From Manger To Throne
"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
This Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Songs fill the radio proclaiming the glory of His birth. Church plays and live nativities re-enact the story of Mary, Joseph, and the newborn baby lying in a manger. And despite the commercial and cultural distortions of Christmas, the story of His birth will still be told. But how many people know it was foretold? How many people know the prophets foretold the timing, place, and events of His birth hundreds of years in advance? And just as important - how many people know those same prophets told us He's coming again?
The Messianic Prophecies
Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled dozens and dozens of Messianic prophecies during His time on earth. In fact, He's the only person in history who fulfilled them. How many people know that? Unfortunately, not that many. Even quite a few people who celebrate Jesus or decorate their lawns with scenes of His birth are unaware the nativity story fulfilled several ancient prophecies. Here are just a few of them:
The Messiah Will Be Born in Bethlehem - Approximately 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Micah identified Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. He said while Bethlehem is only a small village in Judah, a ruler of Israel whose origins are from the distant past will come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). The birth of Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. Shortly before He was born, the Roman Emperor decreed a census be taken throughout the Empire. As part of the census, he required people to return to their ancestral towns to register. As a descendant of King David, Joseph went to Bethlehem, taking his wife Mary with him (Luke 2:1-5). And while they were there, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1).
The Messiah Will Be Born of a Virgin - 2,700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah relayed a message from God to King Ahaz. In His message, God promised to send a sign. What kind of sign? A virgin would give birth to a child who would be known as Immanuel, which means "God is with us" (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus fulfilled this prophecy too. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still engaged, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph considered breaking the engagement, until an angel appeared to him in a dream and confirmed the child was conceived of the Holy Spirit. The angel said to name Him Jesus (which means "the Lord saves") because He would save people from their sins (Matthew 1:18-21).
The Messiah Will Be a Descendant of Judah - In his last words to his sons nearly 4,000 years ago, Jacob revealed the ruling scepter would not depart from Judah. He said the Messiah (the one who all nations will serve) will be from the family of Judah (Genesis 49:10). Once again, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. Jesus was a descendent of Judah (Luke 3:23-38; Matthew 1:1-17).
The Messiah Will Receive Homage and Tribute - Three thousand years ago, King Solomon said the Western kings of Tarshish and the eastern kings of Sheba and Seba would bestow gifts upon the Messiah (Psalm 72:10). This happened to Jesus as well. After He was born, wise men from eastern lands followed a star in the sky and it led them to Bethlehem. When they arrived and saw Jesus, they bowed down to worship Him, opening their treasure chests and giving Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-2,11).
The Messiah Will Be a Descendant of David - More than a thousand years before Jesus was born, God promised David He would place one of his descendants on the throne. He said the royal line of David would continue forever and ever (Psalm 132:11-12). Three hundred years after David, the prophet Jeremiah said God would raise up a righteous descendant who rules with wisdom from the line of King David (Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:15). Yet again, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would give birth to a son. He said Jesus would be called Son of the Most High, and God would give Him the throne of His ancestor David (Luke 1:32-33). The Gospel of Matthew provides a family lineage of Jesus which traces His roots back to King David (Matthew 1:1-17).
The Messiah Will Arrive in A.D. 27 - The precise timing of the Messiah’s appearance, and therefore, the general time of His birth, was also foretold in advance. The angel Gabriel said 483 years would pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until "the Anointed One" comes (Daniel 9:25). Artaxerxes, the King of Persia, issued a decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 B.C. If you count forward 483 years from 457 B.C., you get the year A.D. 27 (the year zero doesn't count). The year A.D. 27 coincides with the beginning of Jesus's ministry.
The Yet-To-Be Fulfilled Messianic Prophecies
The birth of Jesus fulfilled all of the above prophecies. And His life, death, and resurrection fulfilled even more. Yet, despite the fulfillment of so many Messianic prophecies, several remain unfulfilled. Not because Jesus isn't the Messiah. But because He's coming again.
So while we celebrate the birth of Jesus and how His coming brought light into a world of darkness, we should also celebrate His impending return. Because the same prophets who foretold His birth also gave the world dozens of prophecies concerning His return. Here are just a few of them:
The Messiah Will Come on the Clouds with Power and Glory - When Jesus returns, His glorious appearing will be seen by the whole world. Just as lightning lights up and covers the entire sky, so it will be when He comes (Matthew 24:27). The prophet Daniel described the Messiah as "someone who looks like a man coming with the clouds of heaven" (Daniel 7:13). When the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, Jesus said, "I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62). When Jesus was born, few took notice. When Jesus returns, He'll return in power and glory, and the entire world and all of heaven will take notice.
The Messiah Will Rule the Earth - When the Messiah comes, He will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12), and He will take His appointed place on the throne in Jerusalem (Psalm 2:6; Ezekiel 43:7). He will be King over the entire earth, and His name alone will be worshiped (Zechariah 14:9). People from every nation will travel to Jerusalem to learn His ways (Micah 4:2), and He will serve as both King and Priest from His throne (Zechariah 6:13). Jesus said when He returns, He will come in glory with all the angels and assume His place on the glorious throne (Matthew 25:31).
The Messiah Will Bring World Peace - Isaiah looked forward to a time when the Messiah would personally rule over the nations of the world, settling disputes and ending all war forever. He said the nations of the world will reshape their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and no one will train for war anymore (Isaiah 2:4). The prophet Micah said the Messiah will settle disputes between the nations, and everyone will live in peace and prosperity with nothing to fear (Micah 4:3-4). Clearly, Jesus did not fulfill these prophecies two thousand years ago. But, He will. When Jesus first came, He did not come to bring peace. He came to bring division (Luke 12:51). Jesus said you're either for Him or against Him (Luke 11:23), and to this day, the world is divided into these two groups. But when Jesus returns, He will rule a united world of peace and prosperity. And He will be known as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
The Messiah Will End the Earth's Curse - When Adam and Eve ate from the tree, God responded by cursing the earth (Genesis 3:17). But when the Messiah returns, the curse will be lifted – for the throne of God will be on earth and all His servants will worship Him there (Revelation 22:3).
The Messiah Will End All Disabilities - The prophet Isaiah said when the Messiah comes, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the paralyzed will walk, and the mute will speak (Isaiah 35:5-6). Disabilities as we know them will disappear forever. When Jesus first came, He healed people of these disabilities as well as diseases like leprosy (Luke 7:22). When He returns, He will heal the whole world.
The Messiah Will End All Death and Suffering - When the Messiah returns, the sound of weeping and crying will no longer be heard (Isaiah 65:19). Death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be gone forever (Revelation 21:4), and the leaves from a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit with a fresh crop each month, will be used as medicine to heal the nations (Revelation 22:2).
What a glorious future awaits the world. When Jesus first came, He was placed in a manger. When Jesus comes again, He'll be placed on a throne. And the world will rejoice (Psalm 98:3-9).
May God bless you and your family this joyous Christmas season!
Britt Gillette is the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy and the author of Coming To Jesus and Signs Of The Second Coming. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for FREE when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.
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