Jesus came to fulfill many promises. At His birth and baptism, people talked about those promises. He came to be the Lamb of God, our Savior and King.
(The following is drawn mainly from Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.)
Many hundreds of years after the Exodus, on a seemingly ordinary day, a strange thing happened to a young woman in Galilee.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:26-27). The angel told her that she would have a son who would be the Son of God!
Shepherds, angels and good news!
Several months later Jesus was born, just as the angel had promised. Miracles began to happen. Some shepherds were tending their flocks when suddenly an angel appeared and told them some good news: “Today, in the city of David, a Savior is born. He is Christ the Lord! You’ll find Him in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.” Then they heard the hosts of heaven rejoicing and saying, “Glory to God in the highest.”
The shepherds hurried to the manger and found the newborn baby, exactly as the angel said. How exciting! They announced the wonderful news and praised God everywhere they went.
A heavenly sign
Later, wise men from the East followed a heavenly sign and found Mary and the child in a house. “We have seen His star, and we’ve come with gifts to give to the King of the Jews.” Then they fell down and worshipped Him.
Not an ordinary life
Jesus’ life was never ordinary. First, God told His parents to take Him to Egypt for several years because Herod, the king of Judea, heard about His birth and wanted to kill Him. After Herod died, they came back and lived safely in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up.
The Light of the world, the Lamb of God
One of Jesus’ relatives, John the Baptist, was a preacher with a special message: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” He told people about the coming of a very special person who would be the “Light of the world.”
John also did another very important thing—he baptized Jesus. When he did, a miracle happened. John saw the Spirit of God come down from heaven like a dove and rest on Jesus. He heard a voice saying, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
On the Passover 3½ years later, Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb of God. No longer would an animal’s blood represent the penalty for sin. The very Son of God paid that penalty with His life’s blood, once and for all mankind.
Here are some questions to think about or talk about as a family:
- What are some of the titles Jesus was given and the promises He would fulfill?
- What happened when Jesus was baptized?
- Why was Jesus called the Lamb of God?