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Christmas foretold

By Jim Killebrew

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[December 14, 2013]  Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. Through the years, many have argued about the time of His birth and have pointed out that Dec. 25 is likely not the exact date, even though we celebrate it at that time. Regardless of the actual date on which He was born, an important thing to remember is that no one should have been surprised that He was born.

From the earliest times, we have recorded history that points to an event when God was going to do something to redeem mankind from the consequences of sin that mankind had brought upon himself. When Adam and Eve chose to follow the words of the Devil, who was in the form of a serpent, and rejected the Creator God through their disobedience, it sealed their fate and the fate of all others in their posterity. God had expressly warned Adam that death would enter His creation and mankind, His crowning glory, and they would have to cease to exist if they sinned.

Salvation was outside of Adam and Eve; they could do nothing in this vast creation to save themselves. The sentence of death had to be carried out. There was no hope for mankind to usurp the decision of God and reverse the situation. The created being could not challenge the sovereignty of the Creator God and force Him to relent, especially from their weakened position of the effects of their sin. Therefore, if salvation was to come in any form, it had to come from the Creator Himself.

Salvation through the "Seed" promised

Many theologians and commentators believe that we catch a glimpse of God's grace, love and salvation in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. Satan, or the Devil, had appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a serpent. Through his cunning and lying, he convinced Eve first, then Adam, to disobey God by eating fruit that God had forbidden them to eat. Recorded for us in the third chapter of Genesis is the following scene:

"And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." — Genesis 3:14-15

This passage was written sometime from 1450 to 1410 B.C. in the first book in the Bible, a book of Moses. God had given a clue to the two who had sinned that something was planned already that would provide a way for reconciliation and salvation for mankind from their sin. That plan included the posterity of the woman and the very essence of evil, Satan, who was fighting for the soul of God's creation. The ultimate victory would be God, but Satan would get in a hurtful blow before he went down.

As God revealed Himself more and more through the years, He inspired people to record and document what He had shown to them. The "seed" of the woman continued through the centuries, and God worked through mankind to establish a nation through one man, Abraham, and watched it grow through Abraham's and Sarah's offspring, with Isaac and Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. Through 400 years of slavery in Egypt to the building of a great kingdom through David and Solomon, and on to countless times of defeat and captivity by outside nations that captured Israel and Judea, God kept telling His story of the One who would bring salvation to mankind.

Where the "Seed" was to be born

Even small, seemingly insignificant details were spoken and documented by the prophets. This One who was coming from God Himself was foretold by the prophet Micah and was documented in a book in the Old Testament of the Bible that bears his name, Micah, in the fifth chapter:

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." — Micah 5:2

This passage was written sometime from 742 to 687 B.C., during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezehiah. This ruler in Israel, Who is everlasting, will be born in a town in Judea called Bethlehem. This prophecy was made and recorded more than 700 years before the event occurred. One can see the working of a Mastermind using the events of mankind as the foretold plan is being played out.

Some work of the "Seed"

Further documentation in the Bible reveals what this "Seed" to be born in Bethlehem was going to do. We catch a glimpse of this in the writings of a major prophet, Isaiah:

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." — Isaiah 53:5

This passage was written about 681 B.C. and declares that the One who was coming was going to be a substitute for each of us. He would be beaten and injured severely for the sins we have committed. He would take the punishment that was meant for us because of all of the things we have done wrong. He would actually heal us with his life and sacrifice and give us a chance to be whole again.

Transportation for the "Seed"

As time marched on, God worked through His nation and the activities in the world around it. With each year that passed, the time was being drawn nearer for the "Seed" to appear and for God to enact the plan He had provided long before. The Great Mastermind who had announced His plan for the provision of mankind's salvation provided a glimpse of the "Seed" with even more minuscule activities that would allow mankind to preview the coming events. One of the prophets, named Zachariah, recorded for us to see one small, but significant behavior we could expect to see:

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass." — Zachariah 9:9

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This passage was written about 480 B.C. and pictures the King coming to the people, riding on a small donkey. The people were told to rejoice because the One who possessed salvation for all was coming to Jerusalem and would be doing so in such a way that all would see and know it was Him. He would be the Just One with righteousness and salvation for all who believed in Him. From our perspective centuries later, it is easy for us to play this scene over and over in our mind: We know it as Palm Sunday, just one week before He was crucified, the day Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

The "Seed" is conceived

These are just a few of the writings that foretold the coming of the One Who was to be the fulfillment of God's plan of salvation for all mankind. From the New Testament perspective and Christians who are alive in the 21st century, millennia later, we read the account of the time when God came to earth to dwell with us:

"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God." — Luke 1:26-35

This passage was written about A.D. 60 as a recording of the entry of the seed of the woman. Throughout the history of man, the "seed" of woman had been carried. Notice that the provision of God did not include the "seed" of the man. It was God Himself through the Holy Spirit Who provided the fertility to the womb of the virgin maiden. Again, God had provided a glimpse even to this:

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." — Isaiah 7:14

The "Seed" arrives

Finally there came the right time for God's promise to be fulfilled. When the time was absolutely right, when everything had been fulfilled that had been written about the provision of God regarding the promised "Seed," the beginning of a brand-new time was put in motion. At Christmas we read the very familiar passage from the New Testament Bible, in the book of Luke:

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and 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…" — Luke 2:4-14

This passage was written about A.D.60, depicting the fulfillment of the promise God had provided in the Garden of Eden.


We can celebrate this provision from God every day of the year and every day of our lives. It is the fulfillment of a promise God made back during the very early days when mankind still lived in the Garden of Eden to deliver His creation. It really does not make any difference on what day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. His sacrifice for us has given those of us who believe in His birth, life, sacrifice, resurrection and ascension a hope that someday we will be with Him in eternity and will once again walk with Him like our early ancestors did in the Garden.

Therefore, on Dec. 25 of each year, we can celebrate the birth of God's promised "Seed" and the provision He has made through Jesus, His Son, to redeem us from death and give us the gift of eternal life. Further, each day of our lives we can celebrate the work Jesus did on the cross by shedding His blood as we yield to Him, accept Him and follow Him as our LORD and Savior.


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