Christmas in the Old Testament

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The Bible is so fascinating, and prophecy is one of the most interesting aspects.  The prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah are my favorite. In our current time we have the advantage of hindsight and can look back and see how it all came together.  The prophecies were fulfilled exactly and precisely.  For today’s purposes we will be looking at a messianic prophecy from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah was a prophet during the reign of Ahaz king of Judah.  The king of Syria and the son of the king of Israel had conspired together to come against Judah.  Ahaz was terrified.  God sent Isaiah to speak to Ahaz and assure him that the Lord would not allow this to happen.  Ahaz didn’t believe, and refused to pick a sign because when that sign was fulfilled then he would be obligated to believe the Lord.  So the Lord picked the sign for him:  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

One of the wildest aspects to Christianity for people on the outside looking in, is the virgin birth.  It is miraculous and unexpected.  But doesn’t that make sense, that the Son of God would have a miraculous birth?  As believers, we know that Jesus had a dual nature: He was fully human, and fully God.  His miraculous birth allowed for this, as He had a human mother, and a divine Father.  

Immanuel means ‘God with Us’.  Because Jesus is God, and had a divine nature from the beginning, He literally was God among us.  700 years after Isaiah, we have this account in the book of Matthew:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.   And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). (v.18-23)

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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