Bible Prophecy and You: Christ’s First Coming Was Prophesied in Detail!

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Christ’s First Coming Was Prophesied in Detail!

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Bible Prophecy and You: Christ’s First Coming Was Prophesied in Detail!

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Welcome to the sixth lesson in the “Bible Prophecy and You” series.

Bible prophecies foretold—in remarkable detail—the two greatest world events, one in the past and one in the future. Those events are the first coming of Jesus Christ and His second coming! This lesson focuses on His first coming, “the greatest story ever told.”

Many details of His miraculous and marvelous birth, life, death and resurrection were foretold in prophecies sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. This lesson will point out some of those prophecies and their fulfillments and hopefully whet your appetite to notice more and more as you continue your study of the Bible.

Consider this quote from our study guide Jesus Christ: The Real Story : “The New Testament writers cite messianic prophecies from the Old Testament more than 130 times. By some estimates the Old Testament contains 300 prophetic passages that describe who the Messiah is and what He will do. Of these, 60 are major prophecies. What are the chances of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person?”

The answer? The chances are staggeringly remote —to the point of eliminating the possibility of mere coincidence.

The fulfillment of all the Bible prophecies regarding Jesus’ life, death and resurrection proved absolutely that He was the promised Messiah, Son of God and “Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14 1 John 4:14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
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).

The Bible foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ more than 1,800 years in advance in the true story of Abraham and his son Isaac.

Abraham loved his son Isaac as much as any parent could love a child. Abraham and his wife Sarah had longed for a child, but Sarah was “barren”—unable to conceive. However, God promised them that they would have descendants, and after a 25-year-long wait, when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, they had a son together whom they named Isaac. This miraculous birth to a woman long past the age for childbearing was a forerunner of the future miraculous divine conception of the Word, Jesus Christ, in the womb of a virgin, Mary (John 1:1-2 John 1:1-2 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
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, 14).

Then when their son was older, God shocked Abraham with a command to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering at the top of a mountain in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:2 Genesis 22:2And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.
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), which was apparently later the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 3:1 2 Chronicles 3:1Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared to David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
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). God was testing Abraham’s faith and obedience and giving us a picture of what He Himself would go through in giving His Son for us. As grief-stricken as Abraham was, he agreed to carry out God’s command because he believed that God would resurrect Isaac to fulfill His promises regarding descendants.

The journey to Moriah lasted three days, so in Abraham’s mind, his son was as good as dead for three days. Isaac could have resisted but apparently did not. At the last second, God stopped Abraham from slaying Isaac. Abraham’s faith had been proven. As a substitute for Isaac, God provided a ram.

The willingness of Abraham and Isaac to carry out God’s command illustrates the willingness of God the Father and His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice because of their love for the whole world. The substitution of the ram was a type of Jesus suffering the death penalty in our place. And the sparing of Isaac was a forerunner of Jesus’ escaping the grave through His resurrection from the dead. See Genesis 22 and Hebrews 11:17-19 Hebrews 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
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. This poignant story gives us a deeper appreciation and empathy for the sacrifice the Father and Son made for all of us.

The essential purposes for Christ’s first coming

The Heavenly Father and the Son, also called the Word, are both God (John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
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). They planned “before the foundation of the world” that the Word would one day temporarily give up His glory and power in heaven, be born as a human being and set a perfect example for mankind of how to live a godly life (1 Peter 1:20 1 Peter 1:20Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
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; John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
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; Philippians 2:5-11 Philippians 2:5-11 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. 9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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; 1 John 2:4-6 1 John 2:4-6 4 He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
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).

Jesus revealed God’s amazing plan for enabling human beings to have their sins forgiven and, on repentance and faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, receive God’s Spirit as a down payment on eternal life as God’s children in the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:14-17 Romans 8:14-17 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
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). Jesus then allowed Himself, God in the flesh, to suffer and be put to death to pay the penalty of sin for all (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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; Romans 5:6-10 Romans 5:6-10 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
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).

His resurrection and return to former glory in heaven were the final proofs that He was God and had become mankind’s Mediator, Lord and Savior (1 Timothy 2:5 1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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; Acts 5:30-31 Acts 5:30-31 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
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; 2 Peter 1:11 2 Peter 1:11For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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). In fact, the entire Bible points directly and indirectly to the past, present and future work of Jesus Christ.

Let’s now take note of several important prophecies and their fulfillments.

Was the Messiah to be a descendant of King David?

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 11:1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
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).

“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth’” (Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:5Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
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).

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham …” (Matthew 1:1 Matthew 1:1The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
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).

Note that Jesse, mentioned in Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 11:1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
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, was the father of Israel’s greatest human king, David. During Jesus’ ministry, some people quickly became convinced that He was the promised “son of David.” Then during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem several days before He was crucified, “the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’” (Matthew 21:9 Matthew 21:9And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
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).

Was the Messiah to come from Bethlehem?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 Micah 5:2But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
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).

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem …” (Matthew 2:1 Matthew 2:1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
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There were two Bethlehems, one south of Jerusalem in the region of Ephrathah in Judea and the other to the north, in the region of the biblical tribe of Zebulun. But Micah’s prophecy is clear. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, as Micah foretold.

Would the Messiah be born of a virgin mother?

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [meaning “God With Us”]” (Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
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).

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’ But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’

“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:26-35 Luke 1:26-35 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.
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).

An angel appeared first to Mary to tell her that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit. The angel appeared later to Joseph to explain to him that Mary’s conception was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Matthew 1:20-23 Matthew 1:20-23 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
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).

Did the biblical sacrifices point prophetically to Jesus’ sacrifice?

“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12 Hebrews 9:11-12 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
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).

“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God …” (Hebrews 10:11-12 Hebrews 10:11-12 11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
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).

The book of Hebrews explains how the animal sacrifices and temple rituals required of ancient Israel were a physical type of the perfect sacrifice of Christ. They pointed to the coming “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
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). The sacrifice of the Passover lamb dramatically pointed to “Christ, our Passover [who] was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
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As a fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus died on the very day of Passover. The lamb’s blood on the doorposts of the Israelites’ houses symbolized the shed blood of Christ who died so we can be forgiven and saved (Romans 5:9 Romans 5:9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
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Would the Messiah be crucified?

“For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet” (Psalms 22:16 Psalms 22:16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
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“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left” (Luke 23:33 Luke 23:33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
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“The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe’ … Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing’” (John 20:25 John 20:25The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the LORD. But he said to them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
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; John 20:27 John 20:27Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
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).

Crucifixion is the only form of execution likely to cause a piercing of hands and feet. Yet amazingly, this prophecy was written almost 900 years before the Romans started using crucifixion for condemned criminals!

Would any of the Messiah’s bones be broken?

“He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken” (Psalms 34:20 Psalms 34:20He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.
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“But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs … For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’” (John 19:32-33 John 19:32-33 32 Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs:
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; John 19:36 John 19:36For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
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).

In spite of all the brutal and cruel torment that Jesus received, God made sure that, to fulfill this prophecy, none of His bones were broken!

Would the Messiah be betrayed by a trusted friend for 30 pieces of silver?

“Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalms 41:9 Psalms 41:9Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
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).

“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12 Zechariah 11:12And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
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).

When Jesus indicated it was Judas Iscariot who would betray Him, He said this was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalms 41:9 Psalms 41:9Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
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(John 13:18 John 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.
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; John 13:26 John 13:26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
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). And Judas was indeed paid 30 pieces of silver for his traitorous act (Matthew 26:14-15 Matthew 26:14-15 14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
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).

In fact, no fewer than 29 prophecies were fulfilled in the 24-hour period leading up to Jesus’ death. In a sermon by the apostle Peter, he said, “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18 Acts 3:18But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled.
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).

Apply Now

Consider that with all the prophecies of His own suffering and death, Jesus knew in detail what He would have to go through. No wonder He prayed in Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
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, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:44 Luke 22:44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
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explains that “His sweat became like great drops of blood” through the mental agony He experienced. Yet He was willing to do all this to pay for your sins so you can be forgiven and receive God’s gift of eternal life!

Read Acts 2:36-38 Acts 2:36-38 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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and consider the response God wants from you for that great sacrifice. Read what Peter, speaking under the inspiration of God, told them (and us) to do. Take time today to talk with God about Christ’s sacrifice and what He expects you to do. We also encourage you to read our free study guide Jesus Christ: The Real Story .