Summary: They all pointed to Him. Those prophets of the Old Testament were seeing something they couldn’t figure out, but longed to understand.
When is the last time you saw something about to happen and you knew it would? At that moment, you were looking into the future and seeing the outcome of events that were yet to take place. God has made us spiritual creatures like himself. We make plans, we set goals, we write out our schedules and carry our calendars, and without these plans, life as we know it would be a mess. (Do you have a Christmas list yet?) We depend on the past and look toward the future to live in the present and make meaning of it. Who we are right now is all caught up in who we have been in our past. Where we go from here is all caught up in the direction and momentum of our lives and the choices we will make. But only God can see from one end of time to the other and know it completely. And only God has the power to control and determine the ultimate future. And He has created us in such a way that each of us has power to choose our eternal destiny. Jesus coming was part of the plan to make this possible for us.
As we introduce Luke’s gospel and begin this series of lessons about Jesus, we first need to lay the ground work of the gospel by surveying the prophecies of Jesus’ coming.
Of the four gospel accounts, Luke gives us the fullest picture of those people and relationships surrounding his birth. But the story doesn’t start here. God had been pointing to this historic event by prophecy for a long time before it ever came. He saw it. He made it happen.
God is a planner. Would you like to see his calendar? As we look through the scriptures he has shown us some of it. Prophecy is the way he reveals his plan and power over the future. Today we look back into the pages of the Old Testament and see how God planned and proclaimed Jesus coming so that when Jesus was born we could know who he was. That’s why the early Christians used the Old Testament scriptures to prove that Jesus is the Christ.
Just listen to some of the prophets of old who lived centuries before Jesus birth and hear the ring of prophecy about the one to come…
Zech 2: 10 "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the LORD.
11 "And many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
Micah 5: 2 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity."
3 Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel.
4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 9:1 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.
In verses 6-8 we read: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…
Later in Isaiah, God rebukes Israel for consulting idols instead of listening to him and God points out that all their idols are mute and worthless and that he is the only one who can tell them what will happen.
Isaiah 41: 21 "Present your case," says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob’s King.
22 "Bring in your idols to tell us what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come,
23 tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.