That it might be fulfilled
Created by Jon Taylor - Tuesday 20 Dec 2016
Jon Taylor
That it might be fulfilled

Matthew’s gospel contains an astonishing amount of fulfilled prophecy. Even the opening genealogy evidences that Jesus is the Son of Abraham and the greater Son of David. As a Jew, Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience portraying our Lord as the King of the Jews proving that He was the long-awaited Messiah.
In making the connection between Old Testament prophecies finding their precise fulfilment in the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew doesn’t leave us guessing; often using the phrase ‘that it might be fulfilled’ or mentioning the prophet by name. This gives us confidence and assurance in God and His word since they are both perfect and trustworthy in their entirety.
The Scriptures were written by men but were inspired by God (‘God-breathed’- 2 Tim.3:16).We so easily forget how blessed we are to have the whole counsel of God’s word and the Holy Spirit with us constantly.
Isaiah’s prophecy
Around seven hundred years before the birth of Christ Isaiah foretold that the virgin would conceive and bear a Son and call His name Immanuel. Not only is that a critical part of fulfilled prophecy regarding the birth narrative, but it also discounts any pretender to the throne in making an assertion that they are ‘God with us’.
‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).’

‘So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us” (Matt. 1:22-23).’

Micah’s prophecy
Micah was also prophesying around the time of Isaiah and his prophecy of the coming Messiah is pin-point specific. Not only would the Messiah come from the tribe of Judah but He would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah. There were two Bethlehem’s in Israel, but the one referred to here is Bethlehem Ephrathah which is tiny and located five miles below Jerusalem.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting (Micah 5:2).”

‘So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel (Matt. 2:5-6).”
Isaiah’s claim went beyond precise detail merely in the natural, since the Messiah was born of a virgin and is ‘God with us’, Micah’s prophecy included the essential supernatural requirement that the Ruler in Israel would be no less than ‘whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting’. Put simply, Jesus our Lord’s days are numbered from eternity.
Also these two prophecies from Isaiah and Micah overwhelmingly repudiate the outlandish and poorly reasoned objection that Jesus simply knew the Old Testament prophecies and went out of His way to fulfil them in an effort to claim to be Messiah.
God’s intervention
How often do we pray for God to intervene? What we see here is not a random sequence of events that results in a merely heart-warming and inspiring story, but the outworking of God’s sovereignty and intervention in our world. God’s guidance is apparent in individual lives bearing massive implications as Joseph is divinely warned in a series of dreams and humbly obeys the Lord’s leading. How often God uses ordinary people to achieve His extraordinary purposes!
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream instructing him to take the Child and His mother, flee to Egypt until he was brought a word to return. Matthew ensures that we appreciate what was happening ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying “Out of Egypt I have called My Son (Num.24:8).”
Jeremiah’s prophecy
We may well struggle to comprehend the deeper and wider reasons relating to God’s permissible will concerning the massacre of the innocents. We do know that this event was also foretold since Matthew tells us, that what was fulfilled, was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more (Matt. 2:17-18; c.f. Jer.31:15).
Isaiah’s prophecy
Chapter 2 of Matthew closes with Jesus residing in Galilee in a city called Nazareth. Years later Jesus left Nazareth and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali. Again, that it might be fulfilled by Isaiah the prophet.
‘And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned (Matt.4:13-16; c.f. Isa.9:1-2).”

The King of the Jews is the Saviour of the World
Our Lord entered our world, took on flesh and dwelt amongst us. As the carol says, he feels our sadness and shares our gladness. But Jesus was also a Man, born to die. He is the light of the world in a sin-saturated, dark and desperately broken world at enmity with a Holy God who is of purer eyes than to behold evil. And only the sinless perfect Saviour could save people from their sin and give His life as a substitute for many. We love God because He first loved us.
At the crucifixion there would be the equivalent of a charge sheet of the offense supposed to warrant the death penalty. The Jews on several occasions accused Him of blasphemy (John 5:18; 8:58-59; 10:33).The accusation written against Him was THIS IS JESUS KING OF THE JEWS (Matt. 27:37). John’s gospel also mentions that the accusation was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. The Greeks, Romans and Jews all have independent historical sources that state that Jesus was crucified[i]; though no one until this day has been able to produce His body and the reason is because Jesus conquered death; meaning that He is the King of the Jews and the Saviour of the World and is God with us and of His reign there will be no end.

Tuesday 20 Dec 2016