When I first became serious about my walk with the Lord, I had a segmented view of Scripture. I saw the Old Testament as having one message and the New Testament as having a different one. After nearly twenty years of reading through the Bible each year, I now have a more robust understanding of Scripture. I see the varying books of the Bible as having one consistent theme. When it comes to the birth of our Lord, this is especially true. Every section of Scripture shouts a clear message about God’s Son. Consider five more mentions of Christmas through the Bible.
Christmas after the Captivity
When God’s people returned from captivity to the Promised Land, the Lord raised up prophets who foretold of a coming Messiah. One prophet prophesied of Jesus, saying, “See, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the way before me. The Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple” (Malachi 3:1). The announcement was fulfilled in the appearance of John the Baptist and Jesus (Mark 1:1-3). At Christmas, we celebrate God’s fulfillment of centuries of prophecies. Through prophecy, the Lord proved that He would give us spiritual freedom and forgiveness!
Christmas from a Fiery Preacher
When the prophecy of Malachi was fulfilled, a rough and rugged preacher began to preach in the countryside. Hundreds of people flocked to hear him thunder God’s truth. He had one main point in all of his sermons — “One who is more powerful than I am is coming after me…he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8). John’s sermons could all be considered Christmas sermons. They all focused on the new work that God would do in human hearts through the Holy Spirit. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s promise to give us His abiding presence in our hearts!
Christmas from a Dingy Manger
When Jesus was born, angels appeared in the sky, singing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to the people he favors!” (Luke 2:14). The song they sang pointed to a powerful truth about the coming of Jesus — we have peace with God! The separation and hostility (Ephesians 2:12-13) that formerly existed between us and our Creator has been vanquished. We now enjoy a steady state of forgiveness and acceptance (Romans 5:1).
Christmas from an Aged Apostle
In the latter years of his life, John wrote letters to newly established churches. In one of them, he spoke of his interaction with the incarnate Jesus, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1). At Christmas we celebrate the reality that God really lived among us in order to give us life!
Christmas from the Apocalypse
The first coming of Christ contains a promise of the second coming of Christ. Scripture promises that there will one day be another Christmas celebration of sorts. Jesus is going to return to suppress all sin and suffering forever (Revelation 19:11-15). As we celebrate Christmas, let’s look forward to the day in which God will make all things new!
Dr. Patrick Latham