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Can you see the connection between these?
Hopefully as my talk continues it will become a bit clearer!
On 27 June 1902 a house at Denmark Hill was burgled and some billiard balls stolen. The investigating officer noticed a number of dirty fingerprints on a newly painted windowsill at the point where the burglar had entered the house. An officer from the Fingerprint Bureau visited the scene, examined the marks and decided that a left thumb made the clearest mark. Having checked that no member of the household had made the mark he photographed it.
Returning to the Bureau a manual search was made of all criminals whose fingerprints were on record with a similar loop pattern on the left thumb. A match was made with the print of Harry Jackson, a 41 year old labourer.
At the trial, the prosecution explained that although the case was ordinary it was the first time that the fingerprint would be used for connecting the accused with the crime scene. Jackson was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years in prison.
In 1901 the Fingerprint Bureau at Scotland Yard was staffed by three officers. One hundred years later a total of five hundred staff are engaged in retrieving clues from crime scenes and in producing identifications to assist the Metropolitan Police service in its fight against crime.
All marks however developed, are searched and compared with the databases maintained in the Fingerprint Bureau at New Scotland Yard. Retrieved marks from crime scenes can be searched against the offender database which holds the fingerprints of over 6 million people who have been charged with a variety of offences.
In addition, the Fingerprint Bureau maintains a database of over 70,000 unidentified finger marks from crime scenes and all those arrested, fingerprints are routinely compared against this database.
Officers engaged in examining crime scenes for clues will also retrieve traces of DNA, blood, hair and fibres, among other things, can be analysed to detect perpetrators of crime. This analysis is carried out at a specialised Forensic Science Laboratory. Forensic scientists have developed new tests which can enable them to work out a person’s race, hair and eye colour from a strand of hair or a few scales of skin, of a bead of sweat.
At the moment, scientists know that the chances of two people in the UK having the same DNA profile are about one in 50 million. That means they would not expect to find two people in the UK with the same profile. The results obtained from the new testing techniques mean that scientists can say with confidence that the chances of two people having the same DNA profile are even more remote – one in a million million. Isn’t that amazing each of us in the country are different, God never made clones or robots!
“That would mean that the chances of the DNA fitting the profile of anyone else in the UK would be almost non-existent,” stated Dr Werrett an expert in this field.
Today fingerprint & DNA evidence is standard procedure. We trust this technique of identifying criminals nearly perhaps as much as eyewitness testimony. If you left your mark, if the evidence is there, the chances are you eventually come to light.
God gives us evidence to believe. He never calls us to blind faith. The Messiah, Jesus left fingerprints before he showed up and came to light, or should I say as light of the World! Jesus said this about himself:
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Luke 24:44
Jesus wasn’t just another historical figure. He was way more than some mystical guru who skips about with words of wisdom and challenge. Jesus was the one and only Son of God and his fulfilling of the ancient prophecies prove it.
I read this week about a man in America who was a very qualified TV meteorologist but did a terrible job at forecasting the weather. (OHP like Michael Fish) He became something of a local joke when a newspaper began keeping a record of his predictions and did a story that showed he had been wrong almost 300 times in a single year. Because of the bad press, he was fired from his job. He eventually moved to another part of the country and applied for a similar job at another TV station. The job application asked him to state his reason for leaving his previous position. Do you know how he answered the question? This is what he wrote, “The climate didn’t agree with me”.
I wonder how many of you read your daily horoscopes, I won’t ask for a show of hands. Statistics show about 75% of women & 60% of men in the UK daily check their horoscopes! They appear to be interested in their future. Some people are so effected by what they read it dictates their daily routine! I remember reading of a girl who stated at home all day in fear of going out if her stars warned of something! Some, even some Christians, argue ‘It only a bit of fun’ but the Bible in Deuteronomy 18 clear tells us that anyone who practices this is detestable to the Lord. However the Bible makes a clear distinction between prediction, that is fortune telling, not weather forecasting, and prophecy. I only wish those vast amount of people who are into prediction were into prophecy. They believe some crank who writes for a newspaper and let it influence their lives but refuse to believe and be influenced by the words of the Bible! Biblical Prophets were people to whom God spoke words of encouragement, guidance, rebuke and warning to be passed on to the people he had created, us, the human race. They unlike the weather forecaster never got it wrong, God is always right. Whether people listened and obeyed, well that’s a different story!
You see, the ancient Jewish prophets actually described the circumstances surrounding the birth, life, death and resurrection of their Messiah hundreds of years before he arrived on the scene. They gave us his fingerprints before he showed up, 48 sets in fact! By looking back at what they looked forward to we can be assured that Jesus fitted the profile of their prophecies.
If Jesus had never been born their prophecies would remain unfulfilled.
The Old Testament contains over three hundred prophetic passages that refer to the first coming of Jesus the Messiah. Forty-eight of these prophecies refer specifically to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. All of them published during and eleven-hundred year period that ended four centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
In Lee Strobelâs excellent book, ‘The Case for Christ’, he points out that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked on the planet! Strobel then quotes mathematician Peter Stoner who calculated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! (Strobel, 246-7).
As we approach Christmas let us consider with amazement the way that God’s prophetic word, God’s prophetic plan for mankind and our salvation was fulfilled in Jesus. Time doesn’t permit to look at them all so I’ll concentrate on just a few of the many about his birth. Comparing the prophecies from the Old Testament to the fulfillment we read in the New Testament.
Would be the Offspring of a Woman
Gen: 3v15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head, and will strike his heel”
Galatians 4 v4 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman”.
This is referring to when God rebuked Adam & Eve after they sinned and the coming of Jesus to defeat Satan who led them astray.
The Heir to the throne of David
Isaiah 9v7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this”
Matthew 1v1 “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Place of Birth
Micah 5v2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will rule over Israel, whose origins are from the old, from the ancient of times”.
Matthew 2 v1 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem”
What made this even more remarkable was the fact that Jesus’ parents weren’t from Bethlehem. They lived in Nazareth. They had to go to Bethlehem to register for the census, so that Caesar would know how much he could tax them.
Born of a Virgin
Isaiah 7v14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”.
Matthew 1 v18 “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit “
These are just a few, there is also a reference in Daniel to the year of birth, amazing eh!
So back to my opening question “What do all these have in common?”Does it become a bit clearer now?
It’s ironic the comparison between a burglar & Jesus isn’t it!
As a careless burglar might leave his fingerprint, his mark, and be subsequently discovered, Jesus left his mark before, at the time and after his birth and short stay on earth. It was God’s predestined plan for mankind so that through Jesus we might find forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Both the burglar & Jesus were captured and punished. However one received justice ( although 7 years I think was a bit harsh for stealing billard balls!) the other the greatest injustice of all time, why did Jesus, the only perfect person ever to live, receive the death penalty? Not because he was fitted up, nor that the penalty fitted the crime, as there was no crime which he committed; but that we might be fit to enter his Fathers Mansion. Jesus said this to his disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place I’m going” John 14v1-4
Do you know the way to the place he talks of? Are you sure that you are following the correct path? At this time of year when Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier, and the true meaning of Christmas seems to get pushed aside, we can often lose sight of one of the greatest event of all time, when God chose to manifest himself through the birth of Jesus. I say one of the greatest events not to belittle it, but Christmas should not only remind us of early part of the story but also make us grateful for the subsequent death, resurrection and promised second coming of Christ. That is apart from the bonus of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Make no mistake just as the Old Testament Prophecies were fulfilled so will the ones about Jesus return and remember this time not as a cute little baby. Meek & mind but as a Mighty King & warrior to rule & judge, are we ready to move into The Father’s House when & if called?