather, it was a plot hatched in heaven by God
    4. Thoughts on Jesus' death
      1. It was a divine strategy (see Revelation 13:8)
      2. It was voluntary; Jesus chose to do it (see John10:11, 18)
      3. It was substitutionary; Jesus didn't die for His ownsin, but He died as a substitution for others (see Isaiah 53:6)
      4. It was necessary; it had to happen if the separationbetween man and God was to be removed (see Romans 5:10)
      5. Although it was God's plan from the very beginning,it does not make those who put Jesus on the cross less guilty
        1. They chose to shout, "Crucify Him!"
        2. Pilate chose to be persuaded by the crowds
        3. Everyone today has a choice of what to do with Jesus Christ
        4. If you are not for Jesus, you are against Him (see Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23)
      6. It was a victory; Jesus didn't stay dead
  4. His Magnificent Resurrection (vv. 24-32)
    1. Peter spoke about the resurrection for nine verses
      1. One verse about His life
      2. One verse about His death
      3. The resurrection is that important; it was the themeof Peter's sermon
      4. We celebrate Easter because without the resurrection,we are hopeless (see 1 Corinthians 15:19)
    2. Jesus could not be held by death
      1. The One who caused all things to exist cannot Himselfcease to exist
      2. Death cannot hold the Author of life
    3. Peter knew the Jews would reject Jesus as their Messiah because He died on the cross, so he demonstrated that Jesus rose from the dead as predicted by the prophets
    4. Predicted by David
      1. Psalm 16:8-11
      2. Peter didn't understand the meaning of this psalmuntil the resurrection
      3. David spoke as a prophet about the Messiah who wouldcome; not a personal story—a prophetic statement
    5. Fulfilled by Christ
      1. If Jesus' death was enough to save us from our sins,why did He need to rise again?
      2. There are only two ways for your body to not decay
        1. You never die
        2. You get raised from the dead
      3. If you can get resurrected, that means death has died
        1. When Jesus died, He conquered sin
        2. When Jesus rose, He conquered death
  5. Closing
    1. We have considered the odds of one man fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah
      1. The Bible prophesied hundreds of years in advanceabout the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah
      2. Other predictions
        1. He would be born of a virgin
        2. He would be born in Bethlehem
        3. He would come from the tribe of Judah
        4. His ministry would begin in Galilee
        5. He would work miracles
        6. He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey
        7. He would be betrayed by a friend
        8. He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver
        9. He would be wounded and bruised
        10. His hands and feet would be pierced
        11. He would be crucified next to thieves
        12. His garments would be torn and lots cast for them
        13. His bones would not be broken
        14. His side would be pierced
        15. He would be buried in a rich man's tomb
        16. He would rise from the dead
    2. We have discovered that it is impossible for those things to be humanly arranged
      1. In 100 billion years, there would be no chance forone person in history to fulfill all of those predictions apart from God
      2. There is no other way to explain the Bible's abilityto predict the future
    3. When Peter preached this sermon, Jesus was alive
      1. Many in the crowd were dead in their sin (seeEphesians 2:1)
      2. Peter and the other disciples were born again (seeJohn 3:3-8)
    4. Jesus wants to touch the deadness of our lives
      1. Even believers can get stale and stagnant over theyears
      2. God accepts us as we are
        1. We have to realize we are sinners (see Romans 3:23)
        2. We have to recognize that Jesus died for us in order to bridge the gap
        3. We have to repent of our sin
          1. Repent means to turn around
          2. Repentance is not just being sorry; it is being sorry enough to change
        4. We have to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior (see John 1:12)
        5. We should do it publically because Jesus called people publically (see Matthew 9:9; 10:32-33)
Figures referenced: Simon Greenleaf, Harry Houdini

Works referenced: The Passover Plot

Cross references: Psalm 16:8-11; Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 4:19; 9:9; 10:32-33; 12:30; Mark 1:17; Luke 11:23; 24:21; John 1:12; 3:2-8; 10:11, 18, 25; 11:47; 14:11; Acts 2; Romans 3:23; 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Ephesians 2:1; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 13:8

Topic: Resurrection

Keywords: Good Friday, Passover, crucifixion, cross, scourge, sin, death, wrath of God, good, substitution, remission, sacrifice, forgiveness, imprecatory psalms, Communion

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