“But With God Everything is Possible” (Words of Jesus)
To all those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and also to those who don’t, but still celebrate the greatest birthday of all time, I wish you a Merry Christmas! And to our Jewish friends all over the globe, a very special Happy Hanukkah! That this eight-day Jewish celebration begins on Christmas Eve this year is, I believe, more than mere coincidence. Yet to elaborate on that thought by putting it into perspective, in a broader context of the end-times Biblical prophecies of the return of Messiah and reappearance of his antithesis, Antichrist, would require an entire article. Which is, the Lord willing, what you just might see in next week’s post!
This is the first article Eye of Prophecy article published on Christmas Eve, which this year happens to fall on Saturday, the day of the week that all Eye of Prophecy articles are posted. It will be several years before that happens again. By that time, I’m more and more convinced that all of us who have been redeemed by the very Messiah (Jesus) who Christmas is all about will already have celebrated his Second Coming!
This time last year, I posted a three-part series entitled Terror, Terror, Terror! (Part I & II, published 12-12 & 12-19-15) followed by A Trilogy of Terror (12-26-15). In that third article, I explained the reason for writing about “Terror” at Christmas time!
The third article began with the following (in italics)”
What a joyous time of the year! Believers in Jesus as Messiah and Savior and unbelievers alike celebrate Christmas, which is more than just a tradition. It is a vital and vibrant fact of life, and has led to a way of life for hundreds of millions from every language, race, and country. World religions are, for the most part, confined to certain races, regions, and nations. The Christian faith is truly universal. Even those from the major religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, to some extent or another, sense something special about this holiday (Holy Day) though it’s been over 2000 years since the birth of Jesus Christ. That’s because his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven is Timeless.
His is truly the Greatest (true) Story ever told, but it only begins with Christmas.
Though it has been increasingly secularized by those who don’t believe in the reason for the season; when they light the lights of Christmas, they representatively point to the Light of the World. When they exchange gifts, they express the greatest gift ever given—the sacrificial death of God’s Son for our sins.
Yet millions upon millions who celebrate Christmas continue to see the Christ-child only as a baby in a manager. As precious and meaningful as the birth of Jesus is to the Christian faith, so many forget or prefer not to remember that his birth was only the beginning of his life, death, and resurrection from the grave to accomplish the magnificent plan of God’s salvation for the human race.
The gospels and epistles are replete with his words of truth, life, and hope; but also words of warning of the great tribulation and coming judgment. As do most of the Old Testament prophets…
Obviously, Christmas is a Christian holiday … Holy Day. However, as intimated in the above excerpt, many non-Christians (or Christian in name only) keep Christmas with hardly a passing thought that it’s Jesus’s birthday… in which case it’s Happy Holidays not Merry Christmas.
According to a 2010 study by Life Way Research, 91% of Americans observe Christmas in some fashion. That’s over 290 million people in the United States alone! Astonishingly, 89% of agnostics observe Christmas, as do 55% of atheists and 62% of people from other religions. Of those claiming to be Christians, 97% commemorate Christmas.
The Heart and Soul of Christmas
“I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”
Did you recognize this famous, but not so often used script in our post-modern age? Can you name the title of this dynamic profession of the Christian faith?
Yes, it is called the Apostle’s Creed.
Tradition says this superlative statement of faith was articulated originally by the Twelve Apostles, then around 700 AD formalized by Christian churches into this creed that succinctly summarized the basic tenants of the Gospels and Epistles. Of special note is that “catholic” is not capitalized, as it does NOT refer to nor is meant to represent the Roman Catholic Church, which didn’t materialize as an “institution” until the 4th century, long after the original apostles were gone. The word, catholic, simply means “universal.” It is the true church consisting of born-again believers—members of the “body” of Messiah Jesus—and bears no reference or meaning to a structure, organization, or ecclesiastical hierarchy of any type. It is the spiritual building composed of “living stones” with Messiah Jesus as the Cornerstone foundation (I Peter 2:4-5).
Every line contained in this profound profession of the Christian faith is directly found in and based on Scripture. Including the main subject of today’s Eye of Prophecy article, The Virgin Birth.
If every Protestant denomination truly believed and faithfully taught each component of the Apostle’s Creed, which is tantamount to confirming and defending the Gospel and the Bible that contains the Good News, then there would be no need for denominations. If the Roman Catholic Church and other cults would get rid of their erroneous non-Biblical dogmas, traditions, and religious rules and regulations and proclaim salvation exclusively by faith in God’s grace rather than good works (Ephesians 2:8-10), then they would truly be part of the universal (catholic) church … the body of Christ.
In the Apostle’s Creed, we find three majestic miracles: The Virgin Birth, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Messiah Jesus, and the future bodily resurrection of the dead in Christ.
Every tenet in this condensed statement of the Christian faith was prophesied one way or another in the Old Testament. No other religion on earth is predicated on verifiable miracles or fulfilled prophecy. Indeed, the marvelous miracles enacted by God the Father through his prophets and the mighty miracles that Jesus performed while on this earth, along with fulfilling dozens of Messianic prophecies, are what separate the Christian faith from all religions.
Messiah Jesus Came to Set Us Free
Can you imagine a passionately patriotic or even marginally loyal American celebrating the Fourth of July without at least some thought as to the reason … freedom from tyranny? Worse, an American citizen who believes that the United States of America should still be a colony of the British Empire, subject to “all things English.” I’m not knocking the United Kingdom as I am quite fond of my British ancestors on my mother’s side. But with Patrick Henry, it’s give me liberty or give me death.
Yet, hundreds of millions celebrate Christmas without giving much thought to how or why Jesus the Christ was born. Which was:
“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus (Yeshua), for he will save his people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:20-21).
Not only salvation to Messiah’s Jewish brethren in the flesh, but also to the Gentiles as so enthusiastically exclaimed by an old Jewish man when he held the baby Jesus in his arms.
“At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
‘Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!’” (Luke 2:25-32).
*Note: Simeon was just one of many 1st Century BC and AD Jews who were, “eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come…” So, too, are today’s Jews (especially the observant among them) and Gentiles all over the world fervently anticipating the soon arrival of Messiah. For believing Gentiles and Messianic Jews this, of course, will be the Second Coming of Christ Jesus. See Eye of Prophecy articles, Great Expectations for Messiah and Amazing Anticipation for Messiah, posted in August, 2015.
Later, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life’” (Romans 1:16-17, quoting Habakkuk 2:4).
Messiah Jesus came first and foremost to save us from our sins; to free us from the tyranny that our sinful nature has over us—an innate pride that produces lust for pleasure, position, prestige, and power and greed for money and possessions. Our selfishness causes us to do all too many wrong things with sometimes devastating consequences to ourselves, other people, and entire nations.
Our rebirth in Christ delivers us from slavery to sin.
Because we are still confined to our human bodies after being born-again, Christians still do wrong things. Perfection will not come until our earthly bodies are transformed (both dead and living) at the Rapture (See I Corinthians 15 & I Thessalonians 4). But we are no longer “slaves” to sin, as are those who have not been “born of the Spirit” (John 3:7, Jesus’s words).
Christmas without the Virgin Birth is Not Christmas
Many people, even those who profess to be Christians, have a problem with the Virgin Birth. Yet Christmas without the Virgin Birth is every bit as meaningless as Christmas without Christ as the main attraction.
Getting back to Mary’s husband, Joseph, Matthew’s Gospel tells us:
“All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:22-23, quoting a prophecy of the coming Messiah from Isaiah 7:14).
Immanuel, God with us: the heart and soul of Christmas and our real reason for remembering the birth of Messiah. It began when Jesus was born of a virgin, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are two rock-solid foundations on which the Christian faith is built: (1) The Virgin Birth of Jesus; (2) His resurrection from the dead. Both prove that he is the Son of God and the Son of Man.
In between those monumental events, Jesus’s miracles also demonstrated that no one could do what he did without divine supernatural attributes. Messiah Jesus set aside the natural laws of physics, e.g. changing water into wine, walking on water, calming a huge Sea of Galilee storm with a simple commandment (hush), multiplying a small amount of bread and fish to feed thousands, and other astounding miracles.
There are three basic world views on the Virgin Birth
(1) Believers in Messiah Jesus
Those who have believed and received Jesus as personal Savior accept at face value that he was divinely conceived—therefore, Christ is fully God and fully man—just as we believe that God through Christ created the universe and all living things.
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself” (Colossians 1:15-20).
(2) Those Who Reject the Virgin Birth or Are Skeptical
Many dismiss out-of-hand the notion that such a birth is possible. Not just agnostics or atheists, but also those who acknowledge that God exists and even that he created the world. However, to consider the possibility that a child can be conceived in any other way than “natural” conception (man and woman, sperm and egg) is too much for them to process. The impact of this skepticism creates doubt as to whether Jesus of Nazareth was the Divine Son of God or just a great teacher of and moral example to mankind. Which, in turn, leads many to marginalize or even reject the very essence of the Gospel: Only a completely sinless person (man) was qualified, by the shedding of his innocent blood for the human race, to satisfy God’s holiness and justice.
The real issue with millions upon millions of people the world over originates with denial that the God of the Bible is God; despite the fact that Scripture unequivocally declares that He is the only true and living God (validated by hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled, many of them proving that Jesus is the Messiah). Others concede that God is our Creator (the very originator of life itself), but they still doubt that Jesus could or would be conceived without a human father.
For Nothing Is Impossible With God
Listen to what the angel Gabriel announced to Mary:
“…Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! … Don’t be afraid, Mary … for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ 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. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God’” (Luke 1:28-37, italics for emphasis).
Did Abraham, Sarah, and their miracle child of promise, Isaac, come to mind when you read these wonderful words of Gabriel to Mary? Only with Abraham and Sarah, it was the Pre-Incarnate Messiah (Jesus) himself who appeared and reaffirmed the promise that God had given to them earlier: Ninety-year old Sarah would bear a child!
Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord?
Listen to the amazing announcement to this couple whose ability to conceive a child had long since passed:
“Then one of them said, ‘I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!’ Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, ‘How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?’
“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh! Why did she say, Can an old woman like me have a baby? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son’” (Genesis 18:10-14, italics for emphasis).
Isaac was the first child of promise, the progenitor of the ultimate Child of Promise. Both came into this world through an extraordinary birth. But the second was even greater than the first. For a more detailed study, please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, The Child of Promise, Part I & II (posted 8-23 & 8-30-14).
The Holy Scriptures begin with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3, italics for emphasis).
Listen again to the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary: “…The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35).
This correlation of the presence of God’s Spirit in the creation of all things with Mary’s supernaturally caused conception is unmistakable. If God created the universe and all living things (as also found in Genesis Chapter 1), then why would it be too hard (or difficult at all) for Mary to conceive a child through the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit?
Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us … So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Followed by the more specific account of man’s creation:
“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person” (Genesis 2:7).
Next, God created the man’s helpmate from Adam’s rib. We don’t know how long Adam was a bachelor, but this was his response when the Lord brought Eve to him:
“At last! … This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called woman, because she was taken from man” (Genesis 2:23).
If God can create something out of nothing; if he can form a wonderfully complex man out of the dust of the ground and an equally elaborate mate from the man’s rib; if man and woman can then produce a baby through no creative action of their own except the union of a sperm and egg already part of their created bodies, then isn’t it entirely reasonable and logical that, “nothing is impossible with God?”
Including, but certainly not limited to, God causing Mary to conceive a child above and beyond the natural means of conception. Yet, even the “natural” way of forming a child is divinely supernatural in origin, because it began with the miraculous creation of both man and woman. When the Lord chooses, he can change the laws of physics that govern the universe he created; to supersede the natural or normal process and experience of life on planet Earth.
Even if we didn’t have God’s Word (the Bible) telling us about the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)—who he is, what he is like, what he has done, and what he will do to complete the full cycle of his redemptive restoration of men and woman back to our original state of creation—we could rely on the completely common sense understanding that if there is a God separate and above (His) creation, then there is nothing whatsoever in the universe that’s beyond his power and control and sovereignty.
That’s not to say that we can, with our finite created minds (in God’s image but far below him in understanding), fully grasp HOW God does what he does. It is enough to know that he can and has done all that the Scriptures tell us and that nature shows us.
Here is a quote from my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? (As follows in italics).
We see and experience things in time and space. God is not bound by either of these dimensions. We don’t know what’s going to happen next hour, let alone next month or year. Yet, by our decisions and actions, by our good choices, bad choices or indifferent choices, we can change things that otherwise would or would not have occurred. We can also be changed by the decisions and behavior of others, by events beyond our control.
How then, does God still achieve his plan? How can he make all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) to those who love him and who are called according to his purpose! How does he circumvent the innumerable bad decisions that we all have made, not to mention the evil in this world to accomplish his purpose? Okay, I’ll give you a hint: Because he is God! This isn’t just the humble opinion of one man, nor is it a cop-out, nor is it an oversimplified answer to an otherwise unfathomable question or concept.
To be sure, however, the “hint” does beg the question; he can do anything because he is God. But that still doesn’t explain how he does it. So, we are left begging the question because it is simply beyond our natural, finite comprehension; which is why God doesn’t demand or even ask that we completely grasp his providential sovereignty. If we could wrap our finite minds around his infinite omnipotence and omniscience, I suppose that we would be God.
Ironically, that’s exactly what most of mankind, including natural scientists, human secularists, occult spiritualists, God-less governments, and agnostic academia in general try to do. They inevitably ascribe to themselves the controlled capacity, the distinctive domain, and the potent position of determining their destiny. And, if you will but afford them the privilege and opportunity; if you will “give them an ear,” they will gladly assist you in discovering your origin and purpose for life. Ultimately, if you yield complete attention and allegiance, they will be delighted to direct your future.
Okay, a little sarcasm here. And I don’t mean to unduly pick on the scientific, philosophical, political, cultural, and social elite; though they carry a lot of weight and exert a significant influence on the common person. Ultimately, every man and woman must choose what they believe, and to whom or what they will listen and follow. As Joshua said, “…choose today whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). [Pages 23-23, Out of the Abyss]
It All Begins by Fearing and Seeking God
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Psalm 111:10, NASB).
The Biblical concept of fear is not hiding or running from God because we are afraid of him, although we must realize that God will one day judge those who have rejected His Son, the only way to God, the only means of salvation. To fear the Lord is the idea of deep respect, ardent adoration for him and immense awe of him … who he is and what he can do. No less (and multiplied many times more) than what we would respectfully think of or do in the presence of a benevolent king or ruler or world leader that we hold in high esteem.
Yet, this deep reverence for the Lord comes only after we acknowledge his very existence and long to know more about him. That is really the beginning of it all; of knowing who we are and why we were placed on the earth.
Moses said about the Lord God: “…And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
The God of the Bible frequently states that he is the only true and living God; that all other gods are man-made and non-existent. Then he backs up that claim with miracles and fulfilled prophecy, and issues a challenge to all the false gods of all man-made religions:
“…I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future” (Isaiah 44:6-7).
“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal, asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing” (Isaiah 40:25-26).
It was a star that guided the wise men of the east to search for and pay homage to the Christ-child. They undoubtedly knew most of the Messianic prophecies otherwise they would not have made the long arduous journey to Israel to find, “the new-born king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). I’m sure that included Isaiah’s prophecy that the child would be born of a virgin.
Then the writer of Hebrews give us the very basic condition to understanding God and how he will reach back to those who truly want to know who he is and what he has done for the human race:
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). The greatest reward of all: God’s forgiveness and everlasting life in heaven through so great a salvation purchased for us by the Virgin-born, resurrected Christ.
That is why we believe all things are possible with God and that nothing is too hard for him, including the miraculous change of the human heart and mind when we believe and receive the Son of God as Lord and Savior.
(3) Those Who Concede the Virgin Birth of Christ Jesus, But They…
Either: (A) question or misunderstand the real meaning or significance of the Virgin Birth being all that relevant; or (B) focus nearly all attention on Mary instead of Jesus by declaring that Mary was without sin, thereby overemphasizing and actually distorting her role in bearing the Son of God. We’ll get to group A in a moment. But first those who claim that Jesus’s mother, Mary was also sinless … otherwise how could/would she be qualified to give birth to the Son of God.
Those in this group are almost exclusively Roman Catholic; and this dubious doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary also was born and lived without sin) decreed as Roman Catholic dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854 is simply not found in God’s Word, the Bible. In fact, it is a blatant contradiction of Scripture.
Mary herself said, “…Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” (Luke 1:46).
Mary proclaimed that God was her Savior. If she (or anyone who has ever lived) thought for a moment that she was sinless, then she would have no need for a Savior; whether or not she had been chosen to give birth to that Savior or not. Moreover, she had been told earlier that her child, “will be called the Son of God.”
She knew beyond all doubt that she, too, needed a Savior; that her baby boy was that Savior, the Messiah.
Later, the Apostle Paul tells us: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).
There are no exceptions, not even Mary. In fact, if Mary never sinned, then why did she die? As God told Adam and Eve in the garden, death was the consequential penalty for only one thing: Sin. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would not have died. They would have lived forever.
As for those who pray to Mary for mediation and even for forgiveness: “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time” (I Timothy 2:5-6).
The right time came when Jesus was born of a virgin!
The Second Adam … The Real Reason/Purpose for the Virgin Birth
Adam and Eve were created without sin (a clean slate as it were); but also God gave them free will to choose to obey him or not. God did not create mankind as a robot; rather as a living soul, a being who would obey his Creator out of love from a willing heart. Adam and Eve chose wrong, therefore:
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12).
The Apostle Paul goes on to say:
“…Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ … For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins” (Verses 14-16).
Paul concludes the comparison with:
“Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous … resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Verses 18-21).
Although Jesus was conceived without inheriting the sin nature (passed down through the seed of men) of man, he, like Adam, still had the capacity to sin by choosing to disobey God (his Father). Satan knew that; but unlike his success with Adam and Eve, Satan’s temptation of Messiah Jesus failed miserably (see Luke 4:1-13).
That is the ultimate purpose for the Virgin Birth: To give Jesus equal opportunity as given to Adam, his counterpart. Or looking at it in reverse, from God’s timeless viewpoint: To give Adam equal opportunity given to the Second Adam.
Both came into this world without sin. Adam was created as the first man. Christ was not created. As part of the Triune God, he is the Creator himself. Thus, he had to be born into this world, but the only way for him to be born without the sin nature (as was Adam created without sin) was to be conceived supernaturally from above, not by natural conception.
Both Adam and Jesus had free will to choose. Adam chose disobedience and died as a result. Christ chose to obey his Father; he also died (crucified by others) but not as a result of any wrong thing he did, for he was without sin. His death was one of a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin: the just for the unjust, the righteous for the unrighteous, and the godly for the ungodly. Whereas, Adam’s death (like ours) was a justified penalty for rebellion against his Creator.
Only a sinless man could reconcile sinful men and women back to God, and restore us to the original condition of Adam and Eve before they sinned. But who could or would that man be? There was only one possible choice: God’s Son born incarnate as one of us. Immanuel—God with us. The perfect unblemished Lamb of God … the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid!
Things to Ponder
Pre-Birth Announcement of the Messiah: “…Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14).
Messiah Jesus’s Birth: “That night there were shepherds in the fields nearby … Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among 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 2:8-11).
His Life: “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’” (John 11:25-26).
*Reader: Put you name in place of Martha.
His Death: “He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners … Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins” (Hebrews 7:26-27).
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:21).
His Resurrection: “Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead … There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).
His Glorious Return: “…All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
“Look, He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Revelation 1:5-7).