I am going to attempt something during this Christmas season that I have never done before.
Routinely in my column, I have written about subjects and issues during this time of the year that were reflective about Christmases past. Invariably, because the Christmas season is my most favorite time of the year, I have taken the journey down memory lane to recapture the joy and thrill of the holidays of yesterday.
In the first edition of this two-part installment, I am going to present to you the true Christmas Story from a biblical perspective. However, to be honest with you, this presentation will be more of a lesson and discussion than a dramatic narrative.
The Foundation of the Christmas Story Predates Human History
From a historical perspective, it will perhaps be hard for some to grasp the fact that the concept of the Christmas Story predates human history. I can imagine some saying and wondering how can that be when the birth of the Christ Child (according to most historians and biblical scholars) was estimated to be between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Though I can not refute or disagree with the estimation of the general timing of the Christ Child’s birth rendered by these very learned professionals, the purpose and focus of my trilogy on the Christmas Story goes all the way back to before the creation of the angels or the universe. My assertion is based upon the fact that the birth of the Christ child was in the mind and counsel of God, slain from the foundation of the world (see Revelation 13:8). The term “world” as it was used in Revelation 13:8 comes from the Greek word “kosmos” where we derive our English word “cosmos” and “universe”. So, from a biblical perspective, the divine tribunal that consists of the three co-equal members of the trinity determined that Christ, the Living Word, Eternal Son of God, and Second Person of the Trinity would be slain and crucified when He would come to the Earth in human form as the God-Man. From this perspective, the Christmas Story did not have its origin in Bethlehem of Judea between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Its foundation predates not only the physical birth of the Christ Child, the formation and creation of the angels and the universe, as well as the making of the Earth and man. It predates time, history, and all other created things. The Christmas Story did not begin as an afterthought; it was a part of the forethought of God from the very foundation of the world.
Tracing the Christmas Story in the Old Testament
Since I believe that every book of the Bible reveals that Christ is the central theme and thread that connects the dogmas, narrative, and covenant characters of each book in the entirety of the Bible, it stands to reason that the Christmas Story and the birth of Christ is prefigured in every book of the Old Testament. Is this the reason why Jesus is referred to as the Last Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45-47)? As Adam was the beginning and Federal Head of the entire human race, Jesus, as the Last Adam, is the beginning and Federal Head of the New Creation of regenerated human beings of all races, nations, tribes, and languages who believe upon Him. The Christmas Story was in this prophetic declaration to Satan, who in the guise of the serpent, beguiled both Adam and Eve to disobey God and eat of the forbidden fruit of the tree of good and evil (see Genesis 3:14-15). Can there be any doubt who the seed of the woman is and that this was a direct reference to the birth of Christ and the Christmas Story?
Let us fast forward from this tragic fall of man at the dawn of human history to another incident recorded in the Bible that clearly contains and conveys a prophetic and symbolic reference to the Christmas Story.
The great Abraham, that all three monotheistic religions on Earth (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) regard as the patriarch of their faith, was a foundational character in the Christmas Story. In a two-fold way, Abraham played a foundational role in the life of Jesus Christ and the Christmas Story. First, Jesus (on His human side) was the promised seed of Abraham through whom all the nations of the Earth would be blessed (see Genesis 12:1-3 and Galatians 3:16). Secondly, Abraham’s son, Isaac, was a type of Christ through his miraculous birth from a father who was ninety-nine and a mother who was ninety, both of whom were physically unable to produce a child. Finally, his willingness to sacrifice Isaac to God prefigured God the Father sacrificing His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for a ransom for the sins of the entire human race.
The last person in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) that prefigured Christ was Moses who through the Spirit of God wrote these books of the law. Perhaps more than any other Old Testament figure, Moses’ life and position as a prophet symbolized Christ and the Christmas Story.
Jesus was the prophet that Moses foretold of that God would raise up from among His brethren (the Jewish nation) and speak unequivocally, unerringly, and with absolute authority as the Living Word of God (see Deuteronomy 18:15-19).
Join me next week when I will bring you part two of my presentation concerning “The Christmas Story from a Biblical Perspective.” As always, I hope that you are receiving as much enlightenment and joy reading my material as I do when writing them.