Today’s Text: Luke 1:46, 55
WALKING THROUGH THE 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Christians celebrating Christmas in the 21st century rightly focus on the night Jesus was born. With only a cursory reading of the Gospels, some, however, have concluded that the Christmas account actually began with Gabriel’s message to Mary.
In reality, Mary’s response to Gabriel’s message acknowledged centuries of prophetic preparation:
LUKE 1:46, 55
“And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. . . He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.’”
THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM
God had established that the promised Messiah would come through the nation of Israel as promised to Abraham recorded in Genesis 12:3. At the end of his life, Jacob-Israel—who was Abraham’s grandson—blessed his own fourth son, Judah, thereby confirming that the Redeemer would not only come through the people of Israel, but specifically through the line of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10).
THE PROMISE TO DAVID
Approximately 640 years after Jacob conferred the Messianic blessing on Judah, God further narrowed the Messianic line to one descendant of Judah—David, the king of Israel (Gen. 49:10).
God promised David,
“I will set up your seed after you . . . your house and your kingdom shall be established forever . . . Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:12-13, 16).
Next, the chosen lineage was revealed in David’s son Solomon in whom God reconfirmed His promise saying, “You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel” (2 Chr. 7:18).
THE PROMISE TO MARY
The prophets narrowed the description of the promised Savior even further. Isaiah confirmed Messiah would be born of a virgin leaving no doubt that He would be no less than God saying,
“His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”—names attributed to God (Isa. 7:14, 9:6).
THE PROMISED BIRTHPLACE
And, the last prophetic revelation of the Hebrew Scriptures assures,
“the Lord, whom you seek . . . even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 3:1).
THE PROMISE FULFILLED
Four hundred years later, God’s ancient promise became a reality! Bethlehem was crowded as never before. Guesthouses were full as King David’s descendants converged on the village in compliance with the decree of the Roman government to register in the census. It was during this period of mandatory registration that the young virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of God.
On that glorious night, the genealogies establishing birthright, God’s covenants and prophecies given to Israel concerning the promised Savior converged in the birth of Jesus—the Messiah and Son of God.
God celebrated the event with a spectacular announcement as the night sky suddenly exploded into dazzling light. An angel accompanied by the heavenly host proclaimed the Good News:
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David [the] Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11).
The Nativity was the culmination of critical events planned and choreographed by God that climaxed in the birth of His Son. God, who strategically planned every detailed event leading to the Incarnation and birth of our Savior, continues to intervene in world affairs to accomplish His purposes today.
No matter how uncertain or turbulent world circumstances may be, we can take heart in that fact today.
EMBRACING THE PROMISE
May we as people of faith declare with the psalmist, “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Ps. 90:2)! “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 7:12).
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Walking to church. By George Henry Durrie (1820–1863) [Public domain].
2) The Annunciation, (1889). By Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Categories: Walking Through the Days of Christmas