good news of great joy, for all people!
“Suddenly, an angel of The LORD appeared among them, and the radiance of The LORD’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, The Messiah, The LORD – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” – Luke 2:9-11
Shepherds in a field, quietly guarding their flocks of sheep, under a beautiful starry night were suddenly, divinely interrupted by an angel with good news, promising great joy to all people! The long-awaited Messiah, born today in the city of Bethlehem.
The story is incredible, and on a day filled with presents, traditions, family and feasts, it can easily fall into a category of a nice, little, well-known fable. But, that’s not what the angel has proclaimed; this isn’t just a sweet story that goes with your manger scene.
This is the invasion of the ages, the turning point of all History!
The LORD, entering into a dark world, desperate for a Savior, as a baby to an unassuming young couple, almost under cover. But, it all was predicted hundreds of years ahead. It was foretold, and each detail came to be exactly as prophesied:
- He would have a forerunner, announcing to people The Messiah was coming (Malachi 3:1, 400 years before He was born; fulfilled in Luke 1:13-17,76)
- He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, 750 years before He was born; fulfilled in Matthew 1:20-25)
- He would be born into the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 1000 years before Jesus was born; fulfilled in Luke 1:31-33)
- He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, 740 years before His birth; fulfilled Luke 2:6-7)
In all, 333 prophecies were made about this Child. Through His birth, life, death and resurrection, 109 have been fulfilled just as predicted – every detail! The balance of prophecies (224) will be fulfilled when Christ returns, at the end of days.
The odds of one person fulfilling 8 of the prophecies about Jesus are staggering. The odds, as figured out by a professor and his students at Westmont college, are 1 in 10^17 power. That’s a number with 17 zeroes!
The Westmont scholars concluded this would be the same as covering the State of Texas with silver dollars, two feet deep, and marking one silver dollar with a red ‘x’. You would be blind-folded, while they stirred all of the silver dollars (as if stirring all of those would even be possible). Then, you would be asked to walk some place into our great state, and pick out the one silver dollar with the red ‘x’.
Remember, these are the calculated odds of only 8 prophecies of Jesus being fulfilled!
Why would the Son of God come to us, so quietly, so humbly and gently, in a tiny little hamlet in Judea? The King of kings into a feeding trough at a stable?
For the last two years, I’ve memorized the Christmas story, to share at our Christmas Eve service. This practice has caused the words of the story to roll around in my head for the last month, over and over again. It has been an incredible gift.
Based on my experience, I feel like I more clearly see that Jesus came exactly as He did, not to conquer us but to woo us. His desire is to be loved by you and me.
Oh, He could have completely overwhelmed us. He would have been right and just to do so. He is The Almighty God who merely spoke, and the heavens came to be. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He’s so big! He’s powerful!
Yet, He became one of us, that He might win our hearts and bring us into His Presence, to know and love Him forever and ever. The only thing bigger than Him is His love for you and me.