Summary: First in a four part Advent Series following the prophecies of Messiah’s coming to build anticipating for Christmas.
“The PERSON of Messiah” Who Is He?
Advent means arrival, start, coming, beginning, dawn. Christmas commemorates the first advent of Jesus Christ. Every Jew and many Gentiles looked forward to the coming of the Messiah promised all through the Hebrew Scriptures. God imbedded details of His Son’s person and work from Genesis to Malachi. We call them Messianic Prophecies or prophecies related to Messiah’s coming. They begin with general statements and progress to some very specific details regarding His person, practice, purpose, passion and even the period and place He would arrive. We will take the next four weeks exploring many of those prophetic passages in anticipation of celebrating Jesus’ coming to this earth the first time. We will try to view it as did those who lived at that time. The prophecies provided pertinent clues in answer to the basic questions anyone asks.
Who, What, Why, How, When, Where?
Who is He? (Person)
What will He do? (Practice)
Why Is He coming? (Purpose)
How will He help us? (Passion)
When is He coming? (Period)
Where will He come? (Place)
Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the darkness of sin descended upon the earth.
Adam surrendered his rule over the earth to the evil one.
Scripture calls Satan the “Prince of the power of the air.” (Eph 2)
Jesus called Satan the “Ruler of this Word.” John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11
John reminded his readers that the whole world remained in Satan’s grasp. 1 John 5:19
You can trace the devastation of his ruinous rule all through human history. Sin and death have reigned from the time of Adam because Satan rules and reigns. However, God promised deliverance from the time of sin’s entrance on the scene.
And I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." Genesis 3:15
The “seed” here is singular in reference to a particular person. From that moment on, Satan worked tirelessly to prevent the arrival of that promised destroyer; that crusher of his head.
Eve thought deliverance would come through her first born Cain. Oops! As the prophecies became more specific, Satan’s tactics became more focused. Sin and darkness descended.
Mankind was in desperate need of light. Mankind anxiously awaited the promised deliverer.
God graciously extended hope and light as history arrived at the right time.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:2
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
The Jews looked for Messiah for hundreds of years. This glorious hope was passed from generation to generation. They anticipated a deliverer. They looked for a King who would not only deliver them, but rule the entire world. At the time of Christ’s coming, God had not spoken any new words for the past 400 years. They relied upon what had already been written. In the midst of oppressive Roman rule, new longings for deliverance stirred within them. Some did the divine math of Daniel’s 70 weeks and followed the symbolism of the image playing out in history. A heightened anticipation permeated the land. Now is the time for salvation. But who were they expecting? There are over 300 prophecies concerning Jesus in the Old Testament.
Jesus Himself traced Himself through the Scriptures.
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:27
Some have minimized the wonder of the fulfilled prophecies concerning Christ by asserting that He was just a man who orchestrated their fulfillment. One cursory examination of the specific prophecies is sufficient to completely dismantle that argument. Most of the prophecies related to things outside the control of any individual person.
I.e. Heritage, place of birth, reaction of people, mode of death, betrayal, burial
Besides, all these prophecies were written long before the birth of Christ and came to pass long after the death of the prophet. Neither the prophet nor the one prophesied had any control over the fulfillment. One could study these prophecies book by book in Biblical order or topically.
I have chosen to explore them topically. They relate to His person, His practice (work), His passion, His purpose.
What kind of deliverer did God promise? Who would He be? There were prophecies related to His connection to both God and Man.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; Isaiah 9:6