by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday December 22, 2004
The Big Picture of Christmas
The big picture of Christmas does not start in Bethlehem, or in the manger scene, or with the angels announcing the birth of Christ. The big picture of Christmas begins all the way back in the Garden of Eden, though the Lord knew well before that exactly what would happen. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thereby poisoned the entire human race with sin. Every single person after them sinned against God.
Long before that time, God was already preparing for an ultimate sacrifice that would erase the sins of everyone who would receive His offer. God referred to the coming Messiah when He said that Satan would bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15) Christ's ultimate victory over the Devil is forecast in the same verse: "He will bruise your head." Then God killed an animal to create coverings for Adam and Eve - an indication that blood had to be shed on a person's behalf for him or her to be forgiven of sin.
We can trace through the Bible, and through human history books, God's continuous preparation for the Messiah to come. He promised to bless all the nations through Abraham. And Jesus is of Abraham's lineage through his great-grandson Judah. God used Alexander the Great - sinner that he was - to spread the easily understood Greek language throughout the world. In that way, there was already a common language when the disciples began to travel and share about Jesus.
Christmas did not begin in a stable in Bethlehem or end on a cross at Golgotha. God's plan is eternal, and He prepared it all for you.
Need gift ideas? The 2004 In Touch Christmas Catalog is here. Visit the In Touch online bookstore for more information.
Teen Connection is the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to tell your teen about this cutting-edge web site filled with practical content for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for December is best-selling singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Check out Teen Connection today!