Back when God was explaining to Adam and Eve the devastating consequences of their choice in the garden, He included a ray of hope when He promised that the seed of a woman would one day bruise the head of the serpent that had deceived Eve. (Gen. 3:15) Then, a few thousand years later, Isaiah prophesied, “…the Lord Himself will give you a sign; the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (God with us) (Isa. 7:14)
Many years later, when these prophesies were about to be fulfilled, God sent Gabriel to announce to unwed Mary that she would conceive in her womb and bring forth a Son, and call His name Jesus. Mary asked the obvious, “How?” and was told that the Holy Spirit and the power of the Highest would overshadow her and the Son of God would be born. (Luke 1) This all happened and so we have a prophesy in the beginning being fulfilled about 4000 years later, with each mention becoming more specific and detailed and God preserving the record of the fulfillment in His Gospels. In His Law, God had set the standard for his prophets at 100% accuracy, as opposed to false prophets who achieved varying low degrees of success in their percentages of accuracy…kind of like the ‘educated’ guess work many folks prefer to listen to today.
This covers the who, what, and how of our Christmas story. What about the when, where, and why? We’ll save those for tomorrow’s discussion.
Maybe you are thinking, “Why do I need to think about prophesy and its fulfillment?” Actually, God uses it as one of the strongest evidences for authenticating the Bible as His own Holy Word, forever settled in heaven. It should affirm our faith and comfort us as we look to Him for guidance in a world full of confusing voices. If He knows everything that is coming, surely His guidance is all we need and we can “trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and He promises to direct our paths.” (Prov. 3:5&6)
Remember that Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For, assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:17-18)