In the Charlie Brown Christmas classic, little Linus explains perfectly what the true meaning of Christmas is. "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown," Linus says after reciting the birth story of Christ from Luke 2 (KJV):
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."
That passage summarizes some of the supernatural events from the night of Jesus' birth, but it's just one of many Bible verses that illuminate the spiritual significance and eternal impact of that day. In fact, the birth of Christ was foretold in prophecies centuries before He arrived.
Prophecies Foretold the Savior's Birth
The Jewish people had long awaited the coming of God's promised Messiah, and prophets from Isaiah to Micah had predicted who he would be, where he would be born, and even the circumstances surrounding his birth. Here are just a few of the messianic prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14, NIV).
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6, NASB).
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times" (Mic. 5:2, NIV). )
The genealogy of Jesus clearly reveals he was from the line of King David, fulfilling several prophecies, including Isaiah 11:1 and Jeremiah 23:5.
"The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land ... This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our righteous savior" (Jer. 23:5-6).
Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah
"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us") (Matt. 1:23, NIV, fulfillment of Isa. 7:14).
"The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" (Luke 2:11, NLT, fulfillment of Mic. 7:2).
"The angel replied, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God'" (Luke 1:35, NLT, fulfillment of Isa. 9:6, Jer. 23:5-6).
The Greatest Gift Ever Given
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16, NASB).
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