“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”—John 1:1–2, 14 (ESV)
Christmas is so widely celebrated as a time for family and for giving that, in a modern culture, it is easy to lose sight of what Christians for two thousand years have believed it represents: The God of the universe took the form of a human being, lived alongside his fellow man, and changed the world. The person Christians believe to be both God and man is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
For over 1,000 years of recorded history before Jesus’ birth, prophets had uttered numerous prophesies regarding a promised Messiah (a Hebrew word for “anointed one” or “chosen one,” which in Greek is translated as the word Christ), recorded throughout the Old Testament. While some scholars include many oblique and fleeting references in Scripture that push the total number over 300, several dozen major ones clearly refer to the Promised Deliverer.