Welcoming Christmas

## In the Beginning, Jesus Was

Starting a new series to welcome Christmas. The challenge? Spend time each day reflecting on the Bible verses of the day and pray and ask God what he wants to show you. God will honor for you taking time out during this busy season to consider what is important to him.

Although Jesus began his time on earth in the form of a human as a baby in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago, it is important to understand that he existed long before. We see from the whole of Scripture that Jesus was not an afterthought. God’s plan of redemption through Jesus is what the whole Bible is all about.

The birth of Jesus was more than just a nice, interesting historical event. It is a monumental shift in world history that was planned since before the beginning of the world by God. That is why the birth of Jesus, eagerly anticipated by many, was accompanied by great signs and wonders. Understanding the importance of the birth of Jesus gives hope and joy to all who understand and believe. A Savior was born to rescue us from our sin so we can be all that we were created to be and do all that we were created to do. Praise God, hallelujah!

But Jesus didn’t just appear out of nowhere. As Jesus himself told his disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, Scripture from the beginning speaks of him.

> And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27

This starts in the first sentence of the first book of the Bible.

> In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Jesus himself tells us in the Book of Revelation that he is the “Beginning”. (Revelation 22:13)

> “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13

John 1:1 emphasizes this fact and points his readers to think back to Genesis 1:1 by repeating the same phrase found in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning…”

> In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3

But more than just being there in the beginning with God, Jesus wants us to know that he IS God by declaring himself the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Lord, Yahweh, tells Isaiah that he is the beginning and the end.

> “This is what the Lord says—

> Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:

> I am the first and I am the last;

> apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6

What else can we learn about the importance of Jesus from the first verse of the Bible? Where else do we see Jesus as the beginning and the end, the very God of the Universe?

In the Aramaic that Jesus likely spoke in his everyday life would have used the Hebrew alphabet, not the Greek, to declare himself the first and the last in John’s Revelation. Instead of saying Alpha and Omega (the Koine Greek translation of the New Testament), he would have said “I am the Aleph and the Tav”. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last. Interestingly, in the original Hebrew Torah, an untranslatable word is found in Genesis 1:1. It is probably not a word at all. It is two letters together, Aleph and Tav! So right there, in the middle of the beginning of creation, we see Jesus in all his glory!

Yes, Jesus was a baby in a manger who came to earth at one specific time to change history as we know it. But even more importantly, Jesus is the God of all creation. All of the Bible points back to Jesus because the Bible is the story of God’s redemption of his people through his great covenant love and kindness.

Understanding how great Jesus is and always was makes it even more amazing that he would take on human form, live on earth, suffer die and be buried for the sins of all who believe.