One of the things I like to do at Christmas time is listening to Christmas music! Sonja and Elisha (my roommates in Bible school), and probably others close by, were definitely made aware of my love for this genre – as early as October. This year there was one song that stuck out to me; it is called “Hope Was Born This Night” by the Sidewalk Prophets*. It is a great song, but one thing that I was recently challenged with is was hope actually born that night?
Many of us know the creation story and the story of Adam and Eve (found in the book of Genesis). So God created Adam and Eve, all the animals and plants, and in particular one tree. This tree is known as the tree of good and evil, and God gave one rule in regards to this tree – do not eat from this tree. He also told Adam and Eve the consequence of eating from this tree. Now sadly Eve believed a deception told to her by the serpent and ate of the only forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3:1-13)
As soon as Eve touched the fruit she sealed the fate of mankind. At this point hopelessness entered the world because we became separated from God and from life.
After all this happened God came and talked to them and the serpent. Here is the turning point; the point where what seemed hopeless had an element of hope. “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel.” (Genesis 3:15) This is the first prophecy about Jesus. The hope for the world was the coming of the Messiah who would restore all that had been broken.
There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that refer to Jesus. There were thousands of years where the people of Israel waited for the coming of this child, so when Jesus finally came it wasn’t the beginning of hope, but rather the fulfillment of the hope that had been promised.
After the Fall and during the years leading up to the birth of Jesus, God gave the world hope. How? By revealing little bits, at a time, of his plan to redeem mankind. It was began to be fulfilled by the birth of the Messiah, and then was completed at the cross and when he rose from the dead three days later. Because when Jesus died on the cross his heel was bit by the sting of death (the spikes that were driven into his feet), but he crushed Satan’s head because he overcame death, repairing our relationship with God.
So as we celebrate Christmas think of how God fulfilled his promises to us. The one who would sacrifice himself, to give us life, was born into this world like as the Passover lamb. Heralded by angels and witnessed by shepherds, the baby that the world had been waiting for had finally come. The wait was over. The fulfillment… done. But that isn’t completely the end. Now we are waiting for Jesus to fulfill the last promise given to us; that he will return. (Revelation 22:20)
*I still really like the song by the way 😉