| Saralynn and Wes Tapp read prophecies and their fulfillments from the Bible | Kimberly Stephens sings Oh Holy Night | Ben shares a meditation on the significance of prophecies |
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). [Isaiah 7:14]
"This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit." [Matthew 1:18]
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! [Luke 2:11]
They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing. [Psalm 22:18]
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. [Matthew 27:35]
For all of humanity's advancements in science, technology and medicine, there are some things we have absolutely no control over. For example, we cannot control the identities of our parents. We cannot control the location of our birth. And we cannot control what our enemies will do at the time of our death.
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah said that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. The prophet Micah also told us that he would be born in a small town called Bethlehem. The book of psalms said his enemies would throw dice for his clothing.
There is a quote from Ian Fleming that has been reworked several times. My favorite phrasing is:
Once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is a pattern.
Not very scientific, I know, but it does make a lot of sense. I’m not a mathematician, I cannot tell you what the odds are that three distinct and specific prophecies concerning one individual can be given hundreds of years in advance detailing events that are impossible to manipulate. I can tell you it boggles my mind.
Throughout the Old Testament we can trace the thread of God's promises fulfilled uniquely by Jesus Christ. He is promised in Genesis, foreshadowed in exodus, constantly sought after in the psalms and predicted specifically in the major and minor prophets.
The story of Jesus' birth is short in the telling, but beautifully and marvelously complex in the revelation of a Loving God Who refuses to abandon his children who are unable to save themselves, and has been telling us so since our fall from grace.
Dear God, thank you for keeping your promises. Thank you for giving us hope in the face of fear and then fulfilling that hope. Never let us attribute Your good and perfect gifts and blessings to chance. Help us to constantly watch for the ways You move in our lives and in the lives of others.