Excerpted from “The Journey” on Matthew 2
Christmas is coming. You’ve sung the carols, given the gifts, decorated the Christmas trees (although there are no evergreens in Bethlehem, alas), but anyway, it’s all to celebrate baby Jesus’s arrival with great festivity and hope.
But the baby ushered in other newborn realities as well. The NEW Testament, for example. (Don’t go away—we’ll come back to the baby.)
What makes the New Testament new? It’s chronologically newer than the Old Testament by four hundred-ish years. It’s a new set of stories with a new cast of characters. The Old was only the beginning and one of its main purposes was to point to the New.
The Old Testament laid down the Law, but God’s people consistently failed to keep it. Something new was needed.
A baby so powerful that some men travelled two years from their comfort zones to see him in person. A baby so threatening to King Herod that he had all young male children in the Bethlehem area slaughtered, to try to destroy this particular baby. A baby who grew up to serve as a sacrifice, not just for Israelites, but for everyone. The Old Testament prescribed all kinds of sacrifices, but this one was WAY new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Lamentations 3:23a say this: “(His compassions) are new every morning…”
There’s a lot of new-ness to consider as we approach Christmas. May the little baby in the manger remind us to ask God for something new. New solutions. New attitude. New hope. Whatever new-ness you need.