Jesus’ birth was long prophesied before it took place. The prophets, through the power of the Holy Spirit, made specific revelations concerning the Messiah to come. They talked in detail concerning the birth, life, passion, death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Jesus.
A few examples- right after the fall of man there was a pronunciation of a “seed of a woman” that will crush the head of the serpent Gen. 3:15; David in Psalms talked about Messiah to come (Ps. 2, 16, 22, 69, and 110). It is clear through NT hermeneutics that the full application of these Psalms pointed to the coming Messiah.
Isaiah prophesied about 750 years before Christ. Isaiah 9:6-7 reads, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
In this portion of scripture Isaiah mentioned key things worth pointing. First, Messiah was to be born a child. Second, He will be a ruler over God’s people Israel and the world (also in Zech. 14:9). Third, names are given that describe his character (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of peace). This is a revelation of both the humanity and divinity of the Messiah.
Fourth, he will rule on David’s throne with justice, righteousness, and peace flowing from his throne. His kingdom will have no end (also see Dan. 7:14,27; Mic. 4:7). Fifth, the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. The realization of this prophecy will be God-driven. It utterly depends on God. Prophet Micah prophesied of a coming ruler from Bethlehem, “whose origins are from of old” Mic. 5:2.
In the OT, there were three offices that God ordained: king, priest, and prophet. No one person in the entire period of OT did occupy all these three offices and functions. For instance, King David was both a prophet and a king but not a priest; Samuel was a priest and a prophet but was not a king. But prophecies indicated that, in one person, these three offices will be fulfilled. Jesus becomes the king of kings, the high priest in the heavenly sanctuary and the prophet. This is what we exactly get in the NT. The birth of Jesus is with no doubt the fulfillment of the OT.
The gospel authors clearly pointed out that the birth of Christ was foretold by the prophets. Mathew quotes Isaiah 7:14; 40:3-5; Jeremiah 31:15, Micah 5:2, Hosea 11:1 because the birth of Jesus was according to the Scriptures.
In the birth of Christ, we see the fulfillment of prophecy in part; we now await for the fulfillment of the eschatological prophecies. But are we also living in prophetic times?
In 1 Peter 1:10-12, we are told that the prophets who prophesied about salvation and the grace that was to be ours searched and carefully inquired concerning these things. They also longed to see these things happen in their own times but it were not to be so. The revelation belonged to us and the prophets were serving us!
Today, because of our position in history, we are blessed to understand these things better than the OT people, or those who lived in the past generations. We are blessed to know God’s plan in totality. Therefore we have a great reason to celebrate Christmas! At least we can look back and comprehend what awaits us in the future. #merrychristmass