My friend Michele Bachmann reminded us recently how we can take God's miracles for granted – even when they occur in our own lifetime, even when we see them with our own eyes.
"Israel is the greatest miracle of the Bible," she said. "The Bible foretold that the modern Jewish state would be rebuilt, and within the lifetimes of many people here at this event, we are witnesses to the fulfillment of prophecy. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied that even Jerusalem would come back into Jewish hands. That didn't happen until 51 years ago, in 1967. In my lifetime, I have witnessed the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy. When you let that sink in, within our modern era, we are witnesses of prophetic fulfillment. That should not only build up our confidence and faith, it should build up our appreciation of the Bible, the authoritative Word of God. The Bible should be even more trustworthy. And it's not done – there are still more events to come."
She's so right. It's not nearly done. The very best is yet to come. And, in this season when so many Christians celebrate Jesus' first coming to earth as a divine newborn, it's worth reviewing and meditating on some of the most amazing, unmistakable, specific prophecies that revealed details about His birth in Bethlehem, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and His Coming Kingdom in Jerusalem.
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Here's a list of nine more favorite prophecies – from Jesus' nativity to His crucifixion to the resurrection to ultimate restoration:
- Micah 5:2: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
- Isaiah 9:6-7: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
- 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."
- About this one, consider that Jesus' Hebrew name is Yeshua, which means "salvation." Isaiah 12:2: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."
- Ezekiel is not the only prophet who predicted the return of Israel as well as Jesus: Isaiah 10:20-22: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness."
- Isaiah 25:8-9: "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
- Isaiah 53:5: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
- Zechariah 12:10: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
- Zechariah 13:6: "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
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