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A birth certificate is one of the most important documents you own. If you were born within the last hundred years, you have one. This official document contains the important data of your birth, including your name, sex, date, place, delivery doctor, witnesses and parents. This document was filled out after you were born and is kept on record.
There have been a number of times that I had to prove “who I was”. In order to obtain a driver’s license, a Social Security card, enlist in the United States Coast Guard or apply for a passport, I had to show my birth certificate to prove my age or that I was a United States citizen. This document is so important that I keep it in a secure place where I have easy access.
Today the government is responsible for the task of safeguarding birth certificate information. What would it be like to prove who you were before birth certificates? I believe it would be an overwhelming task. In Old and New Testament times everyone simply took the word of the family and community. Genealogies were very important to the Jewish nation as proof of the family and which tribe they belonged to. It was in the time of Jesus that the Roman government attempted to control the Jews by announcing a “taxing of all the people”. Everyone had to return to the town of their father’s place of birth, to be taxed and counted.
In order to be eligible for the highest office in the United States, the applicant must prove that they are a natural-born citizen, but no other requirements of their birth are mandatory. The “requirement” to be the Messiah of the Old Testament on the other hand is entirely different. In the Bible the proof of birth of the Messiah; the King of the Jews was painstakingly detailed beforehand.
There were no public records of birth, but if we were to fill out the birth certificate for the Christ, it would have to include his name, sex, date, place, delivery doctor, witnesses and parents. The birth would have to fulfill all of the prophecies concerning the Messiah. First the baby would have to be male. His name would be Immanuel (“God with Us”; Isaiah 7:14). He would be of the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:3) and more specifically that He was of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10). His birthright would include being eligible as the Heir to the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6-7). His place of birth would be the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). His birth certificate would include that His mother was a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus didn’t need a doctor at the time of delivery and the witness to his birth was by the angels to the shepherds.
All this was foretold by the prophets of God centuries before Jesus was born. Jesus not only fulfilled the the prophecies concerning his birth, but every other prophecy about the Messiah in the Old Testament as well. He is the Christ! In Jesus case, his birth certificate wasn’t written the night of His birth. Instead the ink had been dry on His birth certificate for two thousand years before He was born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem.