Christmas is an annual event dedicated to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The word ‘Christmas ‘ means ‘ Mass of Christ’.It is commonly celebrated on the 25th of December in many parts of the world. Jesus came to the world for a purpose; He came to fulfill the prophecy that He would save the world from sin and establish the kingdom of God on earth. Right from the fall of Man, God had made provision for the redemption of man. He longed to reconcile man to his rightful position. So at the fullness of time,

He sent Jesus to the world to be birthed by a virgin in the land of Bethlehem. Many events surrounded the birth of Jesus, and they are all significant to the eternal plan of God to save humanity. The topics for the month center on the prophecy that surrounded His birth, the visit of the angel, the place of His birth, His dedication at the temple, and lastly, the significance of His birth to the world. We trust God to help us have a better perspective of the essence of the celebration.

Monthly aim: Disciples will understand and appreciate the significance of the different events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.

Prophecy of Jesus’ birth

Christmas is a period of celebration. It is a time to commemorate the humble birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Long before Jesus was born, there have been prophecies about what His birth would look like. Many prophets in the Old statement foretold His birth and His mission. Although they were not privileged to witness the fulfillment, everything they said concerning Jesus came to pass. His birth was the beginning of God’s plan of redemption for the world(John 3:16-17). Prophecies about His birth will be the focus of our discussion.

Prophecies about His birth

The Scripture contains many prophecies about Jesus. Prophets in the Old Testament foretold the coming of Christ. Bible scholars affirm from research that, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, more than 300 prophecies were foretold about His coming and mission on earth. These prophecies point to the exact location, circumstances, and timing of Jesus Christ’s birth. Every specific detail about Jesus’ birth was planned by God and it came to fulfillment. The following prophecies of the birth of Jesus Christ:

  • The Saviour would be born of a woman and would defeat Satan- Genesis 3:15.
  • The Saviour would come from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-Genesis 12:3;17:19; Numbers 24:17.
  • The Saviour would be from the tribe of Judah-Genesis 49:10.
  • The Messiah would be an heir to King David’s throne and would reign eternally-2 Samuel 7:12-13.
  • The Messiah would be born by a virgin Isaiah 7:14.
  • The Saviour would be born in Bethlehem-Micah 5:2.

The prophets were inspired by God to proclaim the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One, who would rescue and save His people. The fulfillment of the prophecies is contained in the New Testament.

Fulfillment of the Prophecies

Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies concerning Him. In fulfilling the prophecies, He was born by a young woman who was a virgin(Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-31). He was born in Bethlehem to fulfill the prophecy of Prophet Micah in Micah 5:2. Matthew 2:4-6described the birthplace of Jesus. God used the decree of Augustus Caesar to bring His purpose to pass. Mary and Joseph had to travel to Joseph’s hometown, Bethlehem, which is the city of David. In Matthew 1:1-16, the family tree of Jesus describes His genealogy from Abraham to Joseph who was the husband of Mary.

The events associated with His birth fulfilled numerous Old Testament prophecies given many years before the events they described. John the Baptist was born before Jesus because it has been prophesied that he would prepare the way for Him. His birth was a fulfillment of the mission he had with Christ(Luke 1:13-17).

After Jesus’ birth, Herod’s gruesome murder of firstborn sons fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus would live in Egypt. To fulfill that prophecy, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph to escape to Egypt with the baby and His Mother. They returned to Nazareth after the death of Herod so that the prophecy about Him would be fulfilled in our sins. We can praise God for fulfilling His promises and have confidence that will always always be faithful to do what He has promised us as believers.

Having established that the coming of Jesus was a fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Him, believers have reasons to celebrate. People have several interpretations of Christmas. Some people see time as a period. They bask in the euphoria of the season, essence. However, as believers, we must not lose sight of the essence of the prophecy.  These include:

Sharing the Gospel with the unsaved: One of the reasons for the prophecy is for believers to share the Gospel with the unsaved so that they can know and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord, and the Gospel can reach every comer of the world.

Showing Christ’s love to people by giving: Giving is one of the lessons the birth of Christ teaches. The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son (John 3:16). As such, we should emulate God who gave the world the best gift and likewise, gave to people in need.

Expanding the frontiers of God’s kingdom on earth: Jesus came to the world not just for a set of people but for the entire humanity. His mission is to establish God’s kingdom on earth. Believers are to partner with Him by expanding the frontiers of his kingdom everywhere. We should not restrict the spreading of the Gospel to certain environments but work towards its advancement.

Holding on to God’s promises in the Scripture: All the prophecies about Jesus came to fulfillment. The essence of the fulfillment is for believers to believe all the promises of God to them. God is reliable, and we can depend on Him to fulfill all His promises concerning us.

Appreciating God for the gift of His Son: Christmas is a period to be thankful to God for the fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ. Despite the fallen nature of man, God made provision for our redemption. He did not leave us hopeless and helpless. Christ assures us that we have hope in God.

Conclusion

Redemption is a prominent theme throughout the Bible. God has a plan to save the world. That is why He sent Jesus to the world. Before the coming of Jesus, prophecies about His birth were to prepare the Israelites for His arrival. But unfortunately, most of the people He came for were indifferent to Him. They expected a conquering savior, not a humble Messiah. However, God extends the privilege to us. He revealed Himself through Jesus Christ to humankind so that many people who accept Him are given the power to become the Son of God. We should always remember the love of God towards us through the coming of Jesus and show our gratitude to Him.

Prayer

  • Lord, let all Your promises for us come to fulfillment.
  • Lord Jesus, let this season be a liberation and breakthrough for me and my family in the name of Jesus.
  • Father, you gave us Jesus Christ as a gift. Help me to give us the gifts that will open doors of blessings for me in the name of Jesus.
  • My Father, let the joy of God dwell in my heart and mind in this season in the name of Jesus.
  • I thank you for the gift of life to the world in the name of Jesus.

Post-Group Activity: Share the story of Jesus’ birth with your friends who are not Christians.