The purpose of the Old Testament is to testify of Jesus Christ. Thousands of years of prophetic writings of those whom were called of and worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was now manifest in the flesh. Isaiah had written that we would be given a sign; a virgin would deliver a son that would be called Immanuel. The name means ‘God with us’ and proclaims our deliverance; alluded to also by Micah (5:2-3). Isaiah would further declare the child to be the Son of God and that peace and justice would reign. And what of shepherds? All things denote that there is Christ. The covenant uses shepherds to instruct of Christ and the Old Testament mentions them numerously throughout its pages. Ezekiel is prominent in its use. All writings point to our Savior and reveals His mortal life.
The New Testament is the story of Jesus Christ! I like Luke 1:37 that with God nothing shall be impossible. And thus it is with the miracle of the Messiah, His birth, and the fulfilling of scripture of old. The Son would leave His glorious position next to our Father and condescend to earth and implement His part in the plan. He would make it possible for fallen men (male and female) to return to their Father in Heaven and live with Him again in Exaltation.
Matthew and Luke share with us most of what we come to associate as the story with His birth and the Western tradition of the celebration held on December 25. It is too easy to get caught up in the commercialism and lose the meaning of the season. Jesus Christ was born! What would it have been like to be in the fields attending the flocks? To observe a new star; to be heralded by angels. The lowly shepherds were front and center to the birth and first-person witnesses of the miracle. All doubt was erased when they raced to stand beside the baby lying in a manger amidst the animals in a former-day barn. Please read Luke 2:18.
This season should never to a time to focus on one’s self. I venture to say that the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ will never be really understood in our lifetime much less fully appreciated. In the least, it is a present, a divine gift. I echo the words of Craig C.
Christensen that Christmas is not only a celebration of how Jesus came into the world but also of knowing who He is – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – and of why He came.
That Star announced the birth for our Savior and the salvation for all mankind. It is the knowledge and the fruits of peace and joy of the Atonement that is my wish for you always and even more so this time of year.
■ Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email email@example.com