Jesus' birth was a set up all along. "WHEN THE SET TIME HAD FULLY COME GOD SENT HIS SON..." His birth was prearranged to be "born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption..." (Gal. 4:4-5)
We unintentionally miss the wonder of this truth when we nearly speed read the Christmas story out of an obligatory Christmas duty. We know the beginning, the ending, and all the little pieces in between. An angel appears, Mary's with child, Joseph marries her, they go to Bethlehem, no room in the inn, Jesus is born, they lay him in a manager, some shepherds come, angels sing, and Herod gets mad...the end...at least for the condensed version.
When we condense the Christmas story, we miss the wonder of God's prearranged plan. Zoom in and you see the details of a King's humble birth. Zoom out, and you see the magnificent predetermined, organized intentional love by a Sovereign God.
THE PRE-ARRANGED PLAN
The set up of Jesus's birth began in Genesis. We almost miss it. It's certainly not a verse sung to any Christmas lullaby. In the first two chapters of Genesis all of creation is in harmonious relationship with God. Then sin enters in and men and women are condemned, held for ransom by death. God pronounced the set up, "I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he (Jesus) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” Genesis 3:15.
Not the most likely Christmas verse! Yet, from Genesis the story of Christ begins. As St. Augustine expressed so well, "The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed." In other words, the Old Testament is Christ concealed and the New Testament is Christ revealed.
@@The Old Testament is Christ concealed; the New Testament is Christ revealed.@@
THE PLAN FULFILLED
A "set-up" can inaugurate the surprise of a new beginning or end in someone's incriminating demise. Jesus' birth accomplished both.
Jesus stated many times and in many ways why He came and why He didn't come.
- I didn't come to do my own thing, but I came to do the will of my Father who sent me (John 6:38).
- I didn't come to be served, I came to serve and to give my life as a ransom (Matt 20:28).
- I didn't come to destroy the law, I came to fulfill it. (Ahhh...part of the "set-up" again.) Matt. 5:17.
- I didn't come for the righteous, but I came to call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17).
Death held all people for ransom, and Jesus came to be that ransom. He came for that very hour of death (John 12:27). This "set-up" inaugurated our new beginning. Jesus said, "I came that they might have abundant life" (John 10:10) and ends with Satan being crushed under our feet (Romans. 16:20).
All Scripture is filled with reasons of the mystery of Jesus' birth and not just a few chapters we happen to zoom in on during the Christmas season. Let us zoom in during Christmas to the orchestrated details of his birth, but let us zoom out the rest of the year declaring the overwhelming good news of the gospel. Let God "open our minds to understand the Scriptures, that it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations..." We are "witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:45-48).