Summary: The coming of Jesus Christ began not in Matthew, but Genesis. This is part one of a four part series leading up to Christ’s coming into the world.
The story of the coming of Jesus Christ into this world begins not in Matthew, but in Genesis. Our Bibles have one overarching theme: God’s relationship with man.
The first book of the Old Testament tells us how God made man in His own image and likeness.
The first book of the New Testament tells us how God became a man and lived among us as one of us: Emanuel – God with us.
For almost two thousand years now followers of Jesus Christ have had some kind of yearly celebration of His humbling Himself and coming into the world, reflections on His death, burial and resurrection, as well as recognition of His ascension or return to glory with God the Father.
Our weekly Sunday services reflect these. We meet on the first day of the week because that is the resurrection day and the day the Holy Spirit gave birth to the Church. We take the Lord’s Supper each week in remembrance of Jesus’ body and blood celebrating His sacrifice for our sins by His death on the cross where Jesus gave His own body and shed His own blood to save us from the condemnation our sins deserve. For us these things are not simply religious traditions that we keep, they are symbols of our faith and acts of worship to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They not only remind us of God’s love and grace to us, but also as we do these things, we have actual fellowship with our God. We participate in a spiritual connection together in the name of Jesus Christ with the Creator of the universe. As we do these things we express a part of our relationship with God that echoes the story of scripture.
This week is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Over the next four weeks let’s take a journey through the Bible’s story of the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Today we will look at the beginning of it all, when God created everything good, but then there was the fall. Next week, we will survey some of the key characters of faith in the Old Testament who God called and who were close to God and through whom God worked to bring the Christ into the world. Thirdly, we will hear God revealing His plan of sending the Suffering Servant our Savior through the prophets. Finally, Lord willing, we will join the gospel writers as they announce to us the arrival of the Christ, the Son of God, the Prophet, Priest and King who has come.
These are all familiar to us, like good songs we sing over and over. We need to repeatedly study them and reflect on God’s love shown to us in them. It deepens us. New things may broaden us, but repetition on precious things enrich us. There is nothing more precious than the Bible’s record of God’s gift of Jesus.
It all started before anyone was here on this planet. God foreknew and planned our redemption even before we were made. 1 Peter 1: 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
When was He foreordained? Before the foundation of the world!
Ephesians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
When did God chose us in him? Before the creation of the world!
Jesus was there when we were put here on this planet. The Word, that was with God and was God, through whom all things were made that have been made, was there. We bear His image and He bears ours!
I have been captivated by this truth: God made me to be like Him. God… made… you and me… to be like… Him! Does that truth sink into us? Do we realize the awesome dignity and honor we are endowed with? While we must avoid the wrong conclusion: We are not God. And our divine nature depends completely on our relationship with God. Yet, this divine design that identifies who we are and what we are and where we came from is not just some religious myth, it is historic and actual reality. God made us in His image and God wants us to know Him and have a relationship with Him, not as His pets, but as His children.