Jesse Tree: Day 25 Jesus (Luke 2:1-7)
‘In the past God spoke … at many times and in various ways’ (Heb.1:1). It took a whole history to begin to capture even a sense of who Jesus would be, and to convey what He would do. Over and over again we are shown moments in people’s experience, in their life and actions, in which the Spirit is whispering: ‘When He comes He will be a bit like this…’. We are used to hearing the Spirit’s voice echoing in the words of the prophets: He will be born in Bethlehem, He will be born of a virgin, He will… But the Spirit’s prophetic activity is much more profound and all-encompassing. Jesus understood that, and taught His disciples accordingly: ‘And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself … He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms’. Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures (Lk.24:27 & 44-45).
And so, when ‘the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman’ (Gal.4:4, echoing Gen. 3:15). At last, the One long foretold. The Alpha and Omega of all creation; the second Adam; the sacrifice who could clothe us in true righteousness; the serpent crusher; and the greater Noah who would lead us out into a New Creation. Here at last was the fulfilment of the Lord’s promise to Abraham: the One in whom and through whom all the nations of the world will be blessed; here is the only beloved Son of the Father, provided by the Lord as a burnt offering; here is the One through whom all business between heaven and earth is transacted; One who is exalted and provides for His people in a world of famine and judgement.
Here finally was the one mediator between us and God, who saw God face-to-face; the Law Giver and Keeper; the One who tabernacles among us; our great High Priest; and the Passover Lamb who was to be sacrificed for our sins. Here is our true Joshua, who will destroy all that is sinful in order to prepare for His people a glorious new creation in which there is no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain. Here, fulfilling the longing of the generations is the Heavenly Bridegroom who will make a prostitute His glorious bride; who will spread the corner of His garment over us, the Kinsman who will redeem from debt and slavery. Here is the King over all kings, our Champion who fights for us against all that would enslave us, and who will protect us and provide for us. The Prophet who alone can reveal the Father to us; and who will come to us in our exile, and lead us home. At last the Sun of Righteousness rises with Healing in His wings. Merry Christmas.
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. (Matt.1:21)
Ideas for Family Devotions:
Watch the incredible video by Dan Stevens. ‘True and Better’. It can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGFtfqgBQkM
Bake a birthday cake for Jesus…
Have you come across the animation series Story Keepers? A fictional story of Christians negotiating life in ancient Rome, being hunted by Nero is interwoven with their retelling of stories from the Bible. The episodes with the Christmas story can be found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7p_Xfmb9bE (it’s an hour and ten minutes altogether).