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The Hope of Christmas?

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The Hope of Christmas?

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:16 pm

Divas of the Divine--Spirit Snack

The Hope of Christmas


This December, I purposely took time to enjoy some family television with my two kids, ages three and six. I wanted to share with them some of the holiday programming that I once enjoyed as a child, programs like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Carol.

The programs were clean family fun, warm-hearted, but not particularly Christ-centered. Yet, many of these programs kept mentioning the phrase “the hope of Christmas.”

This puzzled me. These films make no mention of Jesus, but reference something called the “hope of Christmas.” What are they referring to???

It reminds me of a story I once heard about two women having lunch together. Here’s how it went:

Two young women were having lunch in an elegant hotel. They were approached by a mutual friend, who asked the occasion for the meal.

One lady replied, “We are celebrating the birth of my baby boy!”

“Congratulations! You must be proud, but where is he?” inquired the friend.

“Oh,” said the mother, “you didn’t think I’d actually bring him, did you?”

What a picture of the way the world treats Jesus at Christmas. Sure the “hope of Christmas” sounds good and conjures up plenty of warm-and-fuzzies, but what is it? Is there a such thing? Or is the hope of Christmas a harmless legend, maybe even dressed in a red suit and riding in a flying sleigh?

Honestly, I don’t know what Hollywood’s “hope of Christmas” is referring to, but the Bible does point to the true “Hope of Christmas;” that Hope not being a what, but a Who.

For centuries, God’s people looked forward to the hope of a future king—the Messiah. Pregnant Hebrew women rubbed their bellies proudly, probably wondering if they carried the future King and Deliverer. Prophets foretold His coming, encouraging God’s people with the promise of salvation.

In the Old Testament, there are nearly three hundred prophecies of Jesus, many dealing with the very details of his birth. Here are only a few that are confirmed in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from ancient times. --Micah 5:2

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. --Isaiah.7:14

…for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God --Judges13:5

Common coincidences? In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight of the hundred of Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ. He says, “The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.” (one hundred quadrillion).

Stoner suggests that “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?”

Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man...providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”

The fact is, the prophecies that were made about Jesus predated him by centuries, but he fulfilled them all. This is what is meant by the “Hope of Christmas.” He was the One we needed, the One we waited centuries for; and He came! That gives us a real reason to celebrate.

He is our hope, the One the world still needs. That is the true Hope of Christmas--our only Hope.

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