Christmas In Prophecy

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that Jesus Christ is divine. Fulfilled prophecies of Christ’s first coming are proof positive that the prophecies of his second coming will also be fulfilled.

Consider the prophetic Timing of his birth.

In Genesis 49:10 we see Jacob old and frail on his death bed. He is the father of the 12-tribes of Israel. Next to him is his son Judah to whom he prophecies, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” Shiloh refers to the coming Messiah. Scepter refers to Israel’s judicial power to carry out the death penalty. The amazing fulfillment of prophecy here is that after the death of Herod the Great around 7 AD the Romans removed the power of the death penalty from Judah (Israel) and it became the prerogative of Rome alone. Had Jesus been put on trial before Herod’s death he would have been trialed and stoned by the Jews and not crucified by the Romans. How precise was the timing of our Lord’s death.

Consider the prophetic Place of his birth.

Five hundred years before his birth the prophet Micah marked the precise place of Jesus birth. “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” (Matthew 2:1). But to make the prophecy even more astounding is that there were two Bethlehem’s in Jesus day. There was a Bethlehem up north by the Sea of Galilee and Bethlehem down south by the Dead Sea. Which one would it be? But Micah nailed it perfectly, He said it would be in Bethlehem, Ephrathah.

Consider the prophetic Nature of his birth.

The child born in Bethlehem on that first Christmas day was both God and man, both human and divine. Daniel prophesied his humanity six hundred years before his birth. He referred to him as “the Son of man” (Daniel 7:13). Isaiah emphasized his deity. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

To push the prophetic time clock even further back, God himself in the Garden of Eden told Satan that he would defeat him by one born of “the seed of a woman” (Genesis 3:15). This is a direct reference to the virgin birth of Christ. Isaiah prophesied Amen to this where he said, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Immanuel means, “God with us.” Jesus was the God-man (Isaiah 7:14).

Six hundred years after Isaiah an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah and told Joseph her husband that he was to name him Jesus. Jesus, meaning, “God’s Salvation” (Matthew 1:21).

Other details prophesied about the Messiah’s birth included the presentation of gifts to Him by kings (Psalm 72:10-11 and Matthew 2:1-12), the slaughter of the infants of His birthplace (Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:16), and His sojourn in Egypt (Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:11-15).

Consider the prophetic Songs of his Relatives.

Mary prophesied in her Annunciation that the coming of the Messian was evidence that God was a merciful God. “And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty” (Luke 1:50-53).

Her relative Zacharias sang a prophetic song of celebration saying of the coming Messiah, “Through the tender mercy of our God With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).

The prophetic song of the Angel that appeared to the Shepherds of Bethlehem announcing Joy to the world for the Lord has come. “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a ]manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill[b] toward men! (Luke 2:10-14)

And who can forget Simeon to whom the Lord revealed that he would not see death until he saw the birth of the Messiah. Who can measure the joy he felt when he looked into the arms of Mary and had his first glimpse of the Messiah. What joy filled his soul when Joseph allowed him to pick up baby Jesus in his arms and bless him. Did purer eyes ever meet? Were more hopeful words ever spoken. “My eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples — a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).

The fulfillment of every Christmas prophecy gives us the assurance that we can rest in the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. That he who came the first time will come again and rule the world in peace and prosperity.

“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!”

A Blessed Christmas to you and all your family,

Pastor Robert Bryant