Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

O.T. Tuesday: For Unto Us A Child Is Born

To me one of the most mind boggling things about Jesus' ministry on earth is that His arrival was prophesied over and over with breathtaking accuracy. All of Israel knew to the day when He would triumphantly enter Jerusalem due to  the accuracy of the prophecies. To me the joy of Christmas  is the promise fulfilled, the beginning of God's ministry on earth, and the start of Satan's long final slide into the lake of fire.

He was there at the beginning of all things, but physically He was only with us for a few years, and the echoes of those three years of ministry are still reverberating through society. But today let's look back to the beginning. This is Old Testament Tuesday so let's look at the Old Testament prophesies God gave us concerning His arrival. I wondered if God smiled when ever He gave us another prophesy to ponder like a parent watching  a child working to piece together a puzzle. 

God's first first prophesy about Jesus wasn't a promise to us, it was a warning to Satan. After Satan conned Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, God had a few well chosen Words for that old serpent:
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,"Because you have done this,Cursed are you more than all cattle,And more than every beast of the field;On your belly you will go,And dust you will eatAll the days of your life;15 And I will put enmityBetween you and the woman,And between your seed and her seed;He shall bruise you on the head,And you shall bruise him on the heel." (Gen 3:14-15)
Here God is telling Satan that because he tricked Eve he's been cursed. There is going to be a child born of a woman who is going to stomp Satan in the head and all Satan can do is nip the promised one's heel. Fulfilled in Galatians 4:4

God uses all tools at his disposal to do his bidding, in this next prophesy God uses a non-Israelite to do deliver his message. Balaam was a Mesopotamian sorcerer whom God used to prophesize a coming King of Israel from the linage of Jacob
"I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel...
(Numbers 24:17)

The genealogy of Jesus is clearly outlined in  Matthew 1:1-16, and he is clearly a descendant of Jacob. Jacob himself had prophesied that Jesus would come from the tribe of Judah:
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
 (Genesis 49:10)
Probably the most beautiful Old Testament prophesy about Jesus came from Isaiah which said that Jesus would, among other things, be a descendant of David:
6 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.7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,On the throne of David and over his kingdom,To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousnessFrom then on and forevermore.The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Isaiah also told us that Jesus would be born of a virgin:
13 Then he said, "Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:13-14)
...and that he would be born in Bethlehem:
"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity."
(Micah 5:2)
...and when he would be born:
 24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress (Daniel 9:24-25)
This is an incredibly complex prophesy. A week in the bible is a group of seven of something. Here a week doesn't mean seven days, it means a group of seven years, so seventy weeks is 490 years. Israel has 490 years to finish the transgression (restrain sin and in Israel's case their biggest sin is apostasy) put an end to sin (God will judge sin in its finality) and atone for inequity (to atone for sin through the blood of the Messiah). Next God promises to bring in everlasting righteousness (the eternal righteousness of Daniels people in their change from centuries of apostasy) seal both vision and prophesy (to perfectly complete all visions and prophesies) and anoint a holy place (concentrate the a temple)

Verse 25 is as clear and plain as any prophesy can get without a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate it: In Daniels day Israel lay in ruins after Nebuchadnezzar conquered it. The prophesy says that 483 years (seven and sixty two weeks) after permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple is given to the Jews, they can expect the Messiah. Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday came 483 years after permission to rebuild the temple was given.

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