“But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:19-23)
God is the author of the future. He ordained it and only He knows it. Sometimes, He tells us before it happens. That is what’s called prophecy.
God tells us in different ways what His plans are for the future. In the Old Testament, He told Adam directly there would be a savior. Other times, He selected men as Prophets to receive His word. In the NT, He selected men as Apostles and told them to speak His future. Then finally, He spoke through His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2). The life and death and resurrection of Christ is part of that amazing reliability of God’s ordination of events, because all the events prior to His coming pointed to Him!
And after Jesus rose and went to heaven, God sent His Spirit to inspire men to write it all down so we could read the past, the present and the future all at once, in one book.
John MacArthur wrote,
There is no way to explain the Bible’s ability to predict the future unless we see God as its Author. For example, the Old Testament contains more than three hundred references to the Messiah of Israel that were precisely fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah).
Peter Stoner, a scientist in the area of mathematical probabilities, said in his book Science Speaks that if we take just eight of the Old Testament prophecies Christ fulfilled, we find that the probability of their coming to pass is one in 1017. He illustrates that staggering amount this way:
We take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas . They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly. . . . Blindfold a man and tell him he must pick up one silver dollar. . . . What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them come true in any one man. ([ Chicago : Moody, 1963], 100-107)
And Jesus fulfilled hundreds more than just eight prophecies!
God is the author of the future. In eons past, He ordained that His Son would redeem a sinful humanity, and do it in a way that stops our heart just thinking about it. His Son would voluntarily depart from His holy habitation in heaven and descend into a helpless babe’s body. He would live and grow on earth as a human, amid the pollution, curse, and sin we created. He would teach and prophesy and die a bodily death as the Spotless Lamb of God, and pleased with His Son, God would raise Him on the third day.
This was His plan since the beginning and made known to us since Genesis 3. Jesus is a fulfillment of God’s prophecies, His plan since the beginning of time, and the very embodiment of love.
And He was and is called The Nazarene. Believe on Him and be saved.