Saturday, December 17, 2011

Was Jesus Birth Really Planned or a Random Happening?

Christmas is coming! 
One week and it’s here. I’ve barely begun my shopping, just mailed out a few gifts yesterday, and we’re signing our Christmas cards today. I’m a little behind, but my kids are home from college and I’m happy! As I think about Christ’s birthday, I’m reminded it was not some random happening. He was planned and his arrival was an intentional act of God.

Prophecies of the Bible ~
The Old Testament portion of the Bible holds the history of mankind before Christ was born. During those years, God spoke through his prophets. They shared messages of repentance (calling people to obey the Law given through Moses). They also shared messages of restoration and prophecies about the coming Messiah. Here are a few to treasure in your heart. I've also included scripture from the New Testament (after the birth of Christ) that are a fulfillment of prophecies in the Old.

If you have an Advent calendar like mine where you fill the little boxes, you could print these and other prophecies and put them in the daily boxes for your kids.

He will be born of a virgin . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “Therefore the Lord
himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel
(God with us).”
Isaiah 7:14

New Testament Fulfillment: “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18-23

A child will be born . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “For unto us a child is born . . . he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God . . .”
Isaiah 9:6

New Testament Fulfillment: “Today in the town of
David a Saviour has been born to you; 
he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

He will be born in the town of Bethlehem and will be from the tribe of Judah . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “But you,
Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small
among the clan of Judah, out of you will come
for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose
origins are from of old, from ancient times . . .”
Micah 5:2-5

New Testament Fulfillment: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, 
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” Matthew 2:1-6

“For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah . . .” Hebrews 7:14

Kings will bring him gifts and fall down and worship him . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “The kings of Tarshish
and of distant shores will bring tribute to him;
the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.”
Psalm 72:10

New Testament Fulfillment: “After Jesus was born
 in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, 
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem . . . 
On coming to the house, they saw the child
 with his mother Mary, and they bowed down
 and worshipped him. They opened their treasures
 and presented him with gifts of gold
 and of incense and of myrrh. Matthew 2:1-11

He will be a descendant of Abraham . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “I will make you (Abraham)
exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you,
and kings will come forth from you. I will establish 
My covenant between Me and you and your 
descendants after you throughout their 
generations for an everlasting covenant, 
to be God to you and to your descendants after you.” 
Genesis 17:6-7

“But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear
you a son; and you shall call his name Isaac,
and I will establish My covenant with him
for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” Genesis 17:19

New Testament Fulfillment: “So all the generations
 from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;
 from David to the deportation to Babylon,
 fourteen generations; and from the
 deportation to Babylon to the Messiah,
 fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:17

He will be a Shepherd to his people . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “Behold, the Lord God
will come with might, with His arm ruling for
Him . . . Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
in His arm He will gather the lambs and
carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”
Isaiah 40:10-11

New Testament Fulfillment: “I am the good shepherd;
 the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
 John 10:11

God shall dwell among his people . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “Sing for joy and be glad,
O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will
dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord.” 
Zechariah 2:10

New Testament Fulfillment: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
 glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
 full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The Messiah will come to crush Satan . . .

Old Testament Prophecy: “So the Lord God 
said to the serpent (Satan) . . . “And I will put enmity 
between you and the woman, and between
your offspring and hers; He will crush your head,
and you will strike His heel.” 
Genesis 3:14-15

New Testament Fulfillment: “Since the children
 have flesh and blood, he too shared in their
 humanity so that by his death he might
 destroy him who holds the power of death . . . 
that is, the devil.”
 Hebrews 2:14

“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because
 the devil has been sinning from the beginning.
 The reason the Son of God appeared
 was to destroy the devil’s work.”
 1 John 3:8

Some of these prophecies are as far as 1200 years before the birth of Jesus. Things happened just as God said they would. 2000+ years after his birth, these prophecies (and others) give us tremendous confidence in the fact that scripture is the true word of God, and that God made sure those he communicated his messages to recorded them correctly. We also know we can trust him to keep his promises. He sent his son to save the world - not to condemn it - just as he said he would.

Keep Christ in your season . . .