As we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world, we are often distracted with the trappings of the season. Many do not realize the true significance of the event or what happened to bring it about. When the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) it was not a statement akin to “Can’t we all just get along.” Rather, it was a statement that God is to be ultimately glorified because he took a world in rebellion and declared peace and good will toward us, His enemies, and He did it in the Person of Jesus Christ. As we embrace Christ, we are at peace with God and experience His favor.
The Main Point – AUDIO
This was not done in a corner. It was not a surprise. It was not a plan B. It was the result of the plan of God from eternity past. The Apostle Peter tells us, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…” (1 Peter 1:20). Jesus did not sneak into the world. It was foreknown by God and foretold by Him with increasing clarity from the beginning of the world. It was recorded on the pages of the Bible. It was given to His people. After Jesus’ resurrection, Luke tells us that He encountered a couple of His disciples walking to the town of Emmaus. As He spoke to them, we find that He was critical of their slowness to believe what the Old Testament said about Him.
Luke 24:25-27 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
He took them back to their Old Testament Scriptures (the only ones around at that time) and showed them how they spoke of Him. When He had left them, they ran back to Jerusalem and shared their experience with the other disciples.
Luke 24:44-48 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.
He left the responsibility to communicate the truth about Himself with His disciples. He showed it to them in the Old Testament and then pronounced them to be “witnesses” of it. Would it not have been amazing to hear what He said? Would it not have been a great comfort to hear the truth of the Gospel as given over the previous 1,500 years or so from God’s Word to His Old Testament saints?
That tradition was not lost. As a matter of fact, The letter to the Hebrews is a great representation of it. In that letter, the Old Testament is quoted some 41 times! It is correlated to the New Testament truths about Jesus and used as a means to assure some Hebrew converts to the Christian Faith that Jesus is the completion of all of the Old Testament promises. He is better than the angels, better than Moses, the Ultimate High Priest, better than Aaron, and gives a better rest than Joshuah. He is also the Ultimate Sacrifice, better than bulls and goats. And all that He did was the reality of those ancient types.
Hebrews 8:1-6 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “SEE THAT YOU MAKE ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
And so, not only did God foretell the coming of the Messiah in verses sprinkled throughout His Word, verses such as;
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.
or even entire chapters like Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53. Rather, He demonstrated it in His people, Israel and in their whole system of worship. The Old Testament was a type or a picture of what God was ultimately doing on a much larger scale. God has declared His purpose from the beginning. He has not only spoken of it, but He has illustrated it and made it clear. Every word of the Old Testament is related to this purpose in some way. The most amazing thing is that He did this to demonstrate His desire for reconciliation to a world of rebels and traitors. He declared it. He demonstrated it. He did it. Planned from eternity past, He carried it out that He might declare “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” And then we might proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest!”
The Main Point – AUDIO