In this mini-series, we shall consider the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ from the following angles:
- Incarnation Foretold – in the prophecies of Old Testament scriptures.
- Incarnation Unfolded – the birth of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels.
- Incarnation Retold – other biblical references to how and why He came.
The earliest promise is that of the “Seed” of the woman, who will “bruise” the head of the serpent, (Genesis 3:15). This reference to the devil as the serpent indicates that God would deal with both sin and its originator by the Lord Jesus (the “Seed”). This was part of God’s will from the beginning.
Micah’s prophecy predicts Bethlehem as the place at which He shall “come forth” (Micah 5:2) and adds that His “goings forth are from of old, from everlasting”, or, “the days of eternity”. Only the One who is eternal can give eternal life.
Isaiah prophesies that “the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The way in which the Lord Jesus came was necessary, unique, and miraculous. Necessary, because He came from God, unique because no other has been born this way, and miraculous because this would be naturally impossible. This was God’s sign to identify the One who was to be Immanuel, meaning “God with us”. In His life the Lord Jesus would demonstrate the power, perfection, and love of God.
Isaiah also speaks of who He is: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The Child born would be the Son of God given from heaven, bearing all the dignity, authority, and greatness of God. The Lord Jesus would ultimately bring about peace; it was “peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20).
How do these Old Testament predictions relate to us?
Aside from these writings being just short of a thousand years before Christ’s birth and therefore bearing evidence of the reliability of the Bible as God’s inspired Word, there are some important, personal implications of the truth presented:
- Sin is a problem that separates us from the holy God, and we therefore stand condemned. Sin must be dealt with justly if we are to have a relationship with God. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus, came to conquer sin and evil.
- The Lord Jesus is eternal and the giver of eternal life, which we need. This spiritual life from God brings us into the family of God. Without it, we cannot know God, or have a relationship with Him.
- It took the Incarnation to reveal God to us.
- He came to bring peace and offer salvation, forgiveness and eternal life, based on His suffering upon the cross, where He took the judgement that sin deserved, and His subsequent resurrection.
What does this One, whose incarnation was foretold, mean to you? If He is your Saviour, then thank Him again and bow in worship this Christmastime as you are reminded of the wonder of the eternal Son of God coming into the world.
If, however, until now you have seen Him only as the One who, in history, fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, will you recognise for the first time who He really is? Acknowledge your sin, trust Him as your Saviour and receive eternal life, peace with God and forgiveness of your sins.
Photo credit: Taylor Wilcox