Consider three scenarios:
(1) Some people write on dollar bills before they spend them to see if, by random chance, they ever get them back again. I have done that on occasion, but I have never gotten one back.
(2) A speaker at a women’s dinner spoke of a board game she played as a child that was a fun memory for her. Now, as a mom of grown children, she went online looking for that same game to recreate some fun for herself and her family. There were around 10 of this “vintage” game for sale on eBay from different individuals. She picked one and ordered it. When she opened the box, there was her very own writing on the lid of the box! She received HER game from several decades before!
(3) My dad was on a navy ship based in Mayport, FL, in the ‘50s. In the 90s I began teaching Sunday School for High School seniors in Dunwoody, GA. Upon meeting the Sunday School Director, we went down a conversation path that led to my giving my maiden name. He began reminiscing about a dear friend of his with my same name. His friend was from New Jersey and they were on the same naval ship. They had lost touch over the years. As he continued speaking about his friend, I finally shouted out, “That’s my daddy!” In a crazy set of circumstances, he and my dad reconnected. They met each other’s wives, they were able to catch up, and share fun and funny memories of times gone by.
Movies are made about scenarios such as these. They seem like such arbitrary occurrences – like lightening striking in a preassigned location. But ARE THEY? I believe in a God who is ABLE to do miraculous and mighty things! God is bigger than all of the universe. He knows when sparrows fly and fall, and how many hairs are on my head. A God like this can orchestrate things that remind us that the Ultimate Superpower is a personal and loving God.
The supreme example of God orchestrating “random” dwells in His Son = Jesus the Christ/Messiah = Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” The prophets of the Old Testament (the Jewish Tanakh) predicted over 300 things that the Messiah would fulfill. First, let’s address what makes someone a prophet of God. If someone predicts something in the name of the Lord, it must be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. No exceptions. (Deuteronomy 18: 18-22) God’s anointed prophets spoke and/or penned the words that God gave them regarding future things, including the coming of His Son. Jesus satisfied all of them! And many predictions are yet to be fulfilled!
Some of the prophecies fulfilled are:
- God told Abraham that nations would be blessed through his lineage (Genesis 12:3 – fulfillment described in Matthew 1:1 and Acts 3:25-26)
- God made a covenant with Isaac that his ancestors would be reckoned to God for eternity (Genesis 17:19 – fulfilled Romans 9:7)
- God made a covenant with Jacob that all people would be blessed through his offspring (Genesis 28:14 – fulfilled Luke 3:34)
- Jeremiah wrote that Messiah would come from the lineage of King David (Jeremiah 23:5-6 – fulfillment described in Luke 1:31-33)
- Nathan the prophet told David that his offspring would have an eternal kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-13 – fulfillment Matthew 1:1)
- Isaiah penned that Messiah would be born from a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 7:14 – fulfilled in Matthew 1:20-23, Luke 1:35)
- Micah said Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 – fulfilled in Luke 2:1-7)
- Messiah would be called a Nazarene (one from Nazareth) (In Matthew 2:23 it says “so was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that He would be called a Nazarene.”)
- He would be called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1 – fulfilled in Matthew 2:1-15)
Jonathan Bernis at firmisrael.org writes:
The Bible is full of prophecies about the Messiah. Mathematician Peter Stoner counted the probability of one person fulfilling just eight of these prophecies and concluded it is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. To illustrate the chances, Stoner used the following: Suppose all of Texas were covered with 2 feet of silver coins with one coin being marked with a red dot. Then a blindfolded man is told he can go where he wishes, but he must pull the precise coin that is marked.
Jesus fulfilled not 8, but rather more than 324 individual prophecies about the Messiah! The probability of one man accomplishing that many prophecies is beyond comprehension! The Messiah was prophesied in Scripture with great specificity. Jesus’s existence on this earth, as a man, was NOT a random happening.
As we celebrate the advent season leading up to Christmas, let’s remember some of the “impossibilities” that were overcome by the incarnation of God, who was laid in a manger all those years ago.
- Born of a virgin (even modern internal and external fertility methods need male and female donors!)
- The fulfillment of a number of prophecies that statistics say were humanly impossible for one person
- Sinless all his life (impossible for man because we are born with a sin nature – thanks Adam and Eve!)
- The ONLY way to cover the sins of humanity, through His life, death and resurrection, making us righteous, and thus able to be in the presence of a holy God
- Dead. He raised Himself back to life!
“With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Since Jesus was able to overcome all of these statistical, earthly impossibilities, I feel comfortable believing what He says about His, and my future. I look forward to The Day when Jesus will gather us to Himself for eternity!