Growing up when we decorated our Christmas tree a flood of memories come to my mind. My mother would take out each ornament and carefully inspected it, and smiled as she gave us one and told us to place it on the tree. Our decorations were crafts from our time in Sunday School each year. There were the “I love mom” and “I love dad” ornaments. There were the styrofoam snowmen and the special ornaments that my parents would get us each year.
I thought that this was crazy – I wanted us all to grab the ornaments, put them on the tree and be done with it! I could not understand why we had to look at each ornament, talk about them and then put them on the tree. I asked every year “Can’t we be done with the decorating and get to the cookies?!?!”
As I got older I began to understand what my mom was doing. As my wife, children and I put up our Christmas tree, I find myself looking carefully at our ornament collection. “This was the ornament we got when we were first dating!” “This was Logan’s first Christmas!” “This was our first house.” And, like Mom, a smile spreads across my face as I recite each ornament’s history.
The promises God made about Jesus in the Old Testament are like those ornaments. Consider one from Isaiah: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which means `God with us’)” (Isaiah 7:14b). My favorite is another from Isaiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Each statement is like a dearly loved ornament. We get it out, examine it carefully, place it into the timeline of Christ’s life, and rejoice in what it shows us about our Savior. He went around serving people through His words and mighty deeds. He took our sin and guilt upon Himself and suffered and died in our place. He perfectly satisfied God’s wrath for our sins. He rose in glory on the third day.
He ascended into heaven and took His place at the Father’s right hand. On the Last Day He will return to judge both the living and the dead. Like precious ornaments these prophecies hang on the tree of our faith.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for fulfilling all the promises given to Your Old Testament people, our ancient brothers and sisters in the faith. Give Your children great joy, hope, and confidence in Your life so that we may glorify Your Name and share Your salvation with all people. Amen.