What a contrast there is between today’s Christmas scene in the once Christian nations, and the prophecies of the Messiah to come, which are scattered throughout the Old Testament! It is the contrast between the beginning and the end of those nations. It was the coming of Christ, prepared by the Jews over two thousand years, which through his Church forged those nations (Gentiles) to take up the service of God when the Jews mysteriously chose to abandon it. Today is the end of the time of those nations because they are now abandoning God in their turn. Let us remind ourselves of the glory and infinite greatness of the Messiah’s mission, and of the seriousness of turning our backs on him, by a random selection from the hundreds of messianic quotes in the Old Testament:—
1. David (1000 B.C.) – the messiah would be disowned by the Jews (Ps. XXI, 7–8). He would convert the Gentiles (Ps. XXI, 28). He would be betrayed by a disciple (Ps. XL, 10). He would be mocked in His agony (Ps. XXI, 7–9). His enemies would pierce His hands and His feet, and cast lots for his garments (Ps. XXI, 17, 19). They would give Him vinegar to drink (Ps.LXVIII, 22).
2 Isaias (720 B.C.) – The Messiah would convert the nations (II, 2–3). He would be born of a virgin (VII, 14). He would be adored as a child by kings (IX, 6–7). He would have a precursor; the precursor would prepare the people for Him (XL, 3–4). He would be mildness itself (XLII, 1–3). He would be a man of sorrows (LIII, 3). He would give His life to expiate for our sins (LIII, 5). He would never complain (LIII, 7). He would be made to seem a criminal (LIII, 12). He would reign over the world (LV, 5). His Church, His spouse, would give Him a multitude of children (LXVI, 18–23).
3. Osee (600 B.C.) – The Messiah would return from Egypt by order of His Father (XI, 1). He would convert the nations (II, 19–24). The Jews would be scattered throughout the world for denying Him (IX, 17).
4. Micheas (600 B.C.) – The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and he would be both God and Man (V, 2). He would convert the nations (IV, 2–3). He would be our reconciliation (VII, 18–20).
5. Joel (600 B.C.) – The Messiah would send the Holy Ghost upon His Church and the faithful would prophesy (II, 28–29). The Messiah would come to judge the world in Power (III, 2).
6. Jeremias (600 B.C.) – The Messiah’s birth would be known by the slaughter of innocent children for whom their mothers would weep (XXXI, 18). He would convert the nations and establish a new covenant with the people, more perfect than the first (XXXI, 31–34).
7. Ezechiel (580 B.C.) – The Messiah would be of the race of David (XVII, 22). He would receive the crown of the royal house of David (XXI, 27).
8. Daniel (500 B.C.) – The Messiah would come in 490 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity; He would re-establish the reign of virtue; He would be denied by the Jews and put to death; the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed; the Jews would be in a state of desolation until the end of time (IX, 24–27).
To read these quotes again is to be reminded how inseparable the Messiah was from his people, the Jews, and yet how they have separated themselves from him ever since. By him God raised a new people, chosen by faith instead of race, and now that people also is wallowing in materialism. Lord, grant us at this time of year to remember how he changed the world, and how, without him, it is changing catastrophically back.