Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Prophecies: The Story

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Does the New Testament provide any prophecies that show Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah?

Dr. David Reagan, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and I recently got together on the television show "Christ in Prophecy" (watch it!) to discuss how the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in Jesus of Nazareth is proof positive that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. If you were wondering what the New Testament has to say about the birth of Jesus being the fulfillment of the First Coming prophecies concerning the Messiah — read on!

Nathan Jones:
In addition to Old Testament prophecies that were given hundreds and even thousands of years before the Messiah was even born, the New Testament contains a cluster of prophetic statements that were made shortly before the birth of Jesus. The first was given by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, the priest who was to become the father of John the Baptist. Gabriel told Zacharias that his barren wife Elizabeth would conceive a son to be named John, and that this son would serve as a forerunner of the Messiah preparing the hearts of the people for the Messiah's appearance.

Dennis Pollock: Gabriel next appeared to Mary to announce that she would be the mother of the Messiah by the power of the Holy Spirit. He told her that her child's name would be Yeshua, or Jesus, in English meaning "God's salvation." He also said the child would be divine and that He would be "the Son of the Most High."

Nathan Jones: The next prophetic words came out of Mary's mouth after she became pregnant with the Messiah. Luke records a glorious song which she sang to Elizabeth. In the song Mary prophesies that her son will "scatter the proud," "bring down rulers," "exalt the humble," and "fill the hungry."

Dr. Reagan: Three months later, Elizabeth's husband Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit when his son John the Baptist was born. Zacharias also sang a prophetic song. Referring to the baby in Mary's womb, he proclaimed that God had "raised up a horn of salvation" for the Jewish people. He then declared that his own son would be called "the Prophet of the Most High," and he prophesied that his son would "go before the Lord to prepare His way." Zacharias concluded his song with one of the most beautiful poetic prophecies concerning the Messiah that can be found anywhere in the Scripture. Here is what he said, "Because of the tender mercy of our God... The sunrise from on high shall visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace."

Dennis Pollock: The next prophetic song of celebration was sung on the night of the Messiah's birth when an angel appeared to the shepherds of Bethlehem and proclaimed, "Behold, I bring you good news of a great a joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord." That angel was suddenly joined by a multitude of angels who sang a triumphant chorus, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

Dr. Reagan: The final prophetic song related to the Messiah's birth was sung by a righteous and devout man of Jerusalem by the name of Simeon. The Holy Spirit had come upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. He was given that glorious privilege forty days after the Messiah's birth when the parents of Jesus came to the temple in Jerusalem to dedicate their baby to God. Simeon took the Christ child in his arms, he thanked the Lord, and then he sang, "My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."

Nathan Jones: The bottom line is that the fulfillment of all these prophecies in the life of one person — Jesus of Nazareth — is proof positive that He was who He said He was, namely, the Messiah of God.

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