Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Came To Pass

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4).


How old is the story of Christmas? While it’s true that the events of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—took place 2,000 years ago, the story of Christmas was being written for hundreds and even thousands of years before that blessed day.

The Story Begins

The beginning of the story of Christmas was told in the Garden of Eden, the paradise where Adam and Eve lived in harmony with God until they disobeyed His command. Because of Satan’s deceptive actions and temptation which led Adam and Eve to sin, God pronounced a judgment against him. The judgment, in Genesis 3:15, revealed that the seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan). The sins of our first parents, as well as the sins of every person who has lived since then, created a need and a longing for a Redeemer who could conquer sin and restore mankind’s relationship with God.

More Details Emerge

More details of the story of Christmas—God’s story of redemption—emerge throughout the centuries. The prophet Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ was born, but wrote that “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14; compare Matthew 1:20-23). Micah, another Jewish prophet, pinpointed the place where the Saviour would be born: “Bethlehem … out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2, compare Luke 2:1-7).

The Picture Becomes Clearer

Other prophetic Scriptures reveal more about who the promised Redeemer would be. Isaiah wrote: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The Saviour was to be none other than the everlasting Son of God (John 1:1,14; 3:16).

The Saviour Must Suffer

When Adam and Eve sinned, God killed an animal and made coats of skin to cover them (Genesis 3:21). When the children of Israel sinned, God required that they bring an animal sacrifice, shedding its blood at the altar (Leviticus 4). When God envisioned the ultimate sacrifice—the full and final payment for sin—it also involved the shedding of blood. Isaiah spoke of the suffering Saviour with perfect clarity: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…. He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many” (Isaiah 53:5,12). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered and died as the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18,19).

The Story is Not Over

All of the prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross came to pass 2,000 years ago. However, God’s story of redemption is still being written today. God is still saving all who come to Him in repentance and faith, trusting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for their sins. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Have you become part of the Christmas story? Have you seen Jesus Christ as more than a baby in a manger? Have you seen Him as the Son of God who left Heaven and became a man so He could die in your place, bearing your sin? Have you turned to Him and placed your full trust in Him as Lord and Saviour? If not, I urge you to do so today! Then you can say, as did Simeon when he saw the baby Jesus, “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people” (Luke 2:30,31).

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