In a very real sense, Christmas is about promises. Importantly, they are promises that were made thousands of years before God finally fulfilled them. The Old Testament predicts the coming of Christ thousands of years before He was born. And, just like always, God came through. Today, as we approach the Christmas season, we are going to examine some of the promises in the Bible Christ fulfilled by coming to earth.
The very first prophecy Christ fulfilled comes from Genesis. When God is pronouncing the curse on the serpent, he mixes in a promise. “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15). This seed of the woman talked about in these verses was further clarified in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The seed of the woman would be the woman’s alone, something fulfilled in Luke one when Mary protests she can’t be pregnant, she’s still a virgin. The angel responds “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Clearly this was a miracle, and a fulfilled prophecy from the Old Testament
This is far from the only prophecy Jesus fulfilled of course. Abraham was promised that, through his seed, all the nations of the earth would be blessed in Genesis 22:18 “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”. Obviously the coming of a Messiah to save His people from their sins counts as that blessing. Further, in Numbers, the Messiah coming was spoken of as a future scepter coming out of Israel. Further, in the same verse, Numbers 24:17, we see the first hint of the Christmas star. “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel….” These things were fulfilled in the coming of Christ the King, announced by a miraculous star.
In Micah 5:2, we are told Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” This fits well with the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-13 “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” While part of this prophecy also applied to Solomon, the primary purpose was to promise David the Messiah would come through his lineage. Bethlehem, as most know now, was David’s hometown and was known as the city of David. We are told in the Gospels that Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem because of taxation. Thus the Son of God was born exactly where He was foretold to be, even though His parents did not live there.
These are just a small sampling of the promises made in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled by being born. God always keeps the promises He makes. And that, is something worth celebrating this Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas!
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