Summary: So many prophecies, so many witnesses, and yet no one spread the news.
The shopping is over, the packages have been opened, the real trees are wilting and only those returning gifts are in the malls. Perhaps they are even re-wrapping them to
re-gift any unwanted gifts to someone else next year.
Soon everything Christmas will be stored away until next year.
Is that all there is? I sure hope not!
Too many today also put Jesus away with all the decorations - at least until Easter
With all the hustle and bustle we often miss exactly what we are celebrating this time of year. The advent of Messiah!
Clearly Jesus was not born on December 25th in Israel. The early Christians took a pagan holiday called the winter solstice and made it their own. They transformed it from a pagan festival to a celebration of the long awaited Messiah.
The date is not important, what’s important is who we celebrate.
It had been over 4000 years from the first promise until the fulfillment of Messiah’s birth
Genesis 3:14-15 (NASB)
14 The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity between you 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."
From that day, Gods people looked for a redeemer who would crush the enemies head and redeem His people from their fallen state. This seed of The woman would deal a head blow or a fatal wound to Satan but it would not come without a price. He Himself would also be wounded.
God would, over time give more and more hints as to when this anointed one would come
Isaiah 7:1 (NASB)
1 Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it.
Ahaz was the King of Judah, the southern part of the kingdom split because of Israel’s disobedient Kings. And the king of Israel in the Northern Kingdom and Rezin the King of Aram came up to destroy Judah and Jerusalem. Ahaz was afraid and anxious, but God sent Isaiah to King Ahaz with a prophecy meant to reassure him.
Isaiah 7:14 (NASB)
14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel.
Historically if we follow this prophecy to it’s immediate fulfillment we see that the Hebrew and the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT, have the definite article “The Virgin” and not “a virgin” in the same way Genesis 3 has the definite article, I will put enmity between you and “The Woman”. A specific woman was in mind here.
Later Jews of the first century and ever since have tried to change the meaning of the word “almah”. They claim it only means a young girl. It can admittedly mean either a young maiden or a literal virgin. But this was to be a sign from God and the mere birth of a child from a young woman does not meet that requirement and so the later literal is a better translation. A young woman having a baby is anything but uncommon or miraculous
The Holy Spirit shows us its fulfillment in
Luke 1:26-38 (NASB)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you."
29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.
30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.