- Pastor Ralph Acerno
Prophecies and Christmas
Many argue that the Bible is simply another religious book among many, written by fallible humans who in their own way tried to teach us about God. However, it is not that simple. The Bible itself states that it is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). That, of course, sounds like a circular argument, and it would be were it not for certain evidence defying mere human authorship.
One of these is prophecy. How could mere mortals predict specific events in time and space long before they occurred? And not only vague predictions, but tied to specific times, places and events.
Take Christmas for example. Isaiah 7:14 speaks of Jesus' virgin birth some seven centuries before it occurs. Or how does one explain Isaiah 9:6, in which a child will be born whose name is mighty God, referring to the incarnation? How does one explain Micah 5:2, penned some six centuries before, speaking of the birthplace of Jesus?
Recently at the University of Texas, these three prophecies were computer analyzed on the basis of the odds that men, without divine help, could precisely predict that Jesus would be both man and God, be born of a virgin and that Bethlehem would be His birthplace centuries before they happened. The results were staggering.
Imagine covering all of Texas with golf balls 40 feet deep. Now imagine a person try finding the exact golf ball that was planted. Those were the odds of predicting Christ in the way we have recorded in Scripture simply on the basis of human guess work. We know from the dead sea scrolls that Isaiah lived centuries before Jesus, as did Micah. And there are literally hundreds of more prophecies in the Bible!
Christmas is neither based on hype, hysteria or hallucination. It is based on a hope in the God who cannot lie, and in His sovereign power, which is altogether sufficient to ensure that what He has promised will come to pass.