It was a normal birth.

The months of expectation. The pain. The blood. The sense of fulfilment. The new life. The joy.

Yet it was a far from normal birth.

This child is the one whose birth was expected not for just nine months but from before the beginning of time.

It is this child to whom God referred in predicting the downfall of Satan: ‘… he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal’ [Genesis 3:15 ].

It is this child of whom Isaiah wrote: ‘Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government there will be no end … and he will reign from that time on and for ever’ [Isaiah 9:6-7].

'This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time ...' [2Timothy 1:9].

This child is the one brought into the world not just through the pain of a woman, but through the pained and grieving heart of the just and loving God.

‘The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain’ [Genesis 6:6].

‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die…?’ [Ezekiel 33:11].

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ [John 3:16 ].

This child is a child of blood, not just the blood of his mother, but the blood necessary to obtain our redemption, the blood of his eternal sacrifice.

He is ‘the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world’ [Revelation 13:5].

‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil’ [Hebrews 2:14 ].

‘… he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption’ [Hebrews 9:12 ].

This child is not just the anticipated outcome of a human pregnancy: this child is the one in whom the eternal purposes and promises of God, revealed and recorded in the Old Testament, are brought to their completion and fulfilment.

‘Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself’ [Luke 24:27].

‘The Scriptures … testify about me’, ‘Moses … wrote about me’ [John 5:39 ,46].

‘No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ’ [2Corinthians 1:20 ].

‘ … according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord’ [Ephesians 3:11 ]

This child is not just one new life, but the one through whom new life is available to all.

He is ‘the bread of life’, the ‘light of life’, the ‘resurrection and the life’, ‘the way the truth and the life’ [John 6:35 ; 8:12 ; 11:25 ; 14:6].

‘He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’ … Jesus Christ ‘is … eternal life’ [1John 5;12,20].

This child brings joy not just to his human parents, but to all who embrace him.

‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete’ [John 15:11 ]

‘ … you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy’ [John 16:22 ]

‘… you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ [1Peter 1:8]

May we, this Christmas, rejoice because of this birth, because of this child!


Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2008