Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given”. When we think of Christmas, we often think of the arrival of Jesus as a baby in the manger. In reality, it was also a departure. For us, a Child was born. But for God the Father, a Son was given! Christ arrived with a purpose. Yet, from the day of His birth even to today, the majority of people have been blind to it. But all of heaven understood why Christ came to earth. Yes, He was purposed to die on a cross as a propitiation for the sin of mankind, but more than that, His very birth was a victory blow against the enemy in a very ancient war.
You see, the first verse about Christmas isn’t in the New Testament at all. It’s in Genesis, the very first book of the Bible: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel (Genesis 3:15).” God spoke this to Satan after Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit against God’s command and fallen into sin. God was not surprised by their sin; He was already looking forward to the solution.
But the enemy understood this prophecy a lot better than most of humanity did. He understood that he would be defeated by a man in the line of Eve. And throughout Scripture, as more details about the coming Messiah were revealed, we continually see the enemy attempting to destroy Israel, or more particularly the line of David.
Pharaoh tried to wipe out all the male children of the Israelites in Exodus 1:15-19. Saul hunted David obsessively throughout the second half of 1 Samuel. In the days of Esther, Haman tried to wipe out the entire Jewish population. And finally, just after Jesus’ birth King Herod ordered a massacre of all male babies two or younger. Behind all of these events we see a dark intention, trying to destroy God’s people, and His promise to them. This battle is not over. It continues to this day, and as God’s children, we are a part of it.
We know who wins the victory in the end, and we know Christ will walk beside us every step of the way.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:-3)
The encouraging part is, even before He was born into this world, our Savior was fulfilling this promise to His people:
- He appeared to Abraham in Genesis 22:11-18, perhaps at the most critical moment of his life, when he was prepared to offer his long-awaited son to the Lord as a sacrifice.
- He appeared to Jacob in Genesis 32:24-30, when Jacob feared he was about to lose everything he had because of his past actions.
- He appeared to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3:14-27, when they were cast into a fiery furnace for not betraying the Lord.
In fact, the Bible testifies from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 that we are never alone. Jesus has always been there.
In fact, the entire Old Testament was leading up to and pointing to Christ. Jesus explained this to His disciples in Luke 24:13-27.
That is why Christmas is a time of incredible hope for us. Christ is the solution to the problem that occurred way back in Genesis 3. There has been a cosmic battle going on from the beginning of the world, and Jesus Christ has always been there to fight on our side. But now, because of Christmas, we can enter into an intimate relationship with our Savior like never before.
Finally, there is an important reminder that I want to bring to you attention this Christmas. That is to remember that God is with us. Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” An important message of Christmas is that God is with us. His name is Immanuel!
There are some among us who are hurting this Christmas season. The may be a neighbor, a coworker or a classmate. Maybe even a stranger that you meet in the pubic. And for the hurting person, the lonely person, the sad person, the discouraged saint, this is the time of year to bring the gift of encouragement to them and say, “The message of Christmas is: God will help you. God will strengthen you. Jesus is with you”
I’d like to encourage you to look for opportunities to share the love of God during this season, because it is a time when we seem to be more open to engaging in conversation with others. Now is a great opportunity for you to bring encouragement to someone who is struggling.
I’m praying for you and looking forward the sweet, sweet presence of Jesus this Christmas season!