12/24/15: All Those Preparations!
As we approach another Christmas, many of us are in the throes of preparation. We’re preparing for Christmas morning by decorating the house and trimming the tree. We’re preparing for Christmas dinner by standing in long grocery store lines for just the right Butterball® turkey, Honey Baked® ham, and all the trimmings. We’re preparing for the arrival of out-of-town guests by vacuuming, dusting, and shining up the special dinnerware. And of course, we’re preparing to put smiles on the faces of our friends and loved ones by purchasing or creating and then lovingly wrapping just the right, special gift.
God did quite a bit of preparation too as He put everything in place for the first Christmas, getting that special Gift ready for us. He actually started working on that day way back in the Garden of Eden. Speaking to the serpent who had seduced Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, God said, “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 (NKJ). This sentence is called the Proto-evangelim. On the Truth for Today website, this verse is clearly explained:
- In one cryptic sentence, addressed to the Serpent, God divulges the plan of salvation… An individual from among the woman’s seed, namely Christ, shall deal a death blow and utter defeat to Satan at the cross, while Satan would bruise Christ’s heel, that is, cause Him to suffer.
From that time on, God was working history to prepare for the first Christmas. Jesus Christ would be a descendent of Abraham, but Abraham had to be born and called, and then had to have a child. (That’s a long and interesting story in and of itself!) Jesus would be of the tribe of Judah, but Jacob (Judah’s daddy) had to be born and grow to have a “tribe.” Jesus would be a descendent of King David, but David had to first be born, have kids, and ascend to the throne when as yet – back in the beginning – the children of Israel (who also weren’t born yet) were not even ruled by a king.
God also dropped hints throughout Scripture of other first-Christmas preparatory details:
- Jesus would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14
- He would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2
- He would be from Nazareth. Isaiah 9:1-2
God went to a lot of trouble to give us our first Christmas gift – to come to us in the person of His Son. He put Himself in the womb of a young girl, Mary; and in the care of a young carpenter, Joseph. He restricted Himself to a small time and place with no cars, airplanes, telephones, or computers. So as we run around getting our last-minute details together for this Christmas, think of all the preparation that went into that first Christmas. Let’s not get so flustered in the “trouble” we have to go through to prepare for the day. It’s worth it to prepare in big ways for big events. God did it for us.
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