The Eternal Back Story of Christmas

The Eternal Back Story of Christmas

As the holiday season approaches, and the air becomes crisp with anticipation, our thoughts naturally turn to Christmas. It’s a time of joy, festivity, and, of course, gift-giving. But have you ever paused to consider the deeper meaning behind this cherished holiday? Let’s embark on a journey that unveils a Christmas story that goes beyond the glittering ornaments and wrapping paper. Join me as we delve into the eternal back story of Christmas, exploring its origins, significance, and how it impacts our lives today.

A Childhood of Christmas Cheer

During my many years on this earth, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing numerous Christmases. In my childhood, I remember the excitement of waking up to a room adorned with gifts under a beautifully decorated tree. My mother, overflowing with generosity, ensured that Christmas morning was a magical experience, not just for my siblings and me, but for the whole family.

Back then, the gifts were abundant, ranging from toys to thoughtful presents. It was a time of joy, laughter, and endless surprises. Little did I know, there was a story behind these meticulously wrapped gifts, a story that began long before the Christmas lights were strung and the carols were sung.

The Thoughtful Gesture Behind the Wrapping Paper

In adulthood, I came to understand that Christmas wasn’t merely a result of holiday cheer and heartfelt gestures. It held a deeper narrative, one that started with intention and purpose. Each gift, lovingly wrapped and adorned with tags, was a testament to the care and consideration of the giver.

Just as my mother selected gifts based on her knowledge of each person, so did God choose to gift humanity with a Savior who was uniquely designed for our redemption. This divine plan was set in motion long before that first Christmas night, and it was fueled by a love so profound that it defies human comprehension.

A Glimpse into Eternity Past: Unveiling the Back Story

To truly grasp the magnitude of the Christmas story, we need to travel back to a time before time itself – an era referred to as eternity past. In the book of Philippians, we catch a glimpse of this eternal back story that lays the foundation for the birth of Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, unveils the grandeur of Christ’s humility and sacrifice. He encourages the believers to embody the same selflessness and love that Christ exemplified. In Philippians 2:5-6 (NASB1995), Paul writes:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.”

Paul reminds us that Jesus, despite being fully divine, willingly emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant, being born in human likeness. This act of humility and self-sacrifice set the stage for the ultimate gift – the gift of salvation.

The Eternal Plan Unfolds: Revelation and Redemption

The Christmas story, far from being a mere historical event, is woven into the very fabric of creation itself. In the book of Revelation, John’s vision provides us with a glimpse of heavenly events that further illuminate the significance of Christ’s sacrifice. In Revelation 5:1-10, John witnesses a scene of profound worship and adoration:

“I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’ …

And they sang a new song, saying,
‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals;
for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’”

This breathtaking scene underscores the centrality of Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. The Lamb, who was slain, is hailed as the one who ransomed people for God from every corner of the earth. The Christmas story, rooted in eternity past, finds its culmination in the triumphant redemption of humanity through Christ’s atoning work.

The Journey Continues: Beyond the Manger

The story of Christmas doesn’t end with the manger or the cross. It continues in the exaltation of Christ and His ultimate sovereignty. Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB1995) captures this glorious continuation:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”*

Jesus’ journey from eternity past to the manger, from the cross to the throne, reveals a divine plan that surpasses human understanding. It’s a plan marked by humility, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph – a plan that invites us to experience a life transformed by the Savior’s boundless love.

Applying the Eternal Christmas Story to Our Lives

As we embrace the profound truths of the Christmas story, we’re called to apply its timeless lessons to our lives. Here are three ways we can do just that, supported by Scripture:

  1. Cultivate Selfless Love and Humility: In a world often driven by self-interest, let us embody the selfless love and humility exemplified by Christ. Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB1995) encourages us:

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

  1. Embrace Christ’s Example of Sacrifice: Just as Jesus willingly embraced the path of sacrifice, we too are called to live sacrificially for the sake of others. Romans 12:1 (NASB1995) urges us:

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

  1. Proclaim Christ’s Lordship with Joy: As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us joyfully proclaim His lordship over all aspects of our lives. Romans 10:9-10 (NASB1995) reminds us:

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

An Eternal Gift of Love

As the tinsel sparkles and the carolers sing, let us remember that the true essence of Christmas lies in the eternal back story – a narrative that stretches from eternity past to the present moment. The birth of Jesus was not a haphazard event but a divine orchestration of love, sacrifice, and redemption.

This Christmas, let us unwrap the eternal gift of love that God has lavished upon us through His Son. As we embrace the humility, sacrifice, and exaltation of Christ, may our lives echo the resounding truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. And just as the Christmas story continues beyond the manger, may our journey of faith continue, transformed by the Savior’s eternal love.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you Grow Closer to God this Christmas Season:

  1. How can you demonstrate selfless love and humility in your interactions with others this Christmas season? (Philippians 2:3-4)
  2. In what areas of your life can you embrace sacrificial living for the sake of others? (Romans 12:1)
  3. How can you boldly proclaim Christ as Lord in your words and actions? (Romans 10:9-10)

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.