Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
1 Peter 1:13
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be around during Jesus' birth?
It had been four hundred years since a prophet had delivered a message from God. The land was growing in immorality. Governments oppressed anyone who didn't share the same perspective as them. Religious leaders exploited their positions to ensure they lived lives of comfort. Ordinary folks were doing their best to survive, but they struggled to see where God was in the hardship of their lives.
In many ways, the situation at the time of Jesus' birth is eerily similar to the world we live in today. Sin and selfishness are an epidemic, and it can be easy to question why God would let all of it happen. However, we have something that the people of Jesus' time didn't have. We have access to seeing the big picture of what Jesus accomplished. We have hope because we can understand the eternal hope established through Jesus' first coming.
Whereas many of Jesus' time thought that the Messiah would physically restore the world to God, we know that something had to happen before Jesus could become that King. He had to first establish a path to a restored relationship with God. This could only happen if He could reverse the curse put on Adam in the Garden of Eden. Through Jesus' obedience to God, He was allowed to be the promised sacrifice that would save the world from the punishment of its sins and, in doing so, established a new covenant for all those who would believe.
Jesus' willingness to be born and fulfill the mission of being what Adam was intended to be for creation gives us great hope. We know that Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection pave a path for Him to return and claim this world as His. So, as we celebrate the arrival of baby Jesus, let us also look forward to His return, knowing that regardless of what takes place in this life, it is not the end of the story. This Christmas season, let us rejoice that there is no greater hope than knowing Jesus will finish what He started in that lowly manager.