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Originally published in Creation 22, no 4 (September 2000): 36-39.
'The Seven Cs' of History (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation) help us remember the big events which have affected, and will affect, the history of the universe.
'And she shall bear a son, and you shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this happened so that might be fulfilled that spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive in her womb, and will bear a son. And they will call His name Emmanuel,'which being interpreted is, God with us' (Matthew 1:21-23).
God's perfect creation was corrupted by Adam when he disobeyed God. This disobedience brought sin and death into the world. Because of Adam's disobedience, and because we have all sinned personally anyway, we are all deserving of the death penalty, and need a Saviour (Romans 5:12).
God did not leave His precious, but corrupted, creation without hope. He promised to send Someone one day who would take away the penalty for sin, which is death (Genesis 3:15, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23).
God slew an animal in the garden (a lamb/sheep?) because of the sin of Adam, so Adam's descendants sacrificed animals. Such sacrifices could only cover sin—they looked forward to the time when the ultimate sacrifice would be made by the One whom God would send (Hebrews 9).
When God gave Moses the Law, people began to see that they could never measure up to God's standard of perfection (Romans 3:20)—if they broke any part of the Law, the result was the same as breaking the whole lot (James 2:10)!
They needed Someone to take away their imperfection and present them faultless before God (Romans 5:9, 1 Peter 3:18).
Just as God has a purpose and plan for everything and everyone, so He sent His promised Saviour at just the right time (Galatians 4:4). There was a problem, however. All humans are descended from Adam, and therefore all humans are born with sin. God's chosen One must be perfect, as well as infinite to take away the infinite penalty for sin.
God solved this 'problem' by sending His Son Jesus Christ—completely human, and completely God. Think of it—the Creator of the universe (John 1:1-3,14) became part of His creation so that He might save His people from their sins!
Jesus was born to a virgin over 2,000 years ago in a town called Bethlehem, as the prophets Isaiah (7:14) and Micah (5:2) had foretold 700 years previously. His parents took Him to Egypt to escape the anger of King Herod, and the family later settled in Nazareth.
Jesus fulfilled more than 50 prophecies made about Him centuries before, showing He was the One, promised over 4,000 years before by His Father. While He spent over 30 years on Earth, He never once sinned—He did nothing wrong. He healed many people, fed huge crowds, and taught thousands of listeners about their Creator God and how to be reconciled to Him. He even used the book of Genesis to explain that marriage is between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:3-6, quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24).
Jesus Christ came to Earth so that we might have eternal life with Him!
Many would answer 'turning water into wine' (John 2). However, the Apostle John says this is just the first sign that Jesus performed in His earthly ministry. The Bible actually records a miracle of Jesus that occurred over 4,000 years before He was even born. John began his Gospel by saying that Jesus, the Word, 'was God', and, 'All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being' (John 1:3). Paul tells us, 'For all things were created by Him Ö' (Colossians 1:16).
The first miracle Jesus performed that the Bible tells about is that of Creation!
The list (linked to by the picture below) of people from Adam to Christ shows that Jesus was a human—a descendant of the first man, Adam. In fact, Jesus referred to Himself many times as the 'Son of Man' (e.g., Matthew 9:6, 12:40). The Bible also tells us that Jesus was God. John says, 'Öthe Word [Jesus] was God,' (John 1:1,14). Paul calls Jesus 'our great God and Saviour' (Titus 2:13), and Thomas refers to Him as, 'My Lord and my God' (John 20:28). Many addressed Him as 'the Son of God' (John 11:27, etc.)—a name which Jesus also used about Himself (John 10:36). Matthew gives Him the title, Emmanuel, which means 'God with us' (Matthew 1:23).
In addition, just as God did in the Old Testament, Jesus raised the dead (John 5:21, 1 Samuel 2:6), forgave sins (Matthew 9:2, 6; Jeremiah 31:34), and healed the sick (Luke 8:47; Exodus 15:26). As God, Jesus deserves our worship for who He is and what He has done for us (John 5:23).
God promised that David would always have a descendant on his throne (Jeremiah 23:5-6, 1 Chronicles 17:10-14). The legal right to this throne was passed through David's son, Solomon, to his descendants. Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin), a great, great Ö grandson of Solomon and king of Judah, was so wicked that God punished him by declaring that none of his children would ever again sit on the throne (Jeremiah 22:17-30). This caused a 'problem' since Joseph, the supposed 'father' of Jesus, was a descendant of Jeconiah. If Joseph had been Jesus' biological father, Jesus would have had the legal right to the throne, but would have been unable to occupy it due to being under Jeconiah's curse. God solved this problem by using Mary: Jesus was the first-born son of Mary, a virgin (Matthew 1:23) and a descendant of David through another son, Nathan. So Jesus has the right to sit on the eternal throne of David—legally, through his adoptive father, Joseph; and physically, through His natural mother, Mary. In this way, God's promise, mentioned above in Jeremiah and Chronicles, was fulfilled.
Matthew refers to four women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba) in his list of people from Abraham to Christ. The first three of them were not Israelites. All except for Ruth had led immoral lives before trusting in the true God and turning from their sins. The fact that God included them in the ancestry of His Son shows His grace on repentant people.
The prophecies concerning the promised Messiah were made between 400 and 4,000 years before Jesus was born. A few of those prophecies are listed here, along with the places in Scripture showing where they came true.
The Messiah would be:
Born in Bethlehem—Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1.
Presented with gifts—Psalm 72:10, Matthew 2:1, 11.
Called Lord (a reference to His deity)—Psalm 110:1, Luke 2:11.
Called 'Almighty God' and Father of Eternity—Isaiah 9:6, John 20:28.
Born of a virgin and called Emmanuel—Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, cf. Genesis 3:15.
Riding into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey—Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:5.
Pierced in His hands and feet—Psalm 22:16; compare the whole Psalm with the details of the crucifixion.
Killed 483 (69x7) years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem—Daniel 9:24-27.
Thrust through—Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34.
Called a Prophet like Moses (i.e. who would receive face-to-face revelation from God the Father)—Deuteronomy 18:18-19, Matthew 21:11(cf. John 1:45).
Called Priest—Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 3:1.
Preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist)—Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:1-2.