When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the ultimate ‘seed of the woman.’ The Christmas story begins in the book of Genesis, where in fact all theology begins.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6
Now many believe only physical death was involved. But the Hebrew word translated ‘die’ also connotes ‘separation.’ And, therefore:
“…the LORD God sent him out of the Garden of Eden…So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden…to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:23-24
But before they were expelled, God pronounced a curse on the serpent and announced the future birth of Christ.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15
The above is confirmed in the New Testament.
“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8
The Bible clearly teaches that continued disobedience results in death.
“As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.” Proverbs 11:19
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
The day would come, however, when death would lose its grip on mankind and life would prevail.
“He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…” Isaiah 25:8
Well, the birth of the One to defeat death and execute the curse on Satan was confirmed with specific details 700 years before the event.
“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“But you Bethlehem…Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me…Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2
In accordance with the gospels Jesus Christ was indeed born in Bethlehem. But even the glory of His miraculous birth was exceeded by His death and glorious resurrection.
Note the words of John the Baptist when he first saw Jesus three decades after His birth.
“…Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! …” John 1:29
If death is caused by sin, and the Lamb of God came to take away the sin of the world, then the Lamb would defeat death. This would be accomplished by the Lamb ‘without blemish’ experiencing death in place of the sinner.
“…But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9
To prove that Jesus’ death appeased a holy and just God, Jesus was raised from the grave. Death, the last enemy of man, was in fact defeated once for all with the resurrection of Jesus!
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have died…For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive…The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
I Corinthians 15:20-26
It is, therefore, impossible to separate the miracle of Jesus’ birth with His death and resurrection. To confirm the significance of Jesus’ death we note that Jesus is never called the Christmas Lamb, or even the Hanukah Lamb. He is, however, called the Passover Lamb.
“…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” I Corinthians 5:7
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…for He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” Isaiah 53:5, 7-8
“…and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne…and they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood…’” Revelation 5:6-9
Jesus, the Lamb of God was born to die.
And when was the decision made by God the Father to offer the Lamb, i.e. His Son as a gift to us?
“…the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8
The decision was made far before the miraculous birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and even far, far before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the priceless gift of life!