December 2007

Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord's thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?

—Romans 11:33-34, NLT

The birth of Christ was one of the most carefully planned, detailed events in the history of man. It was not an afterthought or God's Plan B, as some say.

It was part of a strategic plan established in eternity. Accomplishing this task required accurate timing and incalculable wisdom.

The Scriptures indicate that this event was the most challenging of all God's work. Creation of the world demanded the work of His hands and fingers, the bringing forth of mankind required merely His breath, but salvation required that He bare His mighty arm (see Is. 53:1).

Cleverly, God concealed His plan as a mystery. He then wove it into the Scriptures and heralded it through His prophets for 4,000 years. Satan, recognizing God was at work, diabolically endeavored to thwart the plan, of course to no avail.

The entire plan was recorded and decreed throughout God's Word (see Ps. 40:7). This means that from the beginning to the end of the Old Testament, it was revealed, with every ritual and every story disclosing a part of the whole. The time, the place and specific details were spelled out so no one could deny it after it transpired.

The plan included a pre-existent birth, meaning that Christ's existence did not begin in Bethlehem. In the beginning, Jesus the Word already existed (see John 1:1). To accomplish the marvel of incarnation, Jesus became human flesh. The word "incarnate" means to "change or take on another form." Of course this happened through the virgin birth.

The plan also had to include the collaboration of man. Because sin entered the human race through Adam, a type of Adam had to be involved in the redemptive plan. And because mankind had sold the title deed of the earth to Satan, man also had to be God's legal entry point back into the earth. So Christ, the second Adam, took on that role.

Many other people, including Abraham, David and Mary, played key roles in the plan of redemption. Interestingly, a woman was the final link in this great plan (see 1 Tim. 2:15).

As you can see, the Christmas event was not an afterthought. It was a mighty display of the Godhead, whose master mind answered all the questions before they were asked.

Let's celebrate the event. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

John Chasteen is the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Oklahoma. He writes a weekly blog at heycoachjohn.com.


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