She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
Matthew 1:21-23 (NIV)
Read: Matthew 1
Consider: If I was to ask you when the story of Jesus begins you might refer to the account of his advent given in Matthew 1:18-25 or Luke 1:26-38. You might refer to the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 where it was foretold: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. As Isaiah’s prophecy was given some 700 years before the birth of Jesus, you may be content with this as being the beginning of the events leading up to Jesus’ birth. However, even this is much later than it should be.
In John’s gospel it says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-2). This tells us that Jesus was present at the very beginning when God created the universe. The question for us then is : ‘When did the events leading up to Jesus’ birth begin?’
In Romans 1:2 Paul ‘… the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures …’ This does not mean that Paul believed that the story of Jesus could only be traced back to the prophecies of the Old Testament. In 2 Timothy 1:9-10 Paul says the following when speaking about our salvation: ‘This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus …’
God’s plan for salvation was prophesied in the Old Testament and was revealed in the world through the birth of his Son, Jesus Christ, many hundreds of years after the prophesies. However, God’s redemption plan was put in place even before time began. Does that not blow your mind?
As you consider the coming of Jesus this Advent season, thank God that your salvation was planned from the very beginning. While Christmas reminds us of Jesus’ birth, we must remember that God does not see this as the beginning of his redemption plan.
Pray: Father, we thank you for Advent and the coming of your Son into the world to bring about our redemption and salvation. We praise you for the plan you put in place before the beginning of time. Amen
Next: #4. Advent Reflections – The certainty of prophecy