The death by crucifixion of Jesus in the 1st century AD, including many details leading up to the event and specifics of His crucifixion story, were foretold in several books of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The passages appear primarily in the books of Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, and Zechariah, which were composed between about 1000 BC and 400 BC. Manuscript copies of these books from about 300-100 BC still exist today, demonstrating that the prophecies were recorded centuries before the death of Jesus in 33 AD (Scanlin, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Translations of the Old Testament). Numerous other prophecies relating to the birth, life, trial, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are also found in the Old Testament, but even an examination of those only about the death of Jesus communicate the Divine hand at work.
Before Jesus was taken to the place of execution for crucifixion, He suffered the scourging that usually preceded crucifixion in the Roman world, in addition to beatings, mockery, and spitting (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:26-30; John 19:1 etc.). Flogging prior to crucifixion was often so brutal that it severely disfigured the subject, and even killed some before they were placed on the cross (Psalm 22:17; Isaiah 52:14). While the flogging was carried out by the Roman soldiers, mockery and insults came from the soldiers, the religious leaders, the criminals, and people observing the execution (Psalm 22:7, 109:25; Matthew 27:27-44; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35). Crucifixion in the Roman period involved nailing the wrists (“hands”) and feet of the convicted to a wooden cross, which is what was predicted in Psalms and what occurred according to the Gospels (Psalms 22:16; Luke 24:39-40; John 20:20-27). After arriving at Golgotha, Jesus was crucified alongside two criminals and executed as a criminal himself (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38). Having nailed Jesus to the cross, the soldiers then divided the garments of Jesus among themselves (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23). Even while enduring great pain and approaching death on the cross, Jesus did not speak to defend Himself against the false accusations and mockery, but only to ask the Father to forgive them (Isaiah 53:7, 12; Matthew 27:12; Luke 23:34). During the crucifixion, the sky became dark in the sixth hour of the day until the ninth hour of the day (about 12-3pm), and the earth shook (Amos 8:7-10; Matthew 27:45-51). Hanging on the cross, Jesus would have suffered intense pain, dehydration, and a complete draining of his strength (Psalm 22:15; John 19:28). Not long before dying, Jesus exclaimed the famous words, in Aramaic, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). This was a quotation of part of a Psalm of David which contains many prophetic phrases related to the crucifixion of Jesus (Psalm 22:1-2). Hearing this and mistakenly thinking it was a cry for Elijah, one of the observers came up and offered Jesus wine vinegar on a sponge to drink (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:47-48). Due to the approach of the Sabbath, the soldiers were eventually ordered to make the convicts die quickly, which was carried out by breaking their legs. However, since Jesus already appeared to be dead, none of His bones were broken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33). Then, confirming that Jesus was actually dead, one of the Roman soldiers pierced His side with a spear (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34). The blood and water coming out after the spear jab may have been related to a cardiac rupture and the separation of plasma and erythrocytes after death, perhaps foretold as “my heart is like wax, it is melted within me” (Psalm 22:14). Finally, the corpse of Jesus was removed from the cross and buried in the tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27). The death of the Messiah/Christ, even specifying the year and the month in Nisan of 33 AD, was foretold by Daniel in the 6th century BC, when he wrote that the Messiah would be “cut off” 69 weeks of years (calibrated from the 360 day standard Hebrew calendar year) after the proclamation of Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26; Nehemiah 2:1-8). The death of Jesus has also been understood as a fulfillment of the protoevangelion (proto Gospel), which foretold that the Redeemer would be struck on the heel, an allusion to the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, but strike Satan on the head (Genesis 3:15).
Skeptics would no doubt claim that relating these Old Testament passages to the crucifixion of Jesus is merely reading into the text. While this may be a plausible explanation if it were only a few isolated and ambiguous quotations, it does not sufficiently explain the numerous details of the crucifixion story found in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. As a result, an accusation against the authors of the Gospels might be made, asserting that they wrote the story to follow various Old Testament passages. However, since Roman records also recount the crucifixion of Jesus, and the Gospel accounts perfectly match the protocols of crucifixion in the Roman period, it can be demonstrated that the narratives are historical. Therefore, the most logical explanation is that the prophecies about the death of the Savior and Messiah/Christ were actually fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus.