The birth of Jesus started in Genesis
by Gini Crawford
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On Christmas day our family has the tradition of reading the account of the birth of Jesus in either the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Luke. However, in reality we should go back to Genesis 3 where the need for Jesus' birth is first recorded.
Description of Genesis 3
So let's go back to the book of beginnings, Genesis, and start this Christmas devotion. Jesus Christ had just created a perfect world, an utopia for His beloved people. Everything was going great until Adam and Eve decided they didn't have enough. "God is holding out on us", they thought. So they took their lives in their own hands and ate that silly fruit God told them not to eat (Genesis 2:16-17). Immediately they realized it wasn't a good idea, and they put fig leaves over what never had bothered them before. They felt a thick layer of leaves and hiding from God would do the trick to stop those awful feelings (of death, separation, shame, guilt, fear, anxiety and so on) they never had before. But instead they felt worse. When Jesus asked them what had happened instead, of being honest about their outright disobedience - sin, they blamed each other and even Him. Jesus could have said, "Enough of you two!" and switched plans. But instead Jesus gives them the promise of Genesis 3:15. (Genesis 3).
The idea of the gospel/salvation started in Genesis 3:15. It is when humanity began anticipating the arrival of Someone from God who would bring peace and righteousness to earth. It is the first promise of God's willingness to step out of eternity to become a descendant (seed) of theirs and deliver them. It hints of a spiritual battle that would be won by this descendant. It is the first prophecy of a coming Savior.
The promise of Genesis 3:15 and Abraham
The promise of Genesis 3:15 was then made more specific to Abraham. God called Abraham to be a father of a people who would bring a blessing to all the world (Genesis 12:1-3), and eventually through Abraham's great-grandson Judah and Judah's descendent King David (Matthew 1:1-16). This blessing or promise was that Abraham's descendant (Christ), would again establish a relationship between Abraham, his descendants, and God on the basis of faith. If you believe in Jesus Christ you are Abraham's descendant. Abraham's descendant (Jesus Christ) is clearly talked about by Paul in Galatians 3.
Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural "descendants," meaning many people, but the singular "descendant," meaning one person only, namely, Christ... But the scripture says that the whole world is under the power of sin; and so the gift which is promised on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ is given to those who believe... If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants of Abraham and will receive what God has promised. Galatians 3:16, 22, 29 (GNT)
Mary, Jesus' mother clearly knew of this promise to Abraham and realized she was going to give birth to the One Who would fulfill this promise. We know this by what she said, in Luke 1:55.
And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever." Luke 1:46-55 NASB®
Prophecies of the Christmas story
There are many verses that foretold the birth of Jesus. The two that come to most our minds around Christmas is Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6. Both these prophecies talk about the future child that would be God Himself, Who would come to save His people from their sins. He would be their Savior.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NASB®
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NASB®
But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet(Isaiah): "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." Matthew 1:20-23 NASB®
The time for our Savior arrived
The birth of Jesus is described through God’s Word below:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!" Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!" Mary said to the angel, "I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God's power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God. Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do." "I am the Lord's servant," said Mary; "may it happen to me as you have said." And the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38 GNT
Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger — there was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born — Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:4-12 GNT
In the midst of all the season's festivities and traditions, take a moment to remember just how long the world waited for its Savior. We are no longer waiting for the birth of Jesus, of course, but we now have the choice whether to welcome Him into our lives, as Mary and Joseph did centuries ago. Is Jesus welcome in your life? He wasn’t welcomed in an inn simply because they were too busy. I hope you aren't too busy for your Savior. He is never too busy for you.
Life application: Let's not forget that the babe in the manger was God Himself, Who deprived Himself of His glory and rights as God for us - to become one of us - to die for us (Philippians 2:6-8). We can certainly be singing, Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Read and meditate on Isaiah 53, a passage that foretold our Savior.
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