The birth of Jesus was not the origin of Jesus
Published 8:38 am Tuesday, December 26, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There is a debate in my Bible study group that Jesus’ beginnings were marked by Christmas – the day Jesus was born. Others say that Jesus has always been. I don’t see Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament at all. – J.B.
Dear J.B.: The birth of Jesus Christ that we celebrate at Christmastime was not His beginning; it’s shrouded in that same mystery that baffles us when we inquire into the beginning of God. The Bible tells us, “In the beginning was the Word … and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NKJV). About Christ, the Bible teaches that “He is the image of the invisible God … He is before all things” (Colossians 1:15–17, NKJV).
The birth of Jesus was not the origin of Jesus; it was the beginning of His incarnation, because He has always existed. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God, the Bible says. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, NKJV). The eternal God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and lived among us as a man.
The Old Testament predicts His physical birth: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given … and His name will be called … Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 6:9, NKJV). When He was born of a virgin, He was born with the cross darkening His pathway. He had taken on a human body in order that He might die. From the cradle to the cross, His purpose was to die. Someone has described how He suffered as no man has ever suffered. But the cross and the resurrection (the birth of new life) stand as humanity’s only hope. God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. From these momentous events, God says to sinful people, “I love you so much I gave My Son … I will forgive you … because of what was accomplished on the cross.” This is good news at Christmas!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)