Last week we took a look at the phrase penned by Phillip Brooks in 1868 “The Hopes and fears of all the years” and focused on the fears that may have existed as part of the Christmas Narrative. This week, we would like to take a look at the HOPE referred to in the song, “O Little Town of Bethlehem“. The HOPE of course, was the promised Messiah.
- Did you know that before the birth of the Messiah there was “400 years of silence”?
- Did you know that the first coming of the Messiah was foretold in at least 300 Old Testament Prophecies?
- Did you know that all of those prophecies made hundreds of years before the birth of the Messiah were all fulfilled down to every detail in the person of Jesus Christ?
George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. THAT IS A 1 FOLLOWED BY 157 ZEROS! Another mathematician, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, claims the odds of fulfilling only 60 of the prophecies in one person are one out of ten to the 895th power. THAT IS A 1 FOLLOWED BY 895 ZEROS!
Let’s take a look at just a few of these prophecies and their fulfillment…
- Genesis 12:3 tells us that Messiah would come from the lineage of Abraham. Mathew 1:1 reminds us that Jesus came from the lineage of Abraham.
- Psalm 89:29 tells us that Messiah would come from the lineage of David. Luke 3:23-31 reminds us that Jesus came from the lineage of David.
- Jeremiah 31:22 and Isaiah 7:14 prophecy that Jesus would be born of a virgin. Matthew 1:18-20 and Luke 1:34-35 confirm that Jesus was in fact born of a virgin.
- The Old Testament prophet Micah tells us that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Luke 2:4-7 tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Incidentally, this prophecy detailing the fact that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrata was most likely the inspiration behind the song “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
- Isaiah 7:14 tells us that HIS name would be called Immanuel. In Matthew 1:21-23, Jesus is called IMMANUEL!
- Malachi 4:5 tells us that the Messiah’s coming would be announced by a man coming in the Spirit of Elijah. Matthew 3:1-2 tells us that John the Baptist came in the Spirit of Elijah.
- The next verse, Malachi 4:6 tells us that the Messiah’s announcer would turn many hearts to God. This was fulfilled in Luke 1:16-17 and Mark 1:3-5.
The prophecies get even more specific from there talking about specific miracles that Jesus would do, the fact that he would calm the stormy sea (Psalm 107:28-29 / Fulfilled Matthew 8:24-26), the way that He would enter Jerusalem and even the way that HE would die.
Jesus IS the Messiah, the One TRUE HOPE, the Only Person in all of history who has and could fulfill hundreds upon hundreds of prophecies!
There is one more fact that makes this even more exciting. There are over 500 prophecies which detail Jesus’ second coming! If HE fulfilled every prophecy related to HIS first coming, you and I can be sure that HE will fulfill those second coming prophecies as well!
Rejoice: Jesus IS our TRUE HOPE and HE IS coming back soon!