Born at Christmas, Alive Forever
Jesus’ birth was miraculous, in more ways than one
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
Just like every other human, Jesus had a birthday (which is what Christians celebrate on Christmas) and came into the world as a baby. But that’s where the similarity ends. Unlike other people, Jesus’ existence did not begin on the day of His birth.
From the beginning
Each of the four Gospels offers a unique account of Jesus’ life. Mark’s Gospel starts with Jesus launching His public ministry. Matthew and Luke begin with genealogies.
But John goes way, way back – to the very beginning. He writes:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)
It is hard to understand, but God lives outside of time and space. No one created God, but He has always existed. And Jesus, who in this passage is called “the Word,” existed with God in the beginning.
He’s the creator
In case there was any doubt, John goes on to say:
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)
The world – everything around us, everything we can see and cannot see – was created by God the Father and by Jesus (and, as Genesis 1:2 tells us, the Holy Spirit was there too).
This is confirmed in Hebrews: “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:2)
He stepped out of eternity
So, Jesus the Son had already existed for all time. But on that fateful day, He stepped out of infinity and into human history. This is an amazing mystery, that the God who existed outside of time and space had now somehow squeezed Himself down to occupy one tiny bit of space, at a particular moment in time.
This is why the angels were rejoicing, because they were witness to one of God’s greatest miracles – what is referred to as the “incarnation.” A little further along in John’s Gospel we read, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Finally, the yearning of Israel was to be fulfilled. The Creator God, who for millennia had spoken rarely, and only to a select few, was now one of us. The tremendous gap between God and man – a gap that had existed since the fall of mankind – was being closed.
He came with a purpose
God become a man to reveal Himself more fully to us. Jesus told the disciples in John 14:9, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.”
But even more importantly, Jesus took on humanity – became one of us – so that He could save us from our sins. He became our high priest, our representative before God:
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
But Jesus was not only the priest who offered a sacrifice for sins. He was the sacrifice, or as John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Peter tells us, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Paul sums up the incarnation and its purpose by saying that Jesus “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8)
So at Christmas, we celebrate the arrival of not just another human; not just the birth of another great person. We gaze in awe and wonder at the miracle of God becoming man. Our hearts overflow with thankfulness that Jesus emptied Himself, humbled Himself, and died for us, so that we can have eternal life.
Pray this week:
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You left Your Heavenly throne, inhabited a frail human body, and died on the cross to forgive my sins. I praise You that You rose from the dead, are now in Heaven, and will soon return to bring us to Heaven.
Would you like to know more about how to follow the Christ of Christmas? We’d love to hear from you.