Summary: First in a Christmas series that focuses on Old Testament foreshadowing of Jesus
Baby books. I still remember mine. Being the 6th kid, there just weren’t as many photos of me as a baby. I still remember how it fascinated me to see pictures of a little baby and to think that he became me.
That’s something we’d like to have some fun with these next weeks – your baby pictures. We’d like to use your family’s baby pictures. So, would you please email them into the office in the next week or 2? If you can’t Email them, then go ahead and let us scan them and we’ll get them back to you. We need to know who they belong to so we can get them back to you. We also want to be able to put them up so that other people can take a guess at who they are. OK? Baby pictures!
Why do that? Because on Sunday mornings here for the next weeks up to Christmas, we’re going to be looking at the very earliest views we have of Jesus. OT “Baby Pictures” of Jesus. You may have seen them before but simply not recognized them.
Remember “Where’s Waldo”? There were these books, and there’d be hundreds of people in a picture, and hidden away somewhere in the picture was this guy with a red and white striped shirt – Waldo. That’s kind of what we’re going to do with the OT. There are a lot of people and stories and words there. But if you look closely enough, you’ll see Jesus is there. God had this all thought through before we ever came to be. It’s one story, running through the whole Bible.
We live on this side of the cross. So, when we look back, it’s a lot like looking at a baby book to see the very earliest pictures we have of Jesus. That way, we get to know Him better. We’ll consider sides of Him we haven’t realized before. So, we can learn a lot more about Jesus. But that’s where too many people stop.
See, you could learn a lot more about someone. You can look them up on the internet, stalk them on Facebook, and even do background checks. You can learn all kinds of things about people. But that’s different than knowing a person. In fact, it’s kind of creepy!
Many of you are thinking, “OK, I’d like to know more about Jesus.”
I’m not satisfied with that. I have a loftier goal over these next weeks. I want to see you move from knowing about Jesus to knowing Jesus. That’s my very honest and open agenda for November 13 to December 25th.
If Jesus had a baby book, the very first picture would be from Genesis, the first book in the Bible. Jesus was there at creation, because He’s God. John tells us that all things were made by Him. So, in 1:2, when the HS is there, moving over the surface of the waters, and when God says, “Let there be light!” Jesus is equally there.
Have you ever thought about it – when God says in 1:26 “Let us make man in our image…” Who’s He talking to? Jesus is there, at the beginning of time-space history. Jesus is God. He wants us to know that.
John starts his gospel with this most simple and most complex of truths: In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Jesus is God. He always has been. The Christmas story is simply about the time in human history when God emptied Himself and put on human flesh and lived among us. Jesus didn’t suddenly start to exist. He just moved into our neighborhood a little over 2,000 years ago.
So, before we get to a manger in Bethlehem, we need to begin at the beginning…
Garden of Eden. Perfect world. Adam and Eve are living in perfect innocence and in fellowship with God. All is good, very good, according to how God describes it – for 2 chapters. 1,189 chapters in the Bible, and it takes less than 3 to blow it! Genesis 3, Satan, in the form of a snake approaches Eve and convinces her to eat from the one tree that God had said to leave alone. Adam does it too. God had told them, “In the day you eat from it you will surely die.”
Parents, here’s a tip. When you lay down a rule, with a punishment, that’s what you do. You give it to your children for the sake of motivating them. You spell it out. And, if it’s broken, you follow through. That idea came from the way God deals with mankind.
You and I understand how we tend to want to learn things on our own. That’s how you discover that the paint really was wet and that an alarm really would sound.