By Franklin Graham
Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of numerous prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold the incarnation of the Son of God, who would deliver men from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, which has brought death and enslavement since the time of Adam.
More than 700 years before the Savior was born, Isaiah prophesied: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The Scriptures actually foretold the Messiah’s coming in the Book of Genesis when the Lord spoke to the serpent following the calamitous disobedience of Adam and Eve in the garden:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he [Christ] will crush your [Satan’s] head, and you [the devil] will strike his [Christ’s] heel” (Genesis 3:15, NIV).
Jesus came two millennia ago to a small Judean village for one ultimate purpose: to die on a horrid Roman instrument of execution—the cross—for the sins of men. There He would deal with the universal penalty and consequences of sin—everlasting death—and provide the way to eternal life through faith in His sacrificial, substitutionary, all-sufficient death.
That is the real story of Christmas. There is no cradle without the cross. There are no swaddling clothes without the folded garments in the empty tomb.
For the world groaning under the terror of war and conflict, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. For people dealing with doubts and discouragement, Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. For those staring death in the face, Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. For those who lack strength to face difficult challenges, Jesus is Mighty God.