Hmmm.... what came next - next in what we know of Jesus? He created, sustained all of creation and then what...the angel came to Mary to tell her she was to bear a Son, right? No, Sir.
When God came to the Garden of Eden, and upon the disobedience of Adam and Eve, he spoke to them first and then turned his focus on the Devil, the deceiver--telling him that One would come who would destroy him. Genesis 3.15 is the first mention of the Hope of the Messiah, and that the Messiah would one day defeat the Devil forever.
Jesus did not just suddenly appear on the scene - it had been talked about for millennia! God spoke to prophets who revealed details about the coming Messiah.
These prophecies are way-pointers to the Savior, but also evidence of the reliability of the written words of Scripture. Prophecies show us the heart of God--for people to be in close fellowship with him, just as he had originally intended with humanity before Adam and Eve chose to go their own way, chose to sin. Yes almost immediately, the Bible begins to reveal God's plan of salvation as our God is the Author of hope.
While there were more than 300 prophecies concerning Jesus, there were 60 literal prophecies written about the coming Messiah, specifically fulfilled in one Jesus Christ of Nazareth. God spoke through the Old Testament prophets--Micah, Isaiah, Zechariah and others--to prepare the people for the Messiah's birth.
Make no mistake--when Jesus was born to Mary, He was the fulfillment of these prophecies given hundreds of years before to God's people. Christianity rides on the fulfillment of these prophecies in our Jesus.
Take a look at what God said about the significance of prophecy: I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from my mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say, "My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them." Isaiah 48:3,5
And then Jesus said: Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill . Matthew 5:17
Look at just eight of the prophecies about Jesus:
--that He would be: Born in Bethlehem
->Micah 5:2: But you, Bethlehem...out of you shall come forth the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
fulfillment: Matthew 2:1, 2:4-8, Luke 2:4-7; John 7:42
--that Jesus would be preceded by a messenger
->Isaiah 40.3: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord...'
Fulfillment: Matthew 3:1-2, 11:10, Luke 1:17; John 1:23
--that Jesus would would enter Jerusalem on a donkey
->Zechariah 9:9: Your King is coming to you...lowly and riding on a donkey...
Fulfillment: Matthew 21:6-11, Luke 19:35-37a
Link to Bible passages: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21.6-11%3B+Luke+19.35-37a&version=NIV
--that Jesus would be betrayed by a friend
->Psalm 41:9: Even my familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Fulfillment: Matthew 10:4
Link to Bible passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10.4&version=NIV
--that Jesus would be sold for 30 pieces of silver
->Zechariah 11:12: 'if it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.' So they weighed out for my wages 30 pieces of silver.
Fulfillment: Matthew 26:15
Link to Bible passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+26.15&version=NIV
--that the money would be thrown down, used to buy a potter's field ->Zechariah 11:13: I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5, 27:7
Link to Bible passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27%3A5%2C+27%3A7&version=NIV
--that Jesus would stand dumb before His accusers
->Isaiah 53:7: He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12
Link to Bible passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27%3A12&version=NIV
--that Jesus' hands and feet would be pierced
-> Psalm 22:16: They pierced My hands and feet. note: this was not the way of execution at the time this prophecy was written; crucifixion came in much later with Roman rule; cruel crucifixion learned from the Persians
Fulfillment: Luke 23:33
Link to Bible passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+23%3A33&version=NIV
Look at the details of these prophecies--most written some 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Remember that these are just eight of the five dozen literal prophecies. Jesus Christ was the exact fulfillment of 60 prophecies/promises spoken hundreds of years before his birth. The chance that any man might have lived and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th--1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.1
Wow. God was at work paving the way for Jesus to enter the human race as an infant, giving His people marks for knowing the Messiah was coming to them. This is interesting--God created the heavens and the earth when Jesus spoke them into being2, and he spoke of the coming Savior quite specifically too as the entire Old Testament is shaped around the coming Messiah. Amen.
“My Jesus” Anne Wilson, Matthew West: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmIw0F4wHZo
Jesus will always be found by us.
1 - Science Speaks, Peter Stoner
2 - Psalm 33.9