I know, most people finish their story with the ending, right?
It’s Christmas Eve, Jesus is here!
Angels are singing and stars are twinkling as new parents take in their freshly birthed son… Of The Living God. God Himself wrapped in a 6-pound bundle of wrinkled newborn skin, dark eyes, cheesy vernix, baby poop, and blood.
None would look at this tiny babe and proclaim He is the Great Almighty by Whom and through Whom, the Universe exists.
Yet He Is.
None would kiss His silky head and press their finger to curly toes and consider He is God sent to die as a criminal for humanity’s rescue.
Yet He Is.
None would feel His feeble fingers curl around their thumb and declare Him to be the One sent to crush the head of Satan.
Yet He Is.
Jesus is all of these and He always has been. In fact, while today we celebrate the beginning of His life on Earth, the truth is, Jesus has been with us since the beginning of time. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to take you from the side of Christ’s makeshift cradle to the Garden, where it all began.
In Genesis 3, the unbelievable has occurred. God’s perfect garden, His perfect world, has been marred by sin, ushered in by a single act of disobedience. In these verses, God listens as Adam and Eve play a round of the blame game, ultimately pointing their fingers at the serpent, Satan. We can sense God’s heartache and righteous anger as He delivers a curse to each of the guilty parties: first to the serpent, then to the woman, and finally, to the man.
Yet, in this heartbreaking moment, we also find a seed of hope: the first prophecy of a Savior. As swiftly as the curse is given, the plan of redemption is promised. Jesus will come. He will set this wrong to right. There is no hesitation from God. No, it seems in the very moment His creation rejects Him, He chooses to pursue us.
Surely as God, there were infinite paths He could have chosen to save us. Say the word! Snap His fingers! Scrap the whole “Earth project” and start again (this time without the snakes).
But He chose none of those paths. Instead, as Philippians 2:6-8 tells us, Christ chose to humble Himself by taking on the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.
So the Christ was born as a defenseless child to penniless parents.
What kind of God chooses to become one of His creations?
What kind of God chooses to come as an infant instead of a king?
God promises the serpent will one day bruise the heel of Adam’s offspring, as Satan does in Christ’s death. But He also promises this Child will utterly crush the head of the serpent, as Jesus does through His resurrection. The reason Christ came to Earth as a baby was to fulfill this very prophecy in Genesis.
He came to crush the serpent’s head.
He came to break Satan’s power over us.
And He will come again.
Friend, we stand in the glorious in-between of two advents: Christ’s birth and Christ’s return. While much of Christ’s story lies behind us, we are invited into the anticipation and longing for the next chapter of His great unfolding when He will come as Victorious King, riding on a cloud, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
So you see, the Beginning we celebrate on Christmas Eve merely points us to another Beginning . . . the beginning of a Kingdom that will never end. In this kingdom, there will be no more tears, no more sickness, and no more shame. (Revelation 21:3-4) Just as in the garden, all those years ago, we will experience perfect fellowship with our God. Finally, we will experience the beautiful, yet mysterious union of the divine and those declared righteous because of the precious blood of the Only Begotten Son of the Living God.
No, I don’t imagine anyone gazing into his sleepy, newborn eyes could believe this child to be the Promise fulfilled and Everlasting King.
Yet He is.
Advent Day 15
Even His death on the cross was surprising, because the tool of torture became the very thing that gave us life. (1 John 5:11)
Although His plan to make Jesus incarnate was strange to us, it was the perfect way for God to teach us to love and trust Him.
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