Only Christ was Predicted

Beloved in the Lord Jesus, 
We are about a week away from the great day of Christmas, when we ponder that singular event – the Word becoming flesh, this God who made all things, enteres into our own world, to be born like us and live with us – in order to save us. – This Jesus, who is still with us, who we pray to, speak to during the day.
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But today there are many people in the world who feel lost; they don’t know what to believe about anything, they are not living such good lives, and they are confused. They see different religions in the world, and atheists, and they are bewildered. Like Pontius Pilate they seem to say, ‘What is truth?’ Who really knows anything? Who is Jesus? How is our religion different from others?
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History is full of famous religious leaders who claim to be prophets or a spokesman for God. Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, LaoZi, Baha u llah, Joseph Smith, and many others – and Jesus. Bishop Fulton Sheen[i] asks a very good question:  Of all these religious leaders he says, is there any objective evidence that we could look at, to judge the truth of the claims of these people? Each has a right to be heard, but what legitimate claims can they make? If one of them came from God, the least God could do as evidence for us, would be to pre-announce his coming. If God sent someone, or came himself, with a vitally important message, it would seem reasonable that he would first let us know that his messenger is coming, where he would be born, and many other things. Otherwise, any impostor could appear in history, and say: I came from God, or an angel told me this or that.  If a man shows up in Washington, DC as a diplomat, claiming to represent another government, he must present his credentials, to prove that he is who he says he is, and those documents cannot have been written AFTER he arrives, they must pre-date his arrival.
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And so then, of the many religious figures of history, we must ask them: ‘What record was there before you were born, that you were coming?[ii] Socrates had no one to foretell his birth. Buddha had no one to pre-announce him and his message, or tell the day when he would sit under the tree. For Confucius, the events of his birth and his mother were not recorded, nor were they written down centuries before his arrival. But with Christ it was different.
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By the many Old Testament prophecies, his coming was expected. How can we not read Isaiah’s predictions of the Virgin Birth of the Messiah, or the prophet Micah’s predictions of his birth in Bethlehem, how can we read these ancient prophecies, and not marvel?   Or the detailed descriptions of the suffering Messiah written down, as if the author himself wrote it at the very foot of the cross! Or the psalms, which describe, even a thousand years before Christ, the holes in the hands of the crucified Messiah, before crucifixion was even invented. There were no predictions about Baha u llah, Joseph Smith, or Mohammed, or anyone else. They just came and said, ‘Here I am, you must believe me.’ They were therefore only ordinary men – and not the Divine Man, come down from heaven.
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Christ alone, came into history, amidst a torrent of prophecy. At the time of Our Lord’s birth, the rabbis had gathered together some 456 predictions about the Messiah to come. And so, when he asked, the scribes could assure King Herod that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Since then, scholars have discovered a total of 1096 prophecies of Christ, every one of them fulfilled. But for other religious figures – nothing. Buddha’s own mother did not know he would amount to anything; nor was Confucius or Mohammed ever pre-announced. But the collection of prophecies of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is simply staggering. Isaiah 35:4: Here is your God, he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; the lame will leap like a stag, and the tongue of the mute will sing. It was predicted, and Jesus did it: he healed the blind, and the deaf, and the lame, and the mute. Instantly. And perhaps most amazing, is that with the arrival of Christ, all new prophecy came to an abrupt and sudden end.
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The Blessed Virgin was well aware from scripture, that the time foretold by the prophets had arrived; that the 70 weeks of Daniel were completed; that the scepter of Judah had passed to hands of a foreign king (Herod), and that a Virgin was to be the Mother of the Messiah. And these prophecies don’t even consider the thousands of miracles and wonders worked by Christ in the course of his life.
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Friends, we can open any modern history book, open one up, and you will find that they no longer use the terms, BC and AD. They no longer use ‘Before Christ’ and Ad Domino – year of Our Lord’ Now they say BCE and CE – ‘Before Common Era, and Common Era.’ Why? to remove the reference to Christ. The popular children’s dictionary in England, now has had every Christian word and symbol removed from it. Kids in publics schools tell me, they are told to no longer say ‘Christmas break’ – they are to say: holiday break. A 6th grader said me, ‘Father, it isn’t right!’   – and he is correct – it isn’t right.
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The pagan world rejects Jesus, and wants his name expunged from every part of society. Why? Because Christianity is a problem for an immoral world. The world wants this season to be not about Christ, but about snowmen, flying reindeer, and food and parties. They want happiness, but do not want God; but this is a dead-end project. You can’t have happiness without God! there is no point to this “Holiday” – if Jesus Christ is not in the center. People now say: happy holidays. ——   Such words must never pass the lips of Christians. Let us always be guilty, of being a Christian, and saying, ‘Merry Christmas.’
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The final prophetic voice announcing the Savior, was John the Baptist who we read today. As scripture says, ‘He came for testimony, to testify to the Light. And so I ask you, dear Christians. Will you testify to the Light?
Friends, we are not just ‘one religion among many;’ Jesus is not just some other prophet or religious teacher, he is God come down from heaven – foretold by the prophets long ago. No other religious figure has the credentials of Jesus Christ. no one. And so Our Lord is asking: will you will be witnesses to the truth, to the greatest event in the story of mankind: when the Son of God came down from heaven, and split history into two parts: BC and AD.

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[i] This material borrows from ‘The Life of Christ,’ by Fulton Sheen, p. 11-14.

[ii] Even the pagans had a prophetic sense. Tacitus, a Roman historian writes: ‘people were generally persuaded that from Judea was to come the Master and Ruler of the world.’ Even in China, the sages looked for the appearance of the great Saint of the West. The Greeks expected him, for Aeschylus in his Prometheus, 600 years before Christ wrote: ‘look not for any end, to this curse, until God appears to accept upon his head the pains of your own sins.’ How did the magi of the East know Christ’s coming? By prophecy. The ancient oracles and the Sibyls of the Greeks spoke of ‘a coming King whom we must recognize, in order to be saved.’ Virgil himself spoke of a ‘chaste woman, smiling on her infant boy, with whom the iron age would pass away.’ Plato and Socrates also spoke of a great Logos and of the Universal Wise man yet to come.

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