One solitary birth is the basis upon which the future hangs for every person ever to enter this mortal realm we call planet earth. How each man, woman, and child who is old enough to understand the salvation issue views the First Coming determines where their home will be for eternity.
Many believe Jesus was sent by God to show us how to live a good life. Some believe He was a great prophet and teacher. Others believe He was a philosopher, right up there with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the rest. A few among the billions who have lived since His birth have believed Jesus is the Son of God, but perhaps one of many others in a created angelic order assigned to influence the affairs of humankind. Still fewer believe He was who He claimed to be – the only begotten Son of God; the way, the truth, and the life (John 14: 6).
No birth of anyone else has ever caused the excitement and controversy Jesus’ birth has engendered. Was this baby a stranger of an otherworldly order, sent to earth to provide moral guidance? Was Jesus sent to philosophize on the ups and downs of the human existence? Or, was this visitation something more?
Jesus came into the world through the Jewish race. Only those inalterably antagonistic to the truth of history will argue against that. So, we should examine this birth — this First Coming — through the prism of Israel and its dealings with the one called Jesus.
Although there are other histories about the era, the Bible’s account has, through archaeological unveilings, proven time after time to be accurate in details concerning matters surrounding Jesus, the Jews, and Israel. (One example is the relatively recent discovery of evidence that someone called “Pontius Pilate” ruled the area of Judea during the times attributed to Jesus’ crucifixion. Until the discovery, Pilate’s existence as an historical figure was seriously doubted, even denied, by many historians.)
We know the accuracy of how Israel–the religious Jews in particular — dealt with Jesus. We know with assurance that He performed miracles and claimed to be God, Himself, by using the Bible’s documented veracity as proof that Jesus was born exactly as foretold in detail by Old Testament prophets. These Jewish religious leaders’ treatment of Christ’s First Coming as a baby lays the groundwork for understanding what that first visitation means to the souls of all mankind. Understanding that First Coming also will help frame the vital importance of how each of us views Christ’s prophesied Second Advent.
Tragically, the pious Jewish leaders refused to accept that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah sent from Jehovah to be their King and their Savior. They rejected Him despite the precise prophecies He fulfilled in His coming and His ministry. They chose to have Rome rather than Jesus rule over them. The results of their rejection continue to reverberate — not only in the Holy Land, but throughout the entire world. Armageddon is building, its nucleus grounded in satanic rage against God’s chosen people.
Christ’s First Coming was ignored and scoffed at by the religious leaders of the time. Their choice was their own way, rather than God’s. They preferred to do what was right in their own eyes. True to Jesus’ prophecy, Jerusalem was laid waste, the Temple was destroyed, and the Jews were scattered to every part of the world. Genocide was committed against them to the point that their very existence as a race was threatened.
A parallel can be drawn between the ecclesiastical Jewish leaders of the time of Jesus’ first visitation and many among mainstream evangelical clergy today. Neither group has considered prophecies of Christ’s coming as relevant to their times. Their attitude is much akin to the one described by the Apostle Peter:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” – (2 Peter 3:3–4)