Christmas cannot be held in one day. The decorations, the concerts, the get-togethers, expand into a week or month long season. In God’s plan, Christmas is eternal and involves the prophecy, the fulfillment and the promise.
The salvation being brought to us through the gift of Christmas comes as a fulfillment of prophecy. Peter writes how the prophets inquired and searched diligently about this salvation. The Spirit of Christ within them created a mystery involving the time, the sufferings of the Christ and the glories to follow. Through revelation they understood that it was not for themselves, but for those who would hear the preaching of the gospel through the Holy Spirit. Not just the prophets, but angels also, longed to look into the mystery.
Then came the fulness of time. In the small town of Bethlehem, as Micah had prophesied, to the virgin, of whom Isaiah spoke, came the fulfillment. Paul in his letter to the Galatians writes, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (and daughters).” Still, in all the wonder and amazement from the prophecy to the fulfillment, there remains the promise.
Finally the promise comes through the fulfillment. Jesus bonded with humans growing up in a family and then as an adult, He developed deep friendships with his disciples. His love for them meant He would die a cruel, untimely death in order to keep them from the curse of eternal damnation. In His prayer to His Father, He pleaded, “Father, I desire that they also whom you gave Me, may be with Me where I am.” Jesus promised the disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you, … I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am you may be also!” The promise is there for all who believe to receive. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for His own. He will return to take them home where He is the Light, there is no longer separation, and there are no longer reasons for tears. In God’s plan, Christmas is eternal and involves the prophecy, the fulfillment and the promise.