***This is the first of a three part series of the Christmas story and the real reason for the season.***
The Bible is a book of guidance, poetry, history, and prophecy. There are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. Of those, over 1,600 have already been fulfilled to the letter and without error. 324 of these prophesies were of the Messiah and Yeshua fulfilled every single one in His time on earth. Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated the probability of one person fulfilling even a small number of them and he concluded, the chance of a single man fulfilling “just” 48 of the prophecies found in the Old Testament would be one in (10 followed by 157 zeros)!
Today I am going to concentrate on just 11 or so of the 324 prophesies about Yeshua. Just the ones about His birth. The appear all the way back to the book of Genesis but also appear in Micah, Hosea, Psalm, and Isaiah. Isaiah the prophet actually spoke the most on the subject and in chapter 7 verse 14 he said this 700 years before the birth of Messiah:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel.”
700 years after this prophecy was given, we read in Luke 1:26-38:
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.“
Here is a young girl who was so favored by God that she was chosen to carry the Savior of the world in her womb. Her first response was not fear for herself which would have been understandable since in those days girls who had sex outside of marriage were not as excepted as they are today. In those days she could have been stoned to death. No. Her response is to say “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be me according to your word”. She knew what the consequences could be but knew that God had shown her favor and would provide for her.
Then comes the next step. She has to tell the man that she is betrothed to. When she told Joseph he was hurt and confused but did not want to expose her to public disgrace and decided to put her away quietly but then God gave him a vision in his dream.
“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).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” – Matthew 1:20-25
This was a man who trusted God so much that he took Mary as his wife even though she was pregnant. This in a time that society shunned such things. How many of you could say that you would trust God enough to do that?
Oh how times have changed. In today’s times we are more worried about likes and views on Facebook and TikTok than if God would consider us “favored”. Teenagers are more worried about popularity than living a life devoted to serving God.
Mary may have been favored by God enough to carry the Savior of the world but Yeshua came to make us all acceptable enough to enter heaven despite all the ways we don’t deserve it. That is truly a reason to celebrate.