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By Pete Macinta

Fulfilled. From the birth of Christ to His placement in Nazareth, that word is used four times in Matthew. All four can have a direct bearing on lives.

In 1:22-33 we read, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

That fact of His virgin birth is extremely important, because this meant a fresh start for mankind. The prophetic name Emmanuel indicates that God used the most powerful way to save us from our sins by being veiled with our flesh and subjected to temptation. 2:15 reads, "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." Symbolically, Egypt represents the world system. When a person becomes born-again, they are spiritually taken out of the world system and placed into the kingdom of the Son.

"Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (2:17-18) By the Holy Spirit, Matthew quotes from a passage in Jeremiah which not only predicted the killing of the innocents, but warned the Jews in Jeremiah's time that many of them would be taken captive to Babylon, and the environs of Bethlehem would be desolate. The passage in Matthew can indicates a warning to those who are born-again to avoid their own Babylonian captivity by following Christ and fleeing from sin.

In 2:23, we read, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." He dwelt among men, and did so victoriously. He did not sin. This fulfillment means that, if Christ is truly within us, we, too, can be victorious over sin.

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