One of my favorite things at Christmastime is when my family gathers around the television to watch our old home videos. As you can imagine, as the youngest child and the only girl, I got a whole lot of on-screen time. One of the classic videos that we can never pass up is a video in which my parents are asking me what I’m hoping to find under the tree the next morning.
“A bunch of babies. I want a dollhouse with a bunch of babies and I want to put the bunch of babies in the dollhouse.”
And what do you know, the very next scene we see is the next morning. I run down the stairs, and there’s a dollhouse with a bunch of babies and I proceed to put the bunch of babies in the dollhouse.
My parents heard my request. My parents blessed me and gave me what I desired because they loved me more than anything or anyone (maybe even more than my brothers, sorry guys). My parents gave me a dollhouse, and as a four-year-old, that was the greatest gift that I could ever imagine. It meant so much to me that it still sits in my childhood room 19 years later. They nurtured my desires, and I have no doubt that nurturing has made me who I am today. My biggest dream today? To have a real house and be a mom to a bunch of babies. It’s amazing to see my parents’ provision throughout my life.
It’s undeniable that the reason my parents have continually heard me and provided for me, is because they have been made in the image of God—the greatest gift-giver, the greatest Father of all time.
“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” -Matthew 7:9-11
And boy does He give good gifts. He’s already given us the greatest gift of all time—six million times better than a plastic dollhouse (even if it did include the ballerina extension pack.) Since the beginning of time, He has heard His people and He has shown up.
In the Garden of Eden, after sin was brought into the world through Adam and Eve and the serpent’s deception, God made a promise to the serpent:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” -Genesis 3:15
The serpent will one day be crushed by a descendent of Eve—but it will come with a cost. The serpent won’t be crushed without someone interceding and suffering for the cause, but once that person intercedes, Satan will be defeated once and for all. At that very moment, all of humankind began to groan for that person to arrive and deliver them, and we see this groaning throughout the entire Old Testament.
We get to the New Testament, and we rejoice, because the angel visits Mary and tells her she is going to have a son and His name will be Jesus. The promised Savior is about to arrive! Now is the point in which we zoom into the three nativity scenes sitting on your parents’ bookshelf.
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is born in a manger—the most humble of states. The first people that see Him are the shepherds, who are the lowliest of all people. The second people to visit Him are the Magi, who are the wise kings, and the most powerful people in this time. From the very beginning, we see that Jesus has come for everyone. He’s come for the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, and everybody in between. Nobody is exempt from the grace and salvation that is to come through this child.
For most of us, that’s where Christmas stops. We sing O Come All Ye Faithful, light our candles at the midnight Christmas Eve service, and then head out of the church right after the angel says, “And peace on earth, good will to men.”
But that’s not the whole story! The Baby grows up, and after an entirely innocent life of teaching and ministry, the choice was made to crucify Him. And the craziest part? Even though He never sinned a day in His life, He becomes a willing sacrifice, and He lets them.
The people have been groaning for centuries, and their Savior finally arrived. I’d imagine they pictured the Messiah riding in on a white stallion, in glory, but reality was very different. The Romans persecuting Him jam a crown of thorns into His head, and He’s beaten beyond recognition. He was spit on and struck and mocked by the very ones He had arrived for. The Savior that had been promised to God’s people from the beginning of time was utterly humiliated, and there was no white stallion to be found.
The Father lead the Son up the mountain—the same mountain Abraham led his son up all those years ago. He places the wood on the Promised Son, and offers Him up as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus is the ram caught in the thickets.
The Son lays on the wood, and three nails are driven into Him—one on each wrist, and one on His feet. We zoom in here to his feet, bloodied and beaten. How beautiful are the feet of the One who brings Good News.
Jesus is placed in the grave, and the people begin to wonder if He was really ever the Messiah they thought He was. But God’s plan is perfect, and after three days in the grave, Jesus—the true and real Messiah—is raised from the dead. Through His death and resurrection, God looks upon His people and sees us covered in the blood of His Son. We are entirely spotless because of the sacrifice that has been made.
Jesus was God’s plan for mankind all along—since that first deception in the Garden of Eden. Jesus is the seed of the woman who will crush the serpent.
Jesus is a better Ark. Those who take refuge in Him will never perish. Jesus is a better Abraham. He obeyed and followed God even to the point of death. The Abrahamic covenant has been fulfilled, and the seed is here! Jesus is a better Joseph. The favorite Son, betrayed and tempted, but elevated to the right hand of the ruler—providing greatly for those who mistreated Him. Jesus is a better Moses. He’s delivered His people from slavery to sin once and for all. He is a better Passover lamb. He’s given us life when we deserved death. Jesus is a better Joshua. He’s brought us through judgment and He has conquered death on our behalf. Jesus is a better Nehemiah. He remained until it was completed—until the restoration of the human race was finished.
God keeps His promises. From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, to now in 2016, as we gear up in the United States for a new president. One day, Jesus will come again and crush the serpent once and for all. True to God’s covenant with David, a better King is coming—and His kingdom will reign forever and ever.
We celebrate Christmas, because through that baby boy, we have received access to eternal life with Him in heaven. Christmas is a testament to God’s faithfulness to His people (that’s us!).
Megan Richardson a graduate of Belmont University and staff writer for Kingdom Tribe Press.