The Christmas story really begins with one Old Testament prophecy after another of a promised Savior; a coming King; the Messiah; who would redeem his people and reconcile them unto God the Father. The centerpiece, so to speak, of all these prophecies is Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” and 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” These were written nearly 600 years before Jesus birth. That would be like someone giving a prophecy in the year 1415 that would we would see fulfilled today! In fact, there was a prophecy, a promise given even longer ago than that; thirty some years after Jesus birth that could very well be fulfilled right now, today, at any given moment; and that is Christ’s return! “Do you know what I know?”
Writing under divine influence, Isaiah was able to see across the centuries, and give us an amazingly accurate picture of the Savior’s birth. Even though he may not have known it at the time, the details of this prophecy were fulfilled too precisely for the connection to be dismissed as chance or coincidence.
At Christmas time we tend to focus on the infancy of Christ, and it is the story of his birth, but the greater truth is his Deity. Even more astonishing than the Christ child born in the manger of Bethlehem, is the fact that this promised baby was the omnipotent creator of heaven and earth! He, in fact was almighty God in the flesh! John calls him the “Word.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God!” (John 1:1) Is it any wonder then, that his coming would dramatically and forever alter human history? More than a baby…More than a man…More than a teacher or preacher… More than a prophet or a great leader of men…and my question for you concerning Jesus today is “Do you know what I know?”
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4) Some other translations read “The light shines in the dark, but the dark has never extinguished it.” Oh, they have tried to extinguish the light for centuries, ever since Jesus was born. In the story, King Herod tries by ordering all male Jewish children under the age of two years to be killed… That was the beginning. Today, they have taken prayer out of schools, the Ten Commandments off the walls, and even tried to take “under God” out of our pledge of allegiance and “In God we trust” off our money! “The darkness has never extinguished the light”, and they never will! Isaiah said “of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” which looks beyond the first Christmas to a time in the still prophetic future, when Christ shall reign over all the earth and “every knee will bow and every heart confess.” The kingdoms and nations, and governments will all be subject to the rule of Christ the King! Zechariah 14:9 – “The Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord and his name shall be the only name!”
So, you see, the Christmas story goes far deeper, and far beyond just seeing and hearing, it is something we must know! Though born a babe in a lowly manger, he was and is the “Alpha and the Omega” the beginning and the end. He knows and sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning! He who is timeless, chose to step into time and live as we live, and die as we die, in order that he might be – as scripture says – “the perfecter of our faith”.
There is no greater purpose of Christmas than for us to truly understand and know this one who lay in the manger of Bethlehem – Who he was, why he came, why he died, and why he will come again… “Do you know what I know?”