Prophecies from the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Nearly 300 predictions from hundreds of years before his birth were acknowledged by a coming deliverer they called the Messiah. These predictions included Bethlehem as the place of his birth (Micah 5:2), that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and that the time of his birth would be just before Israel lost their sovereign power as a nation (Genesis 49:10).
It was also foretold that he would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5,6), that he would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9), would die a dreadful, yet substitutionary death (Isaiah 53) by crucifixion (Psalm 22:14-17), and that he would be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:9).
No one else in history can remotely claim to be the object of such prophecies except Jesus of Nazareth. The chances of fulfilling these specific prophecies is amazingly yet archaeology affirms the historical trustworthiness of the Bible. Findings include inscriptions that Quirinius (Luke 2:2) was twice governor of Syria, and so in power when Jesus was born, and that Caesar Augustus ordered taxation enrollments that uprooted people such as Joseph and Mary from their homes (Luke 2:3,4).
Why should Christmas matter?
By His fulfillment of prophecy, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the center of God’s plan for the world. Jesus in the stable is not a fable. And because the message of Christmas is true, the implications are enormous for you.
It means that God the Son, in love, came to fulfill the meaning of his name, which is “The Lord Saves!” By Jesus’s death on the cross he paid for your sins and mine. By his resurrection he has opened the way to heaven to all who receive him by faith.
Jesus said, “He who [that is, “whoever”] has the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). By receiving Jesus into your life you also are made a child of God (John 1:14), receive the forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:46), and become a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your future becomes a life of discovery of His gracious plan for you (Ephesians 1:18).
A long time ago he was born in a manger. But he wishes to be born within your heart today (Revelation 3:20). This Christmas season receive the greatest gift that can ever be given. Open your heart and let the One who was born in a stable in humility, died on a cross in love, and rose from the dead in power, enter in! Have you accepted the most precious gift he has for you?