The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us about the birth of Jesus, remembered and celebrated by many people every year at Christmas. Much of his life, death and resurrection is in the New Testament. The apostle John records that “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). However, the promise of Jesus goes right back to the beginning of the Bible and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). Abraham was promised a descendent through whom “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). King David was promised an heir who would reign on his throne in Jerusalem forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
Isaiah prophesied that “unto us a child is born ... of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom” (Isaiah 9:6-7), words echoed to Mary by the angel Gabriel: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:28-33)
The Bible is very clear, the birth of Jesus in such humble circumstances, was for a purpose. Indeed, it was so important, it was a matter of life and death; not just for the life of Jesus, but for the life of every one of us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
The son of the living God, with the feelings and characteristics of his faithful mother Mary and her ancestors, Abraham and David, woven into his DNA. His conception was indeed a miracle, but the Bible tells us that his Father created all things, including life itself. His birth, promised many centuries before, was indeed a cause of great celebration. In his ministry, he brought the written words of the Old Testament Bible to life, so we could see the true character of his Father, in Jesus’ words and deeds, as an example to us. His death and resurrection offers each one of us such hope, but requires a response, a challenge to change our life. Ultimately, his birth heralds the promise that he will come again to be the righteous King over the whole Earth.