Focal Passage: Matthew 1:18-25, Numbers 21:6-9
Is it too early for Christmas music? That was the topic of discussion for my wife and I as we traveled home the day after Halloween. As we were driving home from visiting with family, we had scanned the radio to find a station playing nothing but Christmas music.
Weeks and even months before Christmas, you will find retail stores stocked with Christmas items in preparation for the holiday season. Grocery stores quickly rush to replace pumpkin spice flavored foods with candy canes. It seems as if every year Christmas begins earlier and earlier.
The biblical story of Christmas, however, does not just start with Matthew 1. The Christmas story begins in Genesis 3, when God Himself prophecies to the serpent that the seed of a woman will “crush your head and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15, NIV).
Jesus’ purpose for being born was to be struck down; to die for the sins of not only our first parents, but to die for the sins of all who call on His name.
In Numbers 21, Moses interceded for the people when they realized their sin, and God directed Moses to make an image of a bronze snake and place it on a pole. Whoever would be bitten could turn to the bronze snake and recover.
The picture of the bronze serpent points us to the ultimate purpose of Christmas. Jesus was born to be lifted up on a cross, so that whoever turns to Him in faith may be rescued.