Genesis 3:15; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:1, 2; Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Isaiah 7:14
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Yes, there are six featured Scriptures for this one Gem! But each one is a prophecy of the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ! And they are progressive.
Adam and Eve had sinned! They disobeyed God’s specific command: “…of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17). They immediately died spiritually, separated from their Creator! Physical death came later – but it came! And our first parents passed that death to all their progeny – US! (See Romans 5:12).
In Genesis 3:15, this is what the LORD told Satan (in the person of the serpent): “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
It was at the cross that Jesus’ heel was bruised as the nail was driven in, His heel would have pounded against the rough wood of the cross. But the devil’s head was crushed, a death blow, at the resurrection! For the resurrection proved that the Father accepted the sacrifice of the Son to pay for the sins of all humanity!
What has this to do with prophesies of Christmas? The One who bruised the head of Satan was to be born of Eve’s seed – Deity wrapped in humanity!
God’s angel was sent to stop Abraham from killing his son Isaac as a burnt offering to the LORD. He stopped the patriarch at the last moment as “Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” (Genesis 22:10). God, as a test of Abraham’s devotion to the LORD, had told the aged father in Genesis 22:2:
Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.
When Abraham obeyed fully, it was then that the angel stepped in and halted the sacrifice! Because of his obedience, God told him:
By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing,and have not withheld your son, your on- ly son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the hea- ven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22:16, 17).
Abraham’s willingness to give up his son, even to a cruel death, is a preview picture of what God did for us, giving up Jesus to die on the cross!
But let’s get to the prophesy of Christmas in Genesis 22:18: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” How is this a prophesy of Christmas? It tells us that Jesus Christ will not only come from the human race, He will also be descended from the patriarch Abraham!
It was the end of Jacob’s life. Abraham’s grandson, on his deathbed, prophesied the future of his twelve sons, progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. Judah, third born of Jacob from his wife Leah, was to be favored – not just with blessings of this life. Here is what Jacob said of Judah in Genesis 49:10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” The scepter and the lawgiver both refer to a king – and not just to any king, but to the KING OF KINGS! (See Revelation 19:16).
“…until Shiloh comes….” What does this mean? Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible says this about Shiloh: “That Shiloh should be of this tribe [Judah] – his seed, that promised seed, in whom the earth should be blessed: that peaceable and prosperous One, or the Savior.”
Keil & Delizsch Commentary on the Old Testament gives this interpretation:
Shiloh was ordinarily the name of a city....But just as many other names of cities are also name of persons,... Enoch (Gen. 4:17), and Shechem (Gen. 34:2); so Shiloh might also be a personal name, and denote not merely the place of rest, but the man, or bearer, of rest. We re- gard Shiloh, therefore, as a title of the Messiah....
So we might then read Genesis 49:10 this way:
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until the Man comes who is the bearer of rest and peace; and to Him shall be the obe- dience of the people.
So the third refinement of the geneology of the promised Messiah is in Genesis 49:10: He shall be of the tribe of Judah!
Isaiah 11:1 and 2:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
The fourth refinement of Jesus’ lineage narrows down from the tribe of Judah to the family of Jesse of Bethlehem! Elijah the prophet was sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to succeed Saul as king over Israel. Saul had lost the kingship because of his self-will and disobedience. “…Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The LORD has not chosen these.’” Only the eighth was left…
So far the narrowing has gone from all humanity to Abraham, to Jacob, to Judah, and now to Jesse the Bethlehemite. The next narrowing is found in…
Jeremiah 23:5 and 6:
…and the eighth son of Jesse the Bethlehemite was David! Six hundred years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God spoke through Jeremiah the prophet:
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and right- eousness in the earth. In His days Judah [the southern kingdom] will be saved, and Israel [the northern king- dom] will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
God fulfilled this prophesy of Christmas in a marvelous miraculous way! It was first announced in Isaiah 7:14…
This sixth (and final) refinement of the lineage from which came Jesus Christ was prophesied 700 or so years before by the prophet Isaiah. It was given to King Ahaz of Judah, a wicked ruler. Two kings in alliance – Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria had invaded Judah and came against Jerusalem to overthrow the Davidic dynasty and set a new king on the throne. But Isaiah told Ahaz it wouldn’t happen, and God was willing to give a sign to that outcome. But Ahaz would not request a sign of God, so the prophet told the king in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” It was a sign to be fulfilled centuries hence, but also to signify the invaders would be defeated, and David’s dynasty would stand!
Centuries later, a young virgin in Nazareth named Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel. “Then the angel said to her…”
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the High- est; and the Lord God will give the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
Mary was to bear the Messiah!
Why Mary? She was favored by God, a young woman dedicated to Him, and living to please Him. She was also of royal descent! She was descended from King David through his son Nathan. And she was pledged to be married to Joseph, also descended from David through King Solomon. Both of their families had long ago lost the trappings of royalty, both now from common working-class Nazareth families. But Mary’s Son Jesus would be given “…the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
From humanity in general, to Abraham! From Abraham to Jacob! From Jacob to Judah! From Judah to Jesse of Bethlehem! From Jesse to David! From David to Mary!
Oh, yes, there is one more step of narrowing:
From the Son of Mary, Jesus the Son of God, to YOU and ME!