The Christmas story never gets old for me. It’s fascinating. Shepherds, angels, wise men, a murder plot, and escape. And then there’s the thought of delivering a baby... inside a barn.
My family has the tradition of reading the Christmas story before we exchange gifts to remember that we are celebrating the Greatest Gift - Jesus. The details of Jesus’s birth are found in the first two chapters of both Matthew and Luke.
But the birth of Jesus isn’t the beginning of Jesus or His good news - and it certainly isn’t the end! The Christmas story tells us the beginning of His life on this planet, and it sure isn’t something that could be imagined by humans. These crazy circumstances didn’t just happen. They were planned by God to every last detail.
The stories we read in Matthew and Luke tell exactly the events that happened during the birth of Jesus. But there are tons of other verses in the Bible that predict His coming (called prophecies) and give us more details about why it happened. Here are just 5.
(I’m a pretty indecisive person by nature, so I had a hard time choosing how many to include. I ended up picking 5 because that is how many days until Christmas at the time of this post.)
Let’s take a look:
1. 1 Peter 1:20-21
(Christ) who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in this last age for your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.
Here’s one of the verses that explains that Jesus’s birth was not an afterthought or reaction from God. It was a proactive and intentional move - and known before the world was created.
And why? Because Jesus chose to die on a cross to take the payment for our sins. He came so that our faith and hope would be in God. God is all-knowing. He knows everything about us. It is hard for most of us to wrap our minds around that. God doesn’t see masses of people. He sees individuals and knows each of them. He had a plan and he carried it out for us. Mind blowing.
2. Colossians 15-17
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
While Jesus was a human, He could be seen and touched. The things He did showed exactly how God acts, because He is God. Please don’t misunderstand the part, “He is the firstborn of all creation.” This is not saying that Jesus was created. As we continue reading the verses, we see that Jesus created everything.
The word “firstborn” indicates rank. (It’s one of those fancy Greek words that has a couple different meanings.) This is also a good example of why it’s important to read the verses before and after so we can to understand what is going on as a whole.
This verse is saying that Jesus’s rank is the highest over everything. He is the reason everything exists. He is the most important. And He is the one who holds everything - including me and you - together.
3. John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it.
This is how John begins the book he wrote about Jesus. While Jesus was on the earth, John was one of His closest friends. I think it is rather poetic. Jesus is the Word of God, and the Light of men.
As stated before, Jesus was not a creation of God. He is God. Creator God. He came to the earth that He also created. He came to bring truth and light into our very dark world.
4. Isaiah 53:1-5
Who has believed our message? To whom has Yahweh’s arm been revealed? For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no good looks or majesty. When we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering and acquainted with disease.
He was despised as one from whom men hide their face; and we didn’t respect him. Surely he has borne our sickness and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.
Maybe this is the most famous prophecy about Jesus. It was written over 700 years before He was born! And yet it describes His life with chilling accuracy. Only 5 verses are included in this blog, but the whole chapter is equally as amazing.
Jesus didn’t come to this earth to live a luxurious and indulgent life. He came to suffer and live with us. It is because of Him that we can come to God. He knew that as He came to be born in a manger and live with people. Remember, that was the plan from before the beginning.
5. Philippians 2:4-5
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as children.
Jesus came to earth at just the right time. Many people were waiting for His arrival. Maybe some of them were doubting that He would arrive. God doesn’t make mistakes. He invented time, so it’s impossible for Him to be too early or late!
He was born just like us, and into a Jewish family. These verses tell us that it is because of Him that we can come to God - do you see the amazing theme here? Actually, we are adopted into God’s family when we choose to believe Jesus.
In this Christmas season, I hope that we all learn more about who Jesus is. His plan is bigger than anything than we can ever imagine.
Question: What have you learned about Jesus in the past year? What plans do you think he may have for you in the coming new year?