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Christmas

The Map of Christmas

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
NKJV

The Week's Devotions

 


 

Genesis 3

Genesis 38

1 Chronicles 27/28

Malachi 4

Matthew 1:1-17

Psalm 2

 


 

Luke 24:27

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (NKJV)

 


As you reflect upon the suggested readings, what do you learn about the "seed?"

What can you learn about the relationship between God and man?

Do the Christmas prophecies tell us anything about the unfulfilled prophecies?

When the Messiah comes/came, is there a way to identify Him?

Does luck, fate, or providence control lives?


 

In the 1700's a little man in England, a cobbler by trade, who kept a map of the world on a wall of his workshop so that he could pray for the nations of the world, became burdened for a definite missionary outreach. When he shared his burden at a meeting of ministers, he was told by one of the senior men of God: "Young man, sit down. When God wants to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine."

But William Carey did not let the fire of his enthusiasm be dampened by such a response, and eventually he left the shores of England for those of India, where he engaged in pioneer missionary work, doing exploits for God. (2)

 

My wife and daughter recently drove to Philadelphia to attend the Women of Faith conference. They had directions but still managed to get lost. Isn't this the way life is? We faithfully study the maps, then when we look at the real world, the lines do not translate into real roads and we go off the wrong direction.

God provided the Israelites a road map to salvation - the Old Testament - a map that pointed to the Messiah, the Savior, the Christ - Jesus! We need to be careful not to be like the Jewish people and miss the Christ because we take a wrong turn.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah. We will focus on a few of the ones that point to the Messiah's birth - after all, that is what the Christmas season is all about.

The prophecies are designed to provide the Jewish people, indeed, all people with hope - and with a manner of identifying the Messiah when He arrived. We must remember, as we read the prophecies, that many had an important, immediate meaning to the Jewish nation. The prophecies had both a "near" meaning to the Jews and a "far" meaning for all of mankind.

Messiah properly means "anointed," as in the anointed one of God. Christ is the Greek version.

How can we know the Christ, when He arrives is the right person. How are we to know that Jesus is the Messiah? The Old Testament road map answers these questions for us.

The Old Testament was completed many hundred years before the birth of Christ. Yet, the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, fulfills all the prophecies about the Messiah's birth, life, and death, an event that, from a practical point of view, is mathematically impossible. The New Testament points to the credentials of Jesus as Messiah, as the Son of God and Savior, as a unique Person in relation to all others, and as King of the world.

Let us look, then, at some of the prophecies that point to Jesus as the Messiah.

From the beginning, God placed signs along the side of the road, directing all of us to the Messiah. The major highway we travel is the road of the "seed."

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

The covenant includes a specific portion of land and a specific nation (Israel), but there is a universal blessing upon all of the nations of the world. This blessing is, as we discover while we travel the road of the Old Testament, the Messiah. This promise is so important it is repeated to Abraham again in Chapters 13, 15, and 17.

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

The scepter refers to the royal line.

Shiloh means peace or peaceful, looking forward to the promise of Isaiah 9:6. Shiloh, then, is the seed of woman and the road to travel as Judah becomes the royal line of the blessing.

Along with this special preservation of the line, the prophets bring a unique picture of the Messiah. Many of these special pictures relate to the birth of Christ. For example,

So, who will be the Messiah? What will He be like? Based upon the above,

Consider the above in relation to Luke 1:32-33; 3:23-38; and Matt 1:1, 6-7. Who is the Messiah?

What does all of this provide?

2. Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, (Garland, Texas: Bible Communications, Inc.) 1996.

 

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