God new evidence

GOD: new evidence


Patterns in History

(Unwrapped: the Truth about Christmas #15)

What's in the series?      Previous: Prophecies fulfilled?       Next: The Centre of History

Matthew organises his account of the birth of Jesus around five Old Testament quotations that Jesus fulfilled. But what Matthew meant when he talked about an Old Testament prophecy being 'fulfilled' is not exactly the same as we would mean.

Matthew believed that God had been actively at work in the history of Israel, recorded in the Old Testament. This same God had now acted in a new and decisive way in Jesus. But because God was the same, he often acted in similar ways – there were patterns in history.

So it was not just the words of the prophets in the Old Testament that foretold things about Jesus, but also things that happened in the Old Testament could model events in the life of Jesus.

For Matthew, Jesus did not just fulfil the words that were spoken in the Old Testament. Sometimes he also repeated patterns of events.

To find out more read Matthew 1:18-2:18

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‘Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.’
- Nobel Prize-winning scientist Arno Penzias