BIBLE INSIGHT in 500 words
Christmas: Bigger Than You Can Imagine
Richard Parrott, Ph.D.
Christmas is a Special Day. Frankly, I LOVE the close, personal, and comfortable celebration of the birth of Jesus. Perhaps you can identify: cards, shopping, gatherings, and celebrations wrap us in the warmth and wonder of Christmas. We love it.
However, when we look at Christmas from the perspective of God’s Grand Drama, the Bible, we must be careful. Christmas, as seen from the vantage of heaven and from the story of Scripture, offers a grandeur view of the Birth of Jesus.
First, Christmas Provides an Ending to a Tragic Story. The story is the Old Testament. God selected Israel to represent Him before all the nations of the world. The Promise Land was a kind of New Eden. The Temple served as God’s residence, His continuous presence with his people.
The challenge for Israel was to be the light of the world and draw the nations to God. However, Israel failed by neglecting the needy in Israel and chasing after the gods of other nations. The consequence was Exile. The prophets promised that when Exile over, the promises of God would be realized. The people returned to Jerusalem, but the promises never came to pass. The people had to wait for another 400 years.
On this tragic note, the Old Testament ends. The story needs an ending, a hero, and God’s victory. God moved in his mightiest act, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This is Christmas, the gift of our Savior and God’s victory! All of promises God has given are “Yes” in Jesus.
For no matter how many promises God has made,
they are “Yes” in Christ.
And so through
to the glory of God
(2 Corinthians 1:20).
Second, Christmas Gives Birth to a New World. In Jesus, God’s intent to restore all creation begins. What is born in Jesus at Christmas is set loose in the world on Easter. This is God’s victory for the whole world.
A) Shepherds Spread the Word “concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:17-18). The birth of the Messiah is a story to be told to all people.
B) Mary Treasured Up All These Thing “and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). The birth of the Messiah is an event with deep meaning for all people.
C) The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God “for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2:20). The birth of Christ initiates a new life-perspective for all people.
This Christmas when you hear the familiar story, when your heart is warmed, when you see the world through heaven’s eye, know that this is for the whole world.
Joy to the world, the Lord has come
Let earth receive her King