Christmas Foretold – Sun – 22-12-18

Have you ever tried to guess your Christmas gift before opening it? I don’t do this much anymore. I usually get something I’ve specifically requested. But as a child, I tried to guess my gifts before ripping the packages open. My great aunts often gave me books or puzzles. I distinctly remember being fooled one year. I shook the box and guessed a puzzle. Instead, I received a shirt. They had filled the box holding my gift with small pieces of cardboard. I’m sure they enjoyed my surprise.

Predicting the future is difficult, even when guessing what’s in a Christmas gift. Imagine the difficulty of predicting details of Jesus’ birth hundreds of years in advance. This week, we examine the accounts of Matthew and Luke to see the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus’ birth.

The first passage is Matthew 1:22-23, ‘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.” (NIV)

This is a quotation from Isaiah 7:14. Nearly 700 years before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah prophesied a virgin would conceive and bear a son. That’s like making a prediction about today in the early 1300’s. That’s before Columbus sailed to the Caribbean or the founding of the Ming Dynasty in China.

Stop and marvel at how this detail of Jesus’ birth fulfills prophecy.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.