Read the text: Hebrews 1:1-15
Jigsaw puzzles can be exasperating, but they can also be intriguing, even beautiful, as the scattered pieces slowly come together to form the picture on the front of the box. Just so, puzzle pieces are scattered throughout the Hebrew Scripture, hints and pictures of the Chosen One, the Messiah who would someday come to rescue his people from their oppression.
That’s how the writer to the Hebrew Christians describes the way God has communicated to His people: at first in bits and pieces revealed to God’s people through the prophets but finally and comprehensively in Christ: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways [in bits and pieces], God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” (Hebrews 1:1-3, ESV).
It may have been the greatest moment of his entire teaching ministry, that Sunday evening as Jesus strolled with two of his disciples toward a village near Jerusalem. And yet his astonishing words were not recorded, and there were only two people there to hear him! You remember the story Luke tells us at the end of his gospel (Luke 24), when two of Christ’s followers are trudging wearily toward their home in the Jerusalem suburb of Emmaus.
A stranger joins them on their journey and asked them why their faces are so careworn. They tell him that their hopes had been dashed, that Jesus of Nazareth had not turned out to be the Chosen One; he was executed by the Romans. He gives them this startling reply: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26, ESV).
Then the stranger, the Resurrected Jesus himself, puts the picture together for them. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27, ESV). What God had revealed in bursts and images, now Christ explains how they fit together to form a precise picture of himself.
That’s what we celebrate at Christmas: the day God gave us the picture on the front of the box, the finished portrait of the Chosen One He promised through the prophets so long ago.
Activity: Sing “O Come, O Come, Immanuel”
2 O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave. Refrain
3 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death's abode. Refrain
1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.