The wonder of the Christmas story continues to astound and defy our feeble minds. The Christmas story of a Savior coming into this world, from His Glory, is forever one that eludes our ability to grasp by natural means. Jesus left all His glory of heaven to become an embryo, then a baby, to a boy, and finally a man who would die for our sins and saved the entire world.
Jesus was all of God in the beginning with the Father and Holy Spirit:
John 1:1-5 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:14 (ESV) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Both the Gospel of John and Book of Colossians does a good job of letting us know that Jesus, as we know Him to be called now, was God at the beginning of time, God at creation, and is God in the flesh today. At creation we see the first conference of the Trinity:
Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
“Let US make man”. Our first glance of the Trinity at work. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were responsible for the creation of all things. The structure of the Trinity becomes clear once our New Testament scriptures are incorporated. All things were created by the Father, through Christ (Col. 1) and executed by the Spirit:
Genesis 1:1-2 (NKJV) 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Jesus was God the Son in spirit form, though manifested a few times in the OT, and is still God the Son today in the flesh. Glorified flesh now. Today Jesus, the man, is seated at the right hand of God the Father. When Jesus appears to people today He is revealed as the God/man glorified Jesus. Everything we now know and see and smell and feel was in fact created through this same Jesus and for Jesus and all the fullness of God was found in Him.
Jesus was all of God at conception:
Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
It is hard to imagine all of God being in that baby in a manager. Even harder to imagine is all of God being in the form of an embryo at the moment Mary conceived. Before there was ever a baby in the manager there was a baby in the womb. This one and the same baby was conceived and became an embryo the size of a poppy seed within Mary’s womb. Now try to imagine all of God, who created everything we know, in the size of a poppy seed inside of Mary. The wonder of the Christmas story! If ever you had a doubt about when life was conceived in a mother’s womb just remember that our Savior was alive and all of God at the point of conception. God did not morph from one God into two Gods at the moment of conception. God the son took on a different form:
Philippians 2:6-8 (ESV) 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus always existed as God, a member of trinity, but the first New Testament picture we see of God the Son is as a babe in a manager. There Jesus was in that small fragile baby’s frame fully God, fully man, and full of all grace and truth. He looked so vulnerable. However, I imagine that there were legions of angels protecting that baby until His time came to die. Those same legions Jesus references letting us know that He could call upon them to again save His life if so desired:
Matthew 26:53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
These legions of angels would have immediately responded to His command because he was the Commander:
Joshua 5:14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Joshua bowed in worship to the Commander, the pre-incarnate Christ in the form of a man, of the Lord’s host. Angels would always have the frighten ones stand and not worship but this Commander was no angel.
However, Jesus’ life was not meant to be saved by these legions. He came as the baby in a manger for the sole purpose of seeking and saving the loss and giving His life for our sins. He came to die!
Jesus was all of God yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
This same Jesus that was born in the manager is the same Jesus from yesterday, and is today and will be forever. The book of Hebrews in chapter 13 joins the Gospel of John’s chapter 1 to simply tell us that Jesus has always been the same. There is not an Old Testament version of Jesus and a New Testament version of Jesus. And Jesus certainly was not a created or just came into being at the conception of Mary. This same Jesus was there at the beginning of time bringing into creation everything with the Father and Holy Spirit and remains the same Jesus today. We can see Jesus referenced and/or appear in all the books of the Bible if we were looking hard enough. Granted it could be considered difficult to see. But just for a few:
In Geneis as Melchezideck (Gen. 14 & Hebrews 7)
In Exodus as The Passover Lamb (Exodus 12)
In Joshua as The Commander of the Lord’s army (Joshua 5:14)
In Daniel as Fourth Man in the fire (Dan. 3:25)
In the Gospel of John as the Word (John 1)
Some words from Rick Renner on this scripture in Hebrews 13:8:
“ The Greek word for the “same” emphatically states that Jesus Christ is unchangeable! What good news this is in a world where things are changing at lightning speed! Jesus Christ is the one Person we can depend on to be the same, regardless of the time or the spirit of the age. We don’t need to refigure who Jesus is, what He thinks, or what His message is, because He is the same — and everything He represents is the same — yesterday, today, and forever!
The word “yesterday” is the Greek word exthes, and it depicts all time that ever was up until this present moment. It describes the past. The word “today” is the Greek word semeron, and it means today or at this very moment or this current age. It depicts the present. But in the Bible when the words “yesterday and today” are used in one phrase, as they are used here, it also portrays continuity.
The words “yesterday and today” are an Old Testament expression to denote continuity (see Exodus 5:14; 2 Samuel 15:20). So here we find that Jesus isn’t one way in the past and another way in the present. Whoever He was in the past is exactly who He is in the present. There is continuity in Jesus Christ! Therefore, if you discover Jesus of the past, you have also discovered Jesus of the present, and you have discovered Jesus of the future, because He is continuously the same. The word “forever” in Greek means into all the ages of the future. This phrase depicts all future time to come, including all ages that will ever be known. Hence, it describes the future.
Hebrews 13:8 carries this idea: “Jesus Christ is the exactly the same in the past, in the present, and in the future.”
So today the wonder of the Christmas story is just as wonderful today. I pray today that the realities of Christ would explode in your heart this Christmas season.