It’s not usually a text we discuss during the advent/Christmas season, but let’s look at Genesis 1.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.
I’ve added emphasis in the above passage to point out something. The movement of the Holy Spirit always precedes the activity of God. And we can see God injected light into the darkness, and split them. Now read this passage from Luke 1:
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: 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, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. “And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38 NET
Again, I’ve created some emphasis in the above passage. See anything familiar? The Holy Spirit moves to prepare the way for God to act. Except this time it is to ultimately and finally save mankind. God has had a special place in his heart for humans since the very beginning. In fact, believe it or not, He created us even above the angels!
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” It was so. God saw all that he had made – and it was very good! There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.”Genesis 1:1-5, 26-31 NET
If you’ll note, I added some more emphasis above. These are to remind us that God does not act alone most of the time. In fact, God rarely works alone. He normally works within the eternal communion of His triune nature we call the trinity. This blog will not be an exhaustive look into the trinity. But, I did want to share this point. God acts like the architect, planning and designing everything. The Word is the 2nd person of the trinity, as he is known from John 1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.” John 1:1-5 NET
As is par for the course, I’ve added emphasis above. See how the 2nd person of the trinity is called the Word? His prophesied name is Immanuel, he was to be the savior or Messiah, but his parents were told to name his earthly presence as a human as Yeshua, or Jesus, which means God saves. And if you also note, I highlighted the fact that this 2nd person of the trinity is the light of the world, shining into the darkness. This is the same thing God did in Genesis 1, remember?! The Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the trinity, moved first, at the instruction of God, the architect or planner, in order to prepare the way for the action of the Word, or Jesus, to see it completed.
So, why did Jesus have to become a baby human, live a perfect life, die a sinner’s death and beat the grave by resurrecting? Because it was the plan put together by God to redeem humans from the grip of death and eternal separation from Himself. And Jesus is the person of the trinity who carries out the plan of God. He paid the price for you and me. The eternal penalty of sin, Romans 6:23 & 3:23, has been put onto Jesus so we can once again be in communion with God. So, if all our sins have been forgiven and paid for, what then do our sins have to do with our eternity? Nothing. Absolutely nothing…for those who have placed their trust in Jesus as having carried out God’s plan of redemption on our behalf and stands in our place at the judgement. Only through this relationship with Jesus can we have a hope for our eternal destination. If you have not placed your trust in Jesus’s substitution for you, your sins all count against you still.
And this miracle, that the almighty, eternal God of everything, in the form of the 2nd person of the trinity, wrapped himself in human flesh in order to create a way for humans to enter into the presence of God once again. This is the great miracle of Christmas.
To start at the beginning of this Advent/Christmas series, click here: https://bradflack.com/2018/11/26/from-hanukkah-to-christmas/
For the next post in this series, click here: https://bradflack.com/2018/12/23/the-recklessness-of-christmas/