Class Notes: 12/23/2012

The incarnation of the "seed of the woman" is celebrated at Christmas part 2

Because it is the Christmas season, last time we took a break from our study of the battle that rages between the serpent and the "seed of the woman" and started a study on the incarnation of the "seed of the woman" in the unique person of our Lord Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

We have seen how the genetic line to our Lord Jesus was narrowed through human history and that He was ultimately to be a descendant of King David. 2Sam 7:12-16; This is confirmed when the angel speaks to Mary in Luke 1:31-33;

In Psa 2:6-8; The Lord declares that He will set His Son on the throne in Zion.
The dominion and rule of the King is foretold in Psa 110:1-7;
The prophecy of His rule on earth is integral in Messianic prediction in Isa 2:1-4; Isa 4:1-6; Isa 49:7; and Isa 52:15;

Isaiah 9:6,7; is explicit: "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, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

v7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forward and forevermore."

This passage pulls together in one statement the predictions of the incarnation, the deity and eternity of the Messiah, the future government of peace on earth, the righteousness and justice of His kingdom, and the fact that the kingdom will fulfill the promises to David.

The promises to David and the prediction of the earthly kingdom of the Messiah are one and the same. The entire chapter of Isaiah 11; is a description of the King.

Jeremiah repeats these same major aspects of the future kingship of the Messiah: Jer 23:5, 6;"Behold, the days come, declares the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign asking and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

v6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called the Lord our righteousness"

Zechariah describes a king coming as the Savior and Deliverer of His people: Zech 9:9; "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king comes to you; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, even upon a colt the foal of a donkey"

Here we have Christ in His character as King in His first coming, in contrast to previous passages quoted that refer to His kingdom after the second advent. The Zechariah passage was fulfilled in the New Testament Matt 21:4-9; Mark 11:9, 10; and Luke 19:37-38;

We see from that the Old Testament anticipation of Christ as King includes His first advent and the kingdom that will follow His second advent.

Job, who lived before there was any written Scripture, knew of the hope of a coming Redeemer Job 19:25; and the entire chapter of Isa 53; is a major passage predicting the saving work of Christ.

One of the important lines of prediction concerning the coming Messiah is conveyed in the metaphor of Christ as a corner stone and foundation. The principal Old Testament passage using this metaphor is found in Isaiah 28:14-18;

Additional passages that use this metaphor include: Gen 49:24; Psa 118:22; Isa 8:14; Zech 4:7;

New Testament passages that use this metaphor include: Acts 4:11; Rom 9:33; Rom 11:11 ; Eph 2:20; 1Pet 2:6,8;

The common theme in these passages is that Jesus Christ is security and stability, the "rock of our salvation" or the basis of our deliverance. In our study last year we saw that as the "cornerstone" he "the chosen one" that connects the two other chosen groups, Israel and the Church, by being simultaneously King of Israel and head of the Church.

We see that He is also referred to as the 'Servant of the Lord" The term "Servant of the Lord" refers to His role as the one who through His undeserved sufferings and death redeems His people.

The Old Testament passages that reveal this are Isa 42:1-7; Isa 49:1-7; Isa 52:13- Isa 53:12;

In the New Testament this idea is found in Matt 8:17; Matt 12:17-21; Luke 22:37; John 12:38; Acts 3:13, 26; Acts 4:27, 30 ; Acts 8:32 ; Rom 10:13; Rom 15:21 ; and 1Pet 2:22-24;

The Old Testament prophecies revealed that the Messiah would perform many great miracles. These prophecies are not always related specifically to the person of the Messiah, but they describe what happens after he arrives.

Isa 35:5-6; "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

v6 and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing; waters break out in the wilderness, and streams in the desert."

The immediate context deals with His kingdom but it is also a description of the His credentials because Jesus himself called attention to the significance of His miraculous works as a testimony of his identity. John 5:36;

We see from this that taken as a whole, the Old Testament provides a picture of the coming Messiah. He is to be preceded by a messenger, to be the Savior and Deliverer and when He comes, He will function in the offices of prophet, priest, and king.

He will be the corner stone and foundation, and fulfill the expectation of an obedient servant of the Lord who would redeem His people, whose life would be filled with miraculous works and that His works and teachings would manifest the power of the Spirit of the Lord Isa 11:2-3;

The Old Testament prophecy of the death of Christ is mostly given in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, though many other passages contribute to the doctrine. Isaiah 53, presents the suffering of the servant of the Lord, and gives most of the major details of the death of Christ.

We see here that He is to be brutally beaten Isa 52:14;

"wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities" Isa 53:5;

His sufferings provide peace and healing Isa 53:5;

He is to be silent before His persecutors as a lamb led to the slaughter Isa 53:7;

His substitutionary spiritual death will be an offering for sin Isa 53:10; He will die with the wicked, but will be buried with the rich Isa 53:9;

His sufferings were not on account of His own sin, for "he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth" Isa 53:9b;

In Isaiah we an accurate and detailed account of the sufferings and death of Christ together with a theological reason for His death. He was dying for the sins of all mankind, as propitiation to God. This is confirmed in 1John 2:1-2;

Jesus Christ quoted from Psalm 22 while he was on the cross thereby calling attention to the predictions in this Psalm. The Messiah is to be forsaken of God Psa 22:1; ridiculed and taunted Psa 22:6-8; to suffer unimaginable agony Psa 22:14-16;

His bones were to be pulled out of joint Psa 22:14; He was to suffer thirst Psa 22:15; His hands and feet were to be pierced Psa 22:16; His garments were to be divided with the exception of His outer garment that they would cast lots for Psa 22:18; and He was to be brought into death Ps 22:15;

This Psalm presents a graphic picture of the sufferings of Christ on the cross that were fulfilled in every detail and confirmed in the actual recording of the events in the Gospels.

The many other references to the death of Christ complete the picture of the prophecy. He was to be betrayed by a friend: Psa 41:9, falsely accused: Psa 25:11, spit upon: Isa 50:6; and none of His bones were to be broken in the process: Psa 34:20;

The New Testament records not only the fulfillment, of these events, but Christ Himself completed the picture of prophecy regarding His death. He predicts His coming crucifixion: Matt 12:38-42; Matt 16:21; Matt 17:22-23; Matt 20:18-19; Matt 26:31; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 9:22;, 44; Luke 19:31-33; John 12:32-33;

We see from this that from the moment of his birth his death was in view.

Luke 2:7; And Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and she laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

After the delivery of the true humanity of Jesus Christ, His parents took Him and performed a technique common in the first century. Babies were wrapped in strips of cloth not only for protection but also to keep their limbs straight.

In this case apparently all that could be found for him was bandages. The Greek word for the cloths with which our Lord was wrapped is the aorist active indicative of the verb "sparganoo" that means "to wrap in bandages"

"Sparganoo" originated with Hippocrates, a fifth-century b.c. physician who is recognized as the Father of Medicine and was generally used as a medical term.

The word also applies to the cloths that are used in the binding, or "swathing" of a corpse for burial. Consequently, the Baby Jesus at his physical birth was wrapped in burial cloths or death clothes.

After preparing their Child in the prescribed fashion of the day, Mary and Joseph then laid him in a manger. This word is the perfect word to describe where our Lord spent His first night of the Incarnation.

The word is the Greek noun "phatne" that is translated "manger"

It goes back to the Middle English when it was spelled "mangeour". The word can be tracked back to the Latin," manducare" that means: to eat, chew, or devour. Its modern English definition is a trough or open box in a stable designed to hold feed for livestock.

So "manger" is a perfect translation. But since these days we may not be all that familiar with the features of a stable another good translation would be, "feeding trough."

We see from this setting and the circumstances presented a number of signs and messages that relate to our Lord's future work on the cross.

First, our Lord was wrapped in cloths that were used to prepare a person for burial. Jesus was born to die twice: He was to die spiritual death as our substitutionary sacrifice on the cross and then He would die a physical death because His work would be finished at that point.

As the Baby Jesus lay in a feeding trough a wooden box crafted by a carpenter, a trade that He would be taught by His legal father Joseph surrounded him.

During His two deaths He would be nailed to a cross of wood for the sins of the world.

His physical body was perfect having no genetically formed sinful nature and thus no imputation of Adam's sin. Therefore, Jesus was born qualified to be Savior.

He was born the Last Adam; a perfect Man in the same manner that Christ Himself in the Garden of Eden had created Adam perfect several millennia before.

The shadow of the cross was therefore well represented in the stable. The qualified Messiah must have a perfect body in His true humanity.

At physical birth He was wrapped in death cloths foreshadowing His two deaths on the cross. On our Lord's first night in hypostatic union He slept in a box of wood. Thirty-three years later He would die spiritually as our Substitute nailed to a cross of wood.

This means that the baby that was lying in that wooden feeding trough was the greatest Christmas gift ever given. It was a gift from God the Father to the entire human race.

In fact it was a demonstration of the perfect, undiminished, and unconditional love of God expressed through perfect grace.

John 3:16; God demonstrated His unconditional and undiminished love to the world in the following manner: He gave His uniquely born Son for the purpose and with the result that anyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.

This gift from God was presented to the world on the first Christmas as described in:

Luke 2:7; And Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him in death cloths "sparganoo "and she laid Him in a wooden feeding trough "phatne" because there was no vacancy for them in the inn.

The fact that the Christ Child was swathed in death cloths and laid in a wooden feeding trough is a sign that His birth was unique: He was on a mission of death. The Archangel Gabriel relates this information to the group of temple shepherds who were tending their flocks near Bethlehem:

Luke 2:8; In the same area there were shepherds living out in the fields and they were guarding their flocks by night.

v9 And suddenly the King of Arms in the Angelic Order of Battle hovered above them and the glory of the Lord shined around them and they were struck with fear.

v10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid! Behold, I bring you good news of great happiness which shall be for all people;

v11 for this day in the city of David there has been born for your benefit the Savior Who is Messiah, the Lord.

v 12 This sign is for your benefit: you will find the Baby having been swathed in burial cloths "sparganoo" and lying in a feeding trough "phatne".

Our Lord was born at night which means that the Light of the World entered the world in darkness swaddled in death cloths and lying in a wooden feeding trough.

No event in history has been given such a complete and detailed prophetic picture so it is safe to say that the entire prophetic Word of God has as its central focus the incarnation, sufferings and death of Jesus Christ .

This was all for our benefit because God loves us and He has done everything that he can do for us therefore I beg you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God: "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved"

Merry Christmas

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