Accept the gift of God
Begin this new year by being open-minded and reading God’s Word
Over the last number of weeks, millions of people have been running to and fro, spending — in many cases — money they didn’t have.
Many have also been celebrating someone’s birthday they are not sure even took place. Well, there is evidence that Jesus Christ did exist and that He is active in the lives of people today.
Predictions: Unbiased scholars have discovered over 200 predictions in the Old Testament relating to Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection. Centuries before Jesus was born, prophets declared: “For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Fourteen hundred years before the incarnation, God revealed to Abraham that he would have a descendant and all peoples on earth would be blessed through Him. (Genesis 12:1,2) Later, God revealed to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, that the Messiah would come from the Tribe of Judah. (Genesis 49:10)
Narrowing it down even more: from the Tribe of Judah to the family of David: the prophet, Nathan, prophesied that the Messiah would not only be a descendant of David, but that He would be the Son of God. (1 Chronicles 17:7-15)
Some 300 years later, Micah, the prophet is told that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. (Micah 5:2)
God revealed to these prophets that He was sending a Saviour, a Redeemer, a Deliverer.
Predictions fulfilled: Some 700 years later, the angel of the Lord spoke to a man named Joseph, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary, for the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:20-23)
History tells us that Jesus was born and that He lived and died and rose again, as was prophesied by the prophets of old.
What are the odds of something like this happening? Lee Strobel in his book, “The Case for Christmas”, quotes Louis Lapides, a Jew with a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Dallas Baptist University and a master of divinity, as well as a master of theology in Old Testament and semitics from Talbot Theological Seminary. Lee interview this man and many others while searching for the identity of the child in the manger. One of the questions he asked was “whether it is possible that Jesus merely fulfilled the prophecies by accident; maybe he’s just one of the many through history who have coincidentally fit the prophetic fingerprint.”
“Not a chance,” responded Lapides. “The odds are so astronomical that they rule that out.”
Some estimated that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion.
Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated “that if you took one hundred million billion silver dollars they would cover the whole state of Texas (equivalent to the land mass of Atlantic Canada), to a depth of two feet. If you mark one silver dollar and put it among them, mix them up, blindfold a person and have that person wander the whole state, bend down and pick up one coin; what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked? The same odds that anyone in history could have fulfilled just eight prophecies.”
Stoner also estimated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in thirteen trillion times a trillion. It is made very clear that the odds alone say it would be impossible for anyone to fulfil the Old Testament’s more than 200 prophecies.
Lapides concluded: “Jesus and only Jesus, throughout all of history - managed to do it.”
Let me encourage you today to call upon the One who fulfilled all 200 prophecies, making it possible for mankind once again to have fellowship with God.
As sure as the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in His first coming, so will the 300 or more prophecies be fulfilled in His second coming, when He comes to rule and reign here on earth.
The signs are all around us. I challenge you, as we begin this new year, to be open-minded and read God’s Word.
Let the truth (Jesus) set you free. (John 14:6) God gave you a gift. It is yours to receive.
Accept it. Open it. It’s yours. ( John 3:16)
Happy New Year.