An Epic Christmas: Prequel

Christmas is about Christ Jesus. Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.

The full story of Jesus is an EPIC. With a sweeping storyline and a bigger than life central character. Like great movie Epics, there is an original, prequels, sequels and a finale..

This Christmas at Threshold, we are focusing on all of Him, from everlasting to everlasting. While we pay special homage to a baby born in a barn and laid in a manger, we also want to keep sight of Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Yesterday we viewed the PREQUEL, and learned that Jesus is from everlasting, that is, He has always been. He has always existed and has always been active in the lives of the people of God, from the first pages of the Bible to the present moment.

We cruised quickly through nearly two dozen scripture passages, which are all printed here in their entirety, including the underlining of key phrases. I hope it is helpful as you get to know your Savior even better this Christmas.

Listen to the Talk:  

Recommended Resource: Christ Before the Manger, by Ron Rhodes

 

 

 

 

Part One: Jesus is God, which means He is Eternal and Unchangeable.

John 8:58 – Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am! ”

John 17:24 – Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

Colossians 1:15-17, 19 – Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together… 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ

Philippians 2:6-8 –  Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Revelation 22:13 – I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ”

 

Part Two: God the Father is invisible and can not be seen by human eyes. No one can see God and live.

Exodus 33.19-20
19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live. ”

Isaiah 6:1-5
1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!

The whole earth is filled with his glory! ”

4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. ”

John 1.18
18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

John 5:37
37 And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face

John 6:45-46
45 As it is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God. ’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46( Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)

1 Timothy 1:17
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:16
16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

1 John 4:12
12 No one has ever seen God.

 

Part Three: Jesus, while God, can be seen. And in fact, he is seen in many places in the Old Testament

(note: in the Old Testament, the Angel of the Lord was not an angel as we know them. Rather, it was a visible appearance of God. And since God the Father can’t be seen… guess who?!)

Genesis 3:8-9
8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you? ”

Genesis 16:7-13
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going? ” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority. ” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count. ”

11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael( which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives. ”

13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me. ” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me? ”

Genesis 18:1-5, 13-14
1 The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground.

3 “My lord,” he said, “if it pleases you, stop here for a while. 4 Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. 5 And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey. ”

“All right,” they said. “Do as you have said. ”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby? ’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son. ”

Genesis 32:22-30
22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. 23 After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

24 This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking! ”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me. ”

27 “What is your name? ” the man asked.

He replied, “Jacob. ”

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won. ”

29 “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.

“Why do you want to know my name? ” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel( which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared. ”
Exodus 24:9-11
9 Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. 10 There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. 11 And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!

Joshua 5:13-15
13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe? ”

14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord ’s army. ”

At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do? ”

15 The commander of the Lord ’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy. ” And Joshua did as he was told.

Judges 6:11-22
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you! ”

13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites. ”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you! ”

15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family! ”

16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man. ”

17 Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. 18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you. ”

He answered, “I will stay here until you return. ”

19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it. ” And Gideon did as he was told. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.

22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face! ”

Judges 13:15-22
15 Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please stay here until we can prepare a young goat for you to eat. ”

16 “I will stay,” the angel of the Lord replied, “but I will not eat anything. However, you may prepare a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the Lord. ”( Manoah didn’t realize it was the angel of the Lord.)

17 Then Manoah asked the angel of the Lord, “What is your name? For when all this comes true, we want to honor you. ”

18 “Why do you ask my name? ” the angel of the Lord replied. “It is too wonderful for you to understand. ”

19 Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the Lord. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the Lord did an amazing thing. 20 As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground.

21 The angel did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Manoah finally realized it was the angel of the Lord, 22 and he said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God! ”

Isaiah 6:1-5
1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!

The whole earth is filled with his glory! ”

4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. ”

Daniel 3:19-25
19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace? ”

“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.

25 “Look! ” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god! ”

 

Additional notes about Jesus and the Angel of the Lord:

1. Both are Visible
2. Both are sent
3. Both speak as God
4. Each is seen only in one testament: Angel in OT, Jesus in NT
5. Numerous identical qualities

 

Part Four: Once we begin to see appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ in the Old Testament, we begin to understand how that testament is all about Him.

Luke 24.27
27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24.44
44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled. ”

John 5.39
39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

Hebrews 10:5, 7
5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
as is written about me in the Scriptures. ’”

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