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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Eleven

Christ, God With Us

Prophecy - Isaiah 7:14
Fulfillment - Matthew 1:23

Of all the Messianic Prophecies contained in the pages of Holy Scripture, the prophecy of the virgin birth is one of the most important. Of course, every prophecy in the Bible is important because it is part of God’s Holy Word; but the prospect of Jesus being born of a virgin goes to the very heart of the gospel message. If Jesus had been born of an earthly father, He would have been tainted by sin and depravity; thus He could not have been our Saviour. If He had not been born of a virgin He would not have been the Son of God, for that was the sign which God gave to identify Him.

As we look back to the time when Isaiah gave the prophecy of a virgin birth, it is interesting to notice that God was speaking to a man named Ahaz. God told Ahaz to ask for a sign and he refused to do so. So the Lord Himself gave a sign, saying: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Although this sign which God gave was not fulfilled during the days of Ahaz, it was fulfilled hundreds of years later. During those years perhaps many Jews wondered when God would fulfill the prophecy which Isaiah recorded. The Gospel of Matthew informs us that its fulfillment came in the birth of Jesus Christ. He said, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:22-23).

Because of the importance of this prophecy and its fulfillment, it has become a very controversial subject. Many have debated the meaning of the Hebrew word “almah.” Some have suggested that the word simply means a young woman or unmarried female. Apparently, some translators think that Jesus was simply to be born of a young woman and deny that anything more is implied by the word “virgin.” However, in Matthew 1:23 the word “parthenos” is used and it clearly means a virgin in the purest sexual sense. That fact is verified by many other New Testament references. The translators of the authorized King James Version of the Bible, apparently understood the meaning of the English use of “virgin.” The Thorndike Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary gives as the second definition; a person who has not had sexual intercourse. Was the ancient prophecy which God gave through Isaiah declaring that the Son of God would be born of a woman who had never had sexual relations? Of course! That is precisely what God wanted us to understand. Some might question how such a thing could possibly happen. That is God’s point; it could not happen except for His miraculous and sovereign power. Since a virgin birth could not accidentally occur in the lineage of mankind, God’s Son could thereby be identified. God’s Divine authority and power are the means of the miraculous birth of Christ. Consider this fact; God miraculously gave Abraham and Sarah a child well beyond the years of reproduction. By the same power He could also send His Son into this world through another miraculous birth. We must remember that with God all things are possible! Matthew 19:26 states, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

It is also necessary to understand that the virgin birth was a “sign” from God. It was to be the mark of identification that would reveal His Son when He came into this world. Now if the “sign” was simply that a young woman was to give birth, what would be the significance of such a sign? The vast majority of children born into humanity are born of young women. Since there are only a few older women who give birth, the masses of humanity are and have always been born to young women, so which one of the multiplied millions born by natural child birth, would be God’s Son? To be born of a young woman would in reality be no sign at all. Think of it this way, suppose I gave you my address so you could find my home. If every road sign was the same how would you know which street to take to get to my house? Road signs would have no significance if they were all alike. Even so, if Jesus was going to be born of just a young woman, we would still be asking “Which one?” Thank God, the sign was a one time occurrence! A young woman who had never had intimate relations with a man, by the power of the Holy Ghost, was blessed to bear the Son of God. Luke 1: 35 says, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Praise God, our Saviour was positively identified.

In addition to all that has been said, there is yet another important point that needs to be mentioned. Not only did the sign declare that a virgin would conceive, but that she would still be a virgin when the child was born. Notice carefully the wording of Isaiah 7:14; “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Not only would she be a virgin at conception but as a virgin she would give birth to a Son. Matthew 1:23 confirms that fact and in Matthew 1:24-25 we read, “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

One final thought looms before us as we read the prophecy of Isaiah. He said they would call this virgin born Son by the name “Immanuel.” Interestingly enough, Matthew mentioned that fact and added a word of explanation. In Matthew 1:23, he said the word “Emmanuel” (New Testament spelling) meant “God with us.” What a wonderful thought, the virgin born Son would be Divine, literally He was God among men. Paul wrote, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Because He was God manifest in the flesh, He was God with men; and being God in the flesh, He could die for our sins and the sins of all God’s elect, chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). What a glorious hope is ours through Christ Jesus, the sinless Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. Let us rejoice and give praise to Him Who gave us such a specific sign by which we could identify our beloved Lord and Saviour.

While we rejoice in the fact that Jesus came to live on this earth as “God with us,” let us never forget that He is still with us. Yes, He did live on this earth in a body of flesh and walk among men. They were blessed to see Him with their eyes and hear Him with their ears and touch Him with their hands. John said, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). What a very special blessing they enjoyed; and yet, He is also with us now. When I make that statement, I recognize that Jesus is even now seated at the right hand of God our heavenly Father (Mark 16:19) and yet, we must also remember the promise which He made to the disciples. Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). He ascended into heaven; yet He left us a comforting promise “I am with you alway.” Just think of it; Jesus made this wonderful promise to His disciples and to God’s saints of all ages, including you and me.

Can He really be in heaven and with us too? Yes! Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Jesus can be with us worldwide because He is God and thus is omnipresent. By the Holy Spirit, Christ resides in every born again person. We are truly blessed to be able to feel His holy presence within us. Paul wrote, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). According to the words of Paul, the “Spirit of God” and the “Spirit of Christ” are the same. That being true, Jesus is “God with us” by the power of the Holy Spirit. How thankful we should be, that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, that He died for our sins, and even now enriches our souls through His wonderful presence.

Everyone who professes a hope in Christ, should embrace this truth: Jesus was born of a virgin and was thereby identified as the Son of God. No other religion on earth has such a testimony, for their founders were mere mortal men. Because of Who Jesus is, He is worthy of our praise and glory. Let us embrace the words of Revelation 5:9-12, which says “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Amen!

That which our minds cannot understand, our faith can embrace, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our God is a sovereign God, possessing all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), “...and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What does thou?” (Daniel 4:35). Let us therefore, Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2). Since all these scriptures are true, it was no difficult task for God to send His only begotten Son into this world by a virgin birth. May we embrace these truths by our faith, declare them to others and live our lives in full assurance of such a great and gracious prophesy.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015