Once again Christmas is upon us and who would have possibly anticipated the events between last Christmas and this one. I want to say what a privilege it has been to walk through this time with you and I am so looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior together.
As I have been preparing the Christmas messages, I have realized that this year there is one word that has jumped out to me as I have been meditating on the incarnation of Christ. That word is “certainty.” The Son of God, second in the Trinity, and Creator of the universe determined before the foundation of the world to come into this world to save us from sin. We see this as the thrust and promise of the entire bible.
Our Savior being born is something that we understand from Genesis 3 in the hope of a seed/offspring who will crush the serpent’s head. This seed will be the seed of a human woman and will be a human solution to our human problem. Our Savior being born is foreshadowed in countless pictures in the narrative of Old Testament history. Just like Abraham will be given an offspring through the miraculous working of God, so too Jesus would be that offspring of Abraham to receive and bring promise to the nations. Just as Moses would survive a plot to kill Hebrew boys to become the deliverer of Israel, Jesus survived the violent orders of Herod to become the greater Prophet of deliverance. Just as Isaiah promised a son to be born as a sign of God saving Judah against its enemies, so too our Savior was called Jesus to save his people from their sin. The Old Testament constantly points us to the hope of the Messiah in direct prophecies, allusions, types and shadows and in the general thrust and hope of the redemptive thread. The consistency of the expectation of Jesus in many different books written by different authors over hundreds of years is one of the testimonies of the Divine inspiration of Scripture.
In the New Testament, we read that all of the expectation of Jesus, his kingdom, and his entire work of atonement was determined before the foundation of the world. Paull tells us over and over in Ephesians 1 that Christ was determined as Savior of the world according to the eternal counsel of God, the purpose of his will, before the foundation of the world, and all to the praise of his glory. In Philippians, Paul also tells us that Christ came into this world from being in a position of owning all the glory of the throne of God. The pre-ordained will of God in Jesus coming into this world to save us from sin to bring glory to God could not possibly be thwarted, even by Satan himself. It is in the counsel of God’s will to glorify himself through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of man.
Brothers and sisters, please, I am pleading with you. Hang all your hope on being in this Savior. This Christmas, please realize that our infinite blessing resides in being part of God’s plan to glorify himself through his Son. He has done that by taking undeserving sinners, and through the cross changing their relationship from one based on wrath to one based on grace and mercy and love. We get to participate in God’s glory through faith in Christ alone. That glory is beyond imagination and will have an infinite glorious outworking in our life for all eternity in ways we can only imagine. All of this because Jesus was born and it was never going to happen any other way.
If 2020 has done anything for us, I plead with you that it should have increased our anticipation of loving Christ and living with him in his glorious presence for all eternity. When you look at the various representations of this babe in a manger this Christmas, please remind yourself that 2000 years ago, the certainty of God’s promise to save us was sealed in the incarnation of the Son of God who came into this world to die for sin and rise as Lord and King. Remind yourself, that the expectation of history has come. The expectation and anticipation of salvation has arrived. He was born as one of us, lived with us, died for us, and rose for us to share in his victory over sin and death. His birth says “ABSOLUTELY, GOD SAVES!” With all the uncertainty in this world, Christmas shouts to us, “CERTAINTY!”