Summary: The coming of Christ: The Prophets foretold it, history proves it, your life confirms it.
The Prophets foretold it
Are you a history buff?
Many people hate history. But we forget that we can learn a great deal from history.
We home school our two youngest boys. I teach history. It can be daunting, from memorizing all the names and dates, but if you get past that, you realize there are real good lessons to be learned from history. Some of them are fun, for instance. P.T. Barnum is credited as saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” If you look at history, he didn’t say it.
When I was a kid, I wondered why the United Kingdom was the only country part of the European continent that spoke English. If you look at history, you’ll find that you need to throw, the Germanic, Anlo, Saxon, Roman, Latin, Greek, and few more languages into a pot, mix it up and out comes English.
Which sort of brings me back to my original question, “What is a history buff?”
Buff means, “avid student,” unless your “in the buff” then your naked
So – a "in the buff history buff" is a naked avid student of history.
BUT, if we say “your buff” – you’re muscular,
So, a buff, in the buff, history buff is a muscular, naked, avid student of history – which is generally an oxymoron.
We haven’t even brought in the fact, that to buff your car is to polish it, yet to buff the sound is to muffle it, and you can wear a buff, which is a short coat.
To find out how the word Buff can mean so many different things, you have to look at history, and I’ll leave that quest up to you.
Today I want to look at history (specifically) around 720 BC because it was a significant date in Hebrew history and it helps us with our quest for the Messiah.
720 BC marks the time of the fall of the ten Northern Tribes of Israel.
The Assyrian Empire, which was the world’s only superpower at the time, overtakes these ten tribes. We find in the first ten chapters of Isaiah that Israel is facing judgment from God because of her unfaithfulness in serving the gods of the nations around her. Isaiah tells Israel that because of their disobedience they will be invaded by the Assyrians and carried into exile; and that’s exactly what happened. The dynasty of King David, which is now two hundred years old and to the south in Judah, is clearly in danger. With the Assyrian Empire on a roll, the question lingers of what will happen if they kill every member of the royal family, which is their custom when they take a country over? The lineage of King David is in danger of becoming extinct. What would this potential interruption to David’s royal line mean to the future of Israel? Would they ever know hope again? Would they ever experience peace again?
READ Isaiah 11:1-4a
Isaiah was not only offering hope, but he was promising peace, and that peace will only come through the shoot that shall come from the stump of Jesse, for the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. True peace comes from God, because his promise of peace is not the absence of trouble, but the promise that He is always there.
There would be one man who would bring peace back into the lives of God’s people – peace like no man had known since Adam and Eve Jesus Christ. Did you ever wonder why we call him Jesus Christ? Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is his title. Christ, or Cristos in Greek, means exactly the same thing as Messiah or m’shiach does in Hebrew. It means "the anointed one." You see, back then, prophets and priests and kings were anointed. They had a little sacred oil poured on their heads to show they were set apart from the rest of the people and had a special mission to fulfill. Jesus Christ is Jesus, the Anointed One, the one set apart by God for a special mission. But he wasn’t anointed with oil. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, of course, is both God and man. As God, Jesus needed no anointing from anybody, and didn’t need any gifts from anybody. But as man, Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit – the Anointed One! When Jesus arrived the Davidic line was in tack but had not held power for over 600 years.
But, there would be skeptics. People have questioned. It makes a difference in your Christmas experience.
1. The Biblical Proof Jesus is the Christ
A. The OT has over 30 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus.
- Gen 3:15, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (NIV)