Sunday, December 25, 2016
The careful planning that made Christmas possible
Galatians 4:4 "when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law"
In just a few short hours our children will be unwrapping the presents under the tree. For months the planning of gifts has been undertaken most by my wife. She is a very strategic shopper and listener of my children's favorite hobbies and heroes. I'm always amazed at how she is able to get that "just-right" present. Time is taken to make the preparations for that special moment when our children unwrap their gifts.
When we look at Christmas - the concept of time plays a huge role in our thinking. My children are finding time to be moving quite slowly right now! They can't wait to open their presents! Time is certainly a factor when it comes to planning Christmas. But no one knew that more than God.
God's Sovereign Timing for Christmas
God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit had determined the time in which the Son was going to enter history before the world was ever made. Passages such as Acts 2:23-24 and 2 Timothy 1:9 speak of God the Father planning the cross, with God the Son agreeing with the Father to be the one Who would partake unto His Person full humanity in order to die and rise from the dead. In Ephesians 1:11, we understand that the Holy Spirit was involved in this plan, agreeing to apply the benefits of salvation to all whom He would call and convict to believe on the Son.
Before Genesis 1:1, there was nothing but God Himself. The Trinity was not lonely. God saw all of history in His mind. He knew that the fall of Adam and Eve was going to occur and he knew that the cross would be necessary to redeem all of those whom He would call and convict to believe on Him. The birth of the Savior in regards to His humanity was definitely pre-planned.
Hebrews 10:4-7 records these words of Jesus, spoken in the eternal glory He shared with the Father:
"Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE
BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
7 “THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”
Jesus spoke these words while preparing to enter this world from eternity! The appointed time for His arrival was set. God alone could perfectly time time itself. He alone is Sovereign (that is, in control of all things). In as much as Christmas speaks about God becoming frail humanity - it also points us to the Sovereign God who, along with the One who would become man, made Christmas possible.