To me, the most amazing thing about the story of Jesus is the way He came out of eternity to become one of His creations. While it is good and right to celebrate His birth, my thoughts go back to a point about 9 months before that event in Bethlehem, to a teenage Jewish girl in a village called Nazareth, and our Lord in a place called heaven.
You see, when Isaiah observed "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given", he was making note of our Lord's pre-existence. The Son first had to be given from heaven in order that He could become the child born. The term 'Christ', Anointed One, refers to His deity, that He is the Son given. Christ was conceived in Mary and given the name 'Jesus', which refers to His humanity. (Isaiah 9:6, Luke 1:31)
How Did it Happen?
We know Christ made many appearances in the Old Testament. He would appear and then disappear, not limited by time and distance. He was the One who appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18 and allowed him to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah. He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, calling Himself 'I AM'. He appeared to Joshua as Captain of the Lord's army and Joshua worshipped Him before Jericho, and He was the 4th man in the fiery furnace keeping Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo safe, and many other times.
But He appeared in those Old Testament times in temporary human form, temporary, I say again.
(If you want to study Christ's appearances in the Old Testament I recommend my cd/MP3 series 'I AM; Who Jesus is & Where He Came From')
But there came a time, THE time for the Son, Christ, to be given once and for all, to take upon Him human flesh forever, to be known as Jesus, to be born as one of His creations that He might later die for mankind.
Here it Is
This amazing transition from Christ's existence in heaven, to becoming Jesus conceived in Mary's womb is recorded for us. Hebrews 10:5-7:
"When He (Christ) came into the world He said: 'Sacrifice and offerings are not what you wanted, but a body you have prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.' Then I said; 'Lo, I come to do your will O God!' (In the volume of the book (Old Testament) it is written of me.)"
"He emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant (human), and was made in the likeness of men. And finding Himself fashioned as a man, he humbled Himself..." (Philippians 2:7-8)
"For truly He did not take upon Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham (became a Jewish man)" (Hebrews 2:16)
"For the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the Power (Christ) of the Highest (the Father) will overshadow you; therefore that Holy thing which will be born of you will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)
It is Hebrews 10:5-7 that especially has me in awe: 'When He came into the world He said...' Now clearly this is not saying the newborn Jesus looked up at Mary upon taking His first breath and said 'Sacrifice and offerings are not what you wanted..."
No, Hebrews is recording for us the last conversation in heaven between Father and Son, as the Son was about to be conceived in Mary's womb - "When He came into this world" - as He, the Power of the Highest 'emptied Himself', that is releasing and laying down all His rights and privileges in heaven as the Father's Son to become conceived in Mary's womb - He said to the Father: "Sacrifice and offerings are not what you wanted...but you have prepared a body for me...I come to do your will O God!"
Sex Education 101
The Father needed an egg that would provide the body for His Son. The sperm carries the bloodline upon conception, not the egg, and sin came into the world through Adam, therefore sin passed to all mankind as man multiplied across the earth.
But if Life from heaven fertilized Mary's egg, the blood flowing through that baby's body would NOT be tainted by sin.
Man sinned so man had to pay for that sin. But every person since Adam was tainted by sin, passed down bloodline to bloodline, so no one was worthy to die for all because every one was himself guilty!
The Father had to find a way for man to pay for sin, but only a man with sinless blood could do the job of sacrificing his life for others. If this Man would be willing to sacrifice Himself, though He be innocent of any wrongdoing, then the court of heaven would accept His action as THE final sacrifice for mankind's sin.
The Power of the Father, who is Christ, conceived her egg which meant the blood formed at conception was not some man's blood tainted by sin, but blood untainted and pure. That is why He was worthy and able to die for mankind's sin.
He Entered the Legal Way
In John 10 there are 3 parables, which if you group them together you'll misunderstand what Jesus says in each. In the 2nd parable in verses 7-9 He says He is the door for the sheep. In verses 11-18 the parable changes and He say He is the Good Shepherd.
But it is the first parable that interests us today, and it sets the stage for the other two. John 10:1-2:
"Truly I say to you, he that does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs in another way, that one is a thief and robber. But He that enters in by the door (into the sheepfold) is the Shepherd of the sheep."
A sheepfold is a corral, a pen, a place where sheep are kept. In this parable, the earth is the sheepfold. Jesus stated that He came into the sheepfold the right way, through the door. The door is human birth. He came in the right way, by being born. The one who climbed in another way is a thief and robber - Satan. He entered the sheepfold by lies and deception, not by human birth.
Now read it again with this understanding: "Truly I say to you, he that does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs in another way, that one is a thief and a robber. But He that enters in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep."
This understanding really establishes for us what He says in v10: "The thief comes only to steal and destroy, but I have come (into the world the legal way) that you may have life, and have it to the full."
We know Jesus was actually born in the spring or fall. We know the pagan roots that led to December 25 being the date Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus. But none of that matters because He WAS in fact born, and He entered the earth legally, first emptying Himself of all rights and privileges He had in heaven as Christ, to be conceived in Mary's womb, becoming the meek and lowly baby Jesus born in a stable. And THAT is what we honor in this season.
Next week, more detail about His birth, why the shepherds are important, and more.