Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Messiah Jesus and Bible Prophecy

photo by Grzegorz Lobinski

The Messiah promised to the Jewish people was to be a descendant of King David, and the historical person Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled every qualification the Christ had to meet. Since the book of Genesis, mankind had been waiting for the Messiah who would come to save the world. Countless Jewish women of old hoped for the privilege of being his mother, but it was Mary who was chosen for the honor, and the birth of her Son fulfilled ancient prophecy.

The Son of David and the Curse of Jehoiakim

God had promised King David 800 years before Christ that his house and his kingdom would endure forever and that David's throne would be established forever (II Sam. 7:16). God, who cannot lie, would indeed fulfill that promise. David's son Solomon reigned after him, and his son after that all the way down to a perfectly wicked descendant, King Jehoiakim.

Jehoiakim lived during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar and Jeremiah the prophet. Jeremiah was told by the Lord God to prophesy about the impending Babylonian captivity, writing the sacred words in a scroll. When the scroll was read in the presence of King Jehoiakim, the audacious and arrogant monarch sliced it apart with a knife and threw it into a fire. He literally burned the only copy of Jeremiah's book, which was to be part of the Bible.

The Lord's reaction was swift and strong. "This is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David.... I will punish him and his children (Jeremiah 36:30-31, NIV)." This reversal poses a big problem as it seems to nullify God's irrevocable promise to David. How does the curse on Jehoiakim affect the Lord's longstanding promise of a perpetual dynasty to his ancestor David?

Jesus Birth

Matthew 1 outlines Joseph's ancestral and legal line, tracing it from Abraham down to Joseph. However, Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. Mary was a virgin, and Jesus' biological father was God Himself. Joseph was the legal heir to the throne of David, though. If Jehoiakim and the Israelites had not transgressed many years earlier and experienced God's wrath and the removal of David's throne, Joseph would have been King Joseph. This legal right was Joseph's and he passed it down to the firstborn of the next generation, who was Jesus.

Joseph descended through David's royal line, but Mary descended from David, too. David and Bathsheba had other children besides Solomon, and one of them was named Nathan (I Chronicles 3:5). Mary and Joseph both descended from David and Bathsheba.

The Christmas Story and Christ Prophecies

The Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem, and Jesus was (Micah 5:2). The Messiah had to be born of a virgin, and Jesus was (Isaiah 7:14, NIV). Christians believe that the Messiah had to enter the world stage at a specific time in Jewish and human history, and Jesus did (Daniel 9:26, NIV).

These are just a few things regarding Jesus that Christians hold as proof that He was the Christ, the promised Messiah, just by reason of his birth. John the Apostle ended his gospel with the statement, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25, NIV)."


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