Because Christ was laying in the manger, Christ would be nailed to the Cross.
Another year is quickly coming to a close. We are about to celebrate Christmas 2014. I need to let that sink in for a moment. Christmas 2014. This is my 50th Christmas. Wow, thats a lot. There are plenty of memories through those years. Plenty of memories for sure.
I remember the expectations rising as Christmas day neared. I remember my brothers and I decorating the Christmas tree my dad would bring home. I remember making my “wish list” out of the giant Sears catalog that would arrive in the mail every year. Ah yes, I remember it well. Over most generations, Christmas seems to be a time of expectation. We are always looking forward to Christmas.
The day itself, of course, is a reminder of what happened in the past. There is little consequence if this is or is not the actual day Jesus was born. What matters is that He was born. And He was born to die. For me. And you. For OUR transgressions. Wow.
Sometimes I wonder if God is remembering Christmas. I wonder if He looks back on the birth of Jesus at all. When I begin to think about that I am reminded that God has always looked forward to Christmas…and I’m not speaking of December 25th. I am speaking about the birthday of Christ which we celebrate on December 25th.
You see Christ being born was determined before man set foot on God’s earth. Before man, before sin, before the world was placed in the heavens. Yes that long ago, God determined there would be a Christmas. That is, before anything was, God was looking forward to Christmas,
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you. 1Peter 1:20 NASB
What a wonderful truth Peter shares with us here in 1 Peter 1:20. In his discourse in chapter one, Peter begins a talk about the conduct of the Christian and the call to be holy beginning in verse 13. Peter continues to talk about the need to be holy because that is the call of the Christian because God Himself is holy. Peter then speaks about giving a reason for our actions to be pure – because Christ was sacrificed for us. And with that Peter comes to the above passage – that the death of Christ was known before the foundation of the earth. So if God knew beforehand about salvation coming through the death of Christ,then He must have known beforehand that Christ would be born. He declares as much through the prophet Isaiah
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NASB
Isaiah uttered those words a more than 700 years before Jesus was born. And if there is any doubt to whom those words were directed, Matthew states
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23 NASB
God planned for Jesus to come to earth before the foundation of the worlld. He declared it to be so more than 700 years before His birth. But did you know that this event was foretold even before that?
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. Genesis 3:15 NASB
Right after the fall of mankind – when pronouncing the curse that will befall creation – God brings forth His promise of a Savior. This is sometimes referred to as the first time the Gospel was proclaimed. It certainly is the first time there is a promise of the defeat of Satan. What a place to give hope!
So why do I share this at Christmas? Well the plan of God is not some grab bag of ideas thrown together at the last minute because of some surprising development. No, God’s plan and purpose is a careful one that brings glory to Him. God is not surprised for anything but has planned everything to bring glory to Himself.
And that is what Christmas did. Because Christ was laying in the manger, Christ would be nailed to the Cross. And with Him on the cross were my sins. And yours. The provision for the atonement was planned before it was needed, provided for before it was necessary, and promised before it arrived. In our moments of greatest desperation, God gave us then – and gives us now – hope. That hope came on Christmas.
From my family to you and yours – may you have a blessed Christmas. May your coming year be filled with a new zeal for God and the things of HIm rather than the things of this world. May your life be blessed. Most of all, may all that you think and do, bring glory to God in the highest.