Christmas Prophecies Part 1
Did you know many Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled at Christmas? The details of these fulfilled prophecies help provide much evidence in support of our Christian faith.
Prediction 1: Born of a Woman
The earliest prediction related to the coming of Jesus as the Messiah is found in the first book of the Bible—Genesis. In Genesis 3:15, God promises, “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.”
What does this mean? In His judgment on the serpent (Satan), God promised one would come who would crush Satan’s power. Despite Satan’s ability to introduce sin to humanity, his power would one day be overcome by a son born of a woman.
In Galatians 4:4, the apostle Paul explains this fulfillment, stating, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Jesus is the one who was the predicted son “born of a woman.”
Prediction 2: Born of a Virgin
One of the strongest prophecies related to the birth of Jesus is that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14 predicted approximately 700 years before His birth, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Some have argued the word translated “virgin” in this verse refers merely to a “young woman.” While the Hebrew word can be translated either way, the Greek translation of Isaiah, made long before the birth Jesus, uses a word specifically translated virgin. Those living in the time Isaiah was translated into Greek and in the time of Jesus understood this passage as referring to a person born of a virgin.
In Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:34-37, the birth of Jesus clearly took place through the Holy Spirit conceiving the baby within Mary’s womb. This work was a direct fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Matthew 1:22-23 specifically notes, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”
Prediction 3: The Son of God
Matthew’s Gospel regularly refers to Jesus as God’s Son. In Matthew 3:17 at the baptism of Jesus, the voice of God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” The Messiah, Jesus, was and is the Son of God.
The Old Testament referred to the Messiah as God’s Son in Psalm 2:7. God said, “You are my son; today I have become your father.”
Prediction 4: Born in Bethlehem
Matthew 2:3-6 includes the passage with the wise men and Herod. We read:
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
This prediction is found in Micah 5:2-4. There were two places known as Bethlehem during Micah’s time. Micah specifically referred to Bethlehem in Judah as the location of the Messiah’s birth. Further, this Messiah would become the shepherd (meaning the leader) of Israel. When Jesus is later put to death, the sign posted over His head calls Him the King of the Jews.
A Few Among Many
These are only four of numerous prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. The chances that some of these predictions would come true are beyond comprehension, such as the virgin birth and naming the exact town where the Messiah would be born.
Today, we can look back at how God has revealed the future and fulfilled it in a way those living in Jesus’ time could not. We recognize God’s plan continues to unfold, pointing to the future day when all His people live with Him for eternity.
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