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Where Did It All Start: Ancient Times
The story of Jesus actually goes back to a man named Abraham who was the forefather of the Jewish race.
Where Did It All Start? Ancient Times
There is another level to the story of Jesus that goes back to the time of a man named Abraham. He was the forefather of the Jewish race. Abraham had been promised by God that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)
With the rise, spread and prosperity of the Jewish nation much of that promise was fulfilled. But everyone knew that there was more to come and they were watching for it.
Despite the fact that God longed to be the king of his people the Jews, the Jewish people developed their own system of kings that continued for many centuries. The Royal line went from bad to worse until finally it was extinguished when the people were hauled off into captivity to Babylon (Iraq today) some 600 years before Jesus was born.
Their best king – David – (who was himself an adulterer & murderer) was given a prophecy by the Prophet Nathan: “I will raise up your offspring after you….and I will establish the throne of HIS kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” (2 Samuel 7:12-14)
Since no king had ever fulfilled that prophecy, the people waited for the one who would. Another prophet Isaiah had also prophesied 700 years before Jesus was born. VIDEO CLIP: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel (God With us) Isaiah 7:4
Isaiah then went on to predict a solution for the nation’s greatest need – divine forgiveness for personal and national wrong doing. It was to be accomplished in a very unusual way. (Isaiah 52:13 - 53:7) The forgiveness would come through a servant whom God would send. He would look just like an ordinary man of the time. But, instead of welcoming God’s servant, Israel would despise and reject this man. They would allow him to go like a lamb to the slaughter.
This servant of God would be pierced for OUR rebellion, crushed for OUR sins, beaten and whipped so WE could be healed and made whole. No one had ever fulfilled the prophesy of the virgin birth OR this prophesy of that wonderful child becoming a sin bearing servant of God. And so the people waited for him to come.
The ancient prophets knew that the one to come would be born in Bethlehem. The prophet Micah predicted it. Micah 5:2 –The LORD says, "Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times."
This new ruler for Israel was also predicted to achieve a new basis for the relationship between God and man. A “new covenant” or agreement would be struck. The prophet Jeremiah wrote about it: Jeremiah 31:33-34 – “ The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people………. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the LORD, have spoken."
No one had ever fulfilled these prophesies and so they waited for the one who would. It would seem then that the story of Jesus begins not in the stable at Bethlehem but rather centuries before in the very purposes of God.