All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet…
(Matthew 1:22, ESV)
Although these words may not immediately conger up for children the vivid images of the angels, shepherds, star, wise men, manger, and little baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths in the Christmas narrative; none-the-less, these words are important to stress to our children.
Here is an illustration and explanation posted over at the Grace to You website:
At Christmas time, many of us delight in holding a present to our ear and giving it a shake to guess its contents. Sometimes we guess right, but more often we are left puzzled and have to wait until Christmas Day to unwrap and enjoy our gift.
The Old Testament prophets also had wrapped gifts to shake. The gifts they joggled were the prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior.
As you celebrate this year, take time to explore these key Old Testament prophecies that were opened—fulfilled—at Christmas:
- The Lord raised up a great Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 7:40)
- A star and a scepter came out of Israel (Numbers 24:17; Matthew 2:1-2)
- Messiah was a descendent of David (Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-3; Matthew 1:1-17; 3:16)
- He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6; Luke 2:1-7)
- Jesus was born of a virgin and called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25)
(From “Don’t Open Until Christmas,” www.gty.org)
Would you like to help your children find these Old Testament “gifts” and connect them to the birth of Jesus? Download this free activity page for your children to color and complete. Here are the instructions for completing the page:
Many people who read about the events involved in Jesus’ birth just think of them in terms of how joyful and amazing they are–—and this is true! But these events also happened exactly as they did so they would fulfill the promises God had made in the Old Testament. On the activity page, there are several events that happened at the time of Jesus’ birth. Each event was the fulfillment of a special Old Testament promise or clue. Read the Old Testament verses listed, and match each clue to its fulfillment at Jesus’ birth.
(Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)