Tis the season to think - prophecy and the Jesus of Christmas
12/11/2016 11:56:25 PM
Prophecy is evidence for belief
Tis the season to think – prophecy and the Jesus of Christmas. 2016.
Jesus Christ … some believed, some did not. That has not changed--some believe, some do not. Seems it has been that way from the start right up until the present day. Many want evidence. They had it then, and we have even more now!
Evidence? The Tanakh/Old Testament was full of prophecies about the coming of Jesus, which made for a roadmap of a sort to the Messiah. Keep in mind that the Old Testament was completed by 450 B.C., meaning the prophecies about Jesus were written hundreds of years before his birth. Christ himself referred to searching the scriptures for the prophecies about him1.
Searching the scriptures, looking at these prophecies not only provides evidence for the perfectly-planned birth of the Son of God, but evidence for the truth of Scripture itself. When Paul said the Word of God is God-breathed2, divinely inspired, there is no doubt.
God spoke through Micah, Isaiah, Zechariah, and others to prepare mankind for the Messiah's birth. Look at what God said about prophecy: “I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say, "My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them."3 Powerful!
And Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”4
When Jesus Christ was born, He was the fulfillment of about 60 major prophecies concerning the Messiah . . . promises given to God's people.
Christianity rides on the fulfillment of these prophecies in our Lord. Is Scripture reliable? Was Jesus who He claimed to be?
Consider just eight of the prophecies about the Messiah~
that he would be:
-born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 - written some 700 years before the birth of Jesus. “But you, Bethlehem...out of you shall come forth the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
fulfillment: Luke 2:4- 7a - “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”
-preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist) Isaiah 40:3 – “A voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord...'
fulfillment: Matthew 3:1-2 - In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near…”
-Would enter Jerusalem on a donkey Zechariah 9:9 - Your King is coming to you...lowly and riding on a donkey...
fulfillment: Matthew 21:6-11- The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
-Betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:9 - Even my familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
fulfillment: Matthew 10:4 – “…Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
-Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 - 'if it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.' So they weighed out for my wages 30 pieces of silver.
fulfillment: Matthew 26:15 - “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.”
-Money thrown down, used to buy a potter's field Zechariah 11:13 – “I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.”
fulfillment: Matthew 27:5, 27:7
-Dumb before His accusers Isaiah 53:7 - He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.
fulfillment: Matthew 27:12 – “When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.”
-Hands and feet pierced Psalm 22:16 - They pierced my hands and feet
fulfillment: Luke 23:33 – “When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.”
**this was not the way of execution at the time this prophecy was written; crucifixion came in with Roman rule
Powerful prophecy … fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. The chance that any man might have lived and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th--1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.5
When God breathes a prophecy, he does not break his promise.
1 – John 5.39
2 – 2 Timothy 3.16
3 – Isaiah 48.3,5
4 - Matthew 5:17
5 - Science Speaks, Peter Stoner