The Old to the New: Christmas Throughout Time Part 2
The Will of God
This Christmas is going to be hard. It will be almost eight months since my uncle passed away. So, in all the festivities, there will be a sad side. Many of us have someone we have lost or something we have lost since the past Christmas. The festivities lose their charm. The famous Christmas joy is gone.
What is the most beautiful part of Christmas, though? Is it the traditions that people have carried on for centuries? Is it the good times with friends and family? Or, is it something completely different?
The beauty in celebrating Jesus’ birth began centuries before Jesus was even born.
The Old Testament
Throughout the Old Testament, the Bible points to Jesus in so many different ways. So, before Jesus was born, all of the people who believed in Jesus already could have known what to expect. In fact, a total of 19 prophecies were fulfilled at His birth.
The most commonly known passage is Isaiah 53:3 –
“He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
This was the story of Jesus foretold centuries before He was even born. In fact, if we were to go back to the passage in Luke 2 that is read every Christmas, we could trace all of the details back to facts that had already been prophesied.
- Verse 1 speaks of the timing of His birth. Daniel 9 actually gives the context for when Jesus is born and this is fulfilled with His birth.
- In verse 4, we hear of Joseph’s family and Mary and Joseph going over to Bethlehem. This fulfills prophecies from Genesis that foretold Jesus’ lineage, along with prophecies from Micah 5 which predicts that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem.
- Verse 5 speaks of how Mary is a virgin. This was predicted in Isaiah 7:14.
Wow! This is such a stunning way for God to show the plans of Christmas. However, Christmas does not seem to be going according to plan. We have a little Jesus in a little manger in front of a few people. Not the classy way for the King of the World to be born. However, this was how the whole of Jesus’ life would be and was also predicted in Isaiah 53.
Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” [ESV] (Emphasis added)
Do you see those five impactful words? The will of the Lord. Throughout Jesus’ life, starting with His birth, God’s will was being fulfilled through Him. Christmas shows the beauty of God’s plan. Way before the foundations of the world, God had a beautiful will. In the times of old, he was pointing towards the culmination of the plan. Now, in the new, we look back to that glorious time.
So, what does this mean for us? How can our Christmas be beautiful? When I look at these amazing facts, it gives me a reason to rejoice. It gives me the Christmas joy. Because I see a God whose will was ultimately accomplished with Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. So, in death and in life I know that I can trust Him. As I follow the 4 R’s of repentance (see Eunice’s series), I can go boldly through life with hope in God’s will.
This Christmas will be different. But it will still be beautiful and joyous because Jesus was born! God’s will was accomplished in Christ, and will be accomplished in my family as well. Merry Christmas!