Long before the Christ child was born the Jewish people had been looking for their promised Messiah. The Jews hoped the Messiah would deliver them from the oppressive Roman government and restore their nation.
The first prophecy of the Messiah’s coming was given in Genesis 3:15 when God reprimanded the serpent in the presence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Several other references in Genesis and the early Old Testament books identify the line through which he would come, that of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Judah, and King David. Later Micah 5:2 identified Bethlehem as the place from which the Messiah would come. For more prophecies of Jesus as Messiah click here. It was no secret that the Jewish nation was looking for Messiah, yet when he arrived the Jewish leaders did not recognize him.
The Christian church today views the days of December 1 through December 24 as a time of advent – a time to revisit their years of waiting, a time of anticipating the coming of the Christ. We need this time of preparation if we are to fully appreciate the birth of the Christ Child and everything that it represents. If we truly respect the holiness of this event, we will be careful not to let the clamor of Christmas shopping and preparations drown out the awe and sense of worship that Christ’s birth deserves.
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Let’s take deliberate steps to draw near to God in Bible reading and prayer each day. Read the first few chapters of the books of Matthew and Luke several times this month. If you have the opportunity, watch the movie The Nativity Story:The Journey of a Lifetime, a Story for All Time. It can be ordered through Amazon or YouTube.
Watch for more posts in the days ahead about the events surrounding the birth of the Christ Child.
For younger children The First Christmas, by Janice D. Green, illustrated by Violet Vandor.