Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Before its time

December 2015

Biographies are normally written after the subject has died.  Of course, if you are confident of the significance of your life you could try writing ‘My life, Part 1’ while you are still alive.  Would it not be very strange though to find a story of someone’s life that was written before they were born?  That is what Jesus claimed had happened to him.

The people of his day diligently studied the Old Testament hoping to find the secret of life but Jesus said that the book was all about him.  His life was mapped out before his birth in the stories of kings who were shepherds of God’s people before the coming of The King, and prophets who were God’s mouthpieces before the coming of The Word.  And the priests who made sacrifices for sin on behalf of their people were foreshadowing The Priest who would give up his own life as The Sacrifice for our sin.  Every story in the Old Testament, from beginning to end, whispers the name of Jesus.  Every word teaches us about Jesus, shows our need of Jesus or prepares us to receive Jesus.

We would find it difficult to accept that someone had drawn up a plan for our life that we must follow.  But God’s Son played it by the book, built his life according to his Father’s blueprint, accepted the plot handed to him – including even the violence against him.  And through everything he kept looking forward to the glorious ending already written - the rescue from judgment of many, many people who have distanced themselves from God, bringing them into the peace and prosperity of his eternal kingdom.

Some people live lives that result in a book.  Jesus came to fulfil the story already written for him.  “All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:22-23)

Happy Christmas!

Graham Burrows