Summary: A look at the 8 prophecies of the Christmas Story.
-I want us to do something a little different today. I think if I asked you to most of you could tell me the Christmas story pretty much without a problem. So I want to look at it from the other side of the coin.
-here’s a simple fact: God plans ahead. There were prophecies about Jesus before He was born, and today I thought we’d look at those so you can kind of see how that all worked together when Jesus was born.
**Acts. 3:18 -> 18But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that He must suffer these things. (NLT)
-now there are about fifty prophecies about the Messiah coming, not just His birth but how He’d live, miracles, etc. So what are the odds of that happening? I mean, how do we know that Jesus wasn’t just a fluke and happened to fulfill those prophecies?
-well, there was a guy who calculated what the odds were for just eight prophecies about Jesus to come true, what the odds were of it just happening.
-so the probability of just eight prophecies is this [SHOW #], one in one hundred million billion (or one hundred quadrillion). In all of human history, we haven’t even had that many people on the planet yet!
-now that’s a big number, so let’s see if we can make it a little more easy to understand. Imagine you had one hundred million billion silver dollars. That would be enough to cover the entire state of Texas two feet deep (those who went to Mexico, remember driving through Texas). Now let’s say you marked one of those silver dollars. What are the odds that you would walk into Texas blindfolded and find it on your first try? That’s the odds of just eight prophecies of the Messiah being fulfilled. That’s one big coincidence.
-now just wait. Mathematician Peter W. Stoner decided if that was true for eight, what are the odds of forty-eight prophecies coming true? Here’s the number [SHOW #]. From our knowledge, that’s a bigger number than there are atoms in the universe (but we may not have found some atoms yet…)
-and to clarify, we won’t go through every single prophecy because, well, that would take us days. We’re going to focus on Christmas ones (and not even all of them), because, well, it’s Christmas.
SON OF JACOB
-this basically means that the Messiah would be Jewish. Makes sense for the Savior of the Jewish people to be Jewish.
-this one actually comes from Balaam, the guy who had the talking donkey (remember that one?). He was a prophet and said this:
**Nu. 24:17a -> 17I see someone who will come someday, someone who will come, but not soon. A Star will come from Jacob; a Ruler will rise from Israel. (NCV)
-Balaam was saying that one day there will be a Savior coming to save Israel, someone from the descendants of Jacob, who was later named Israel (remember the fight with the angel?).
-so where does it say that about Jesus?
**Matt. 1:5-16 -> 5From Abraham to King David, the following ancestors are listed: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers; then Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David. 11From David to the time when the people of Israel were taken into exile in Babylon, the following ancestors are listed: David, Solomon (his mother was the woman who had been Uriah’s wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers. 16From the time after the exile in Babylon to the birth of Jesus, the following ancestors are listed: Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, who married Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called the Messiah. (GNT)
-that’s the abridged version (why I chose that translation, less begetting). But it’s true, Jesus was Jewish. He was a son of Jacob.
-so that narrows it down a little, but there are still a lot of people who are Jewish, what about a little more prophecy?
FROM THE HOUSE OF DAVID
-remember, the Messiah needed to be king. To be a king you have to be a descendant of a king, part of the royal family. So where was that prophesied?
**Jer. 23:5-6 -> 5“For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. 6And this will be His name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. (NLT)