Now that we know we are all in desperate need of a Savior (see week 1 here), how do we know who that Savior is? Knowing there would be many false prophets and those who would lead people away from the truth, God established in His Word prophecies to clearly identify who that Savior would be.
As we anticipate Christmas and remember the birth of Christ, it's important to know that there is no doubt Jesus is this Savior. God gave us more than 300 prophecies spanning thousands of years in the Old Testament about the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled them all. There is no denying that the fulfillment of these numerous prophecies makes him the Messiah. No one has or could meet them!
Let's take a look at some of the prophecies surrounding the birth of the Savior:
- From the line of Judah (Genesis 49:10) - when Jacob is pronouncing blessings over his sons, as he speaks to Judah the prophecy is made that the King would come from the line of Judah.
- From the family of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:1, Isaiah 11:1 & 10) - the Messiah would come from the family of Jesse of Bethlehem.
- From King David (Isaiah 9:6-7, 2 Samuel 7:12-16) - He would be a descendant of King David. Joseph, the man who raised Jesus, was from the line of David. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 1:1
- Before him would come a forerunner (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1) - There would be a man that would make way by proclaiming that the Savior was coming. This man was be John the Baptist. --> Fulfilled in Mark 1:2-4, Matthew 3:1-3
- Born from a virgin (Isaiah 7:13-14) - Mary conceived a child by the Holy Spirit and thus Jesus was born from a virgin. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:25-36
- Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2-3) - Joseph, who married Mary and would raise Jesus, had to return to Bethlehem for a census. Jesus was born here, in the town of Bethlehem. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 2:1-6, Luke 2:1-7
- A star would announce his birth (Numbers 24:17) - The wise men saw a star in the sky that they followed to find Jesus after his birth. These wise men were most likely astrologers who studied the sky and when they saw something that clearly wasn't natural but was certainly divine, they traveled to see the Messiah with their own eyes. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 2:1-2
There are a few to note within his early years:
- Children would be massacred in the place the Messiah was born (Jeremiah 31:15) - When Herod heard from the wise men that a king had been born and the wise men didn't return to tell him where that child was, Herod had all boys under the age of 2 around Bethlehem killed. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 2:16-18
- The Messiah would spend time in Egypt (Hosea 11:1) - An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt so that the child's life would be spared during the massacre. Jesus spent his early years in Egypt. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 2:13-15
- He would be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1) - When Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph again and the family went to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. --> Fulfilled in Matthew 2:19-23
There are many more prophecies surrounding the Messiah but these few paint a picture that points specifically to Jesus. Not merely dated words in the Old Testament but vibrant details highlighting the most significant event in human history. In fact, the earth and all its inhabitants yearned for the birth of a Savior. There was an eager anticipation.
Do you have an eager anticipation to celebrate and remember this event? This moment that changed your life and eternity?