Every year on December 25 we celebrate a holiday called Christmas. It is celebrated all around the world – even by people that are not Christians. It is a time for family and fun – eating too much and gift giving. But for Christians, it is an especially meaningful holiday as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. The story of His conception and birth is miraculous and He literally changed the world. If there is anyone else whose birth has been celebrated so widely, I have never heard about them.
So what is it that makes His life so significant? So much so that billions of people celebrate? There are many reasons why, but we should start at the beginning.
The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament tells the story of the creation of all that we know as our world – including humans. It is filled with stories that are full of wonder and miracles and there is much foretelling of things that are to come in the future (prophesies.) Included in that is the coming of one that will be the Savior of the world. The New Testament tells us about the life of early Christians along with the life of Jesus and His followers.
In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, there are words spoken that Biblical experts tell us are prophecies of the One to come. However, since I am not a Bible scholar I will not try to get into those particular explanations. I want to focus on a couple of the prophecies that point us to this One so special that we have celebrated Him for centuries.
Written 700 years before the birth of Jesus there is a prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 (TLB) that says: “…the Lord himself will choose the sign—a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, ‘God is with us’).” Then Matthew 1:22-23 (TLB) tells about events leading up to the birth of Christ and the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14. “This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets—‘Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called “Emmanuel” (meaning ‘God is with us’).’”
There is a prophecy that talks about exactly where Jesus would be born. “The Lord says, ‘Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.’” (Micah 5:2 GNT) The fulfillment of that prophecy is found in Luke 2:1-7 (MSG) “About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.”
Those are just a couple of the early prophecies that tell of the Savior to come. The estimates of the number of prophecies spoken about Him are hundreds – up to near 600. Scholars vary in their opinions of how many of those prophecies Jesus Himself fulfilled. “One scholar, J. Barton Payne, has found as many as 574 verses in the Old Testament that somehow point to or describe or reference the coming Messiah. Alfred Edersheim found 456 Old Testament verses referring to the Messiah or His times. Conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry.” * [Emphasis mine]
So I googled what the odds would be that one man (Jesus) could fulfill all the prophecies spoken about Him & this is what it said: “We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.” Did you notice that those are the odds for the fulfillment of only 8 of the prophecies? Yet the statement above said that “conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry”!
I have to say that the kind of numbers/facts explained above are above my intellect. But, if you are really into science and math and studying odds, then you might enjoy the information you can find here: https://www.goodnewsdispatch.org/math.html
I have explained all of this to get to this point – Jesus left His place in heaven with His Father to come to earth to save mankind. So much of what He did on earth as well as His death was prophesied. This gives us plenty of reasons to set aside a day to remember and celebrate His birth.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the frivolous ways we celebrate and forget the real purpose of Christmas. I pray that you will take some time during this season to read the full story of Jesus’ birth and focus on the sacrifices made to give us such a blessed life.
If you would like to read an article I have published in the past titled “This Event We Call Christmas”, follow these steps. On my page in the upper right corner is a pink “button” that says “Visit Site”. Click on that then go down where it says “Archives” – click on the arrow in the box where it says “Select Month” and click on “December 2019”. Then scroll down to the 2nd article. I think you will enjoy it because as I researched for the article I found some things that were surprising to me.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! BE BLESSED!
“The Greatest Man in History… Jesus; Had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He did not live in a castle, yet they called Him Lord, He ruled no nations, yet they called Him King, He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.” (Lyle C Rollings III, 2008).
*Source was: www.gotquestions.org/prophecies-of-Jesus.html
Written by Karran Martin – December 13, 2020