“It’s all part of the plan”.
These words take me back to one of my favourite films, The Dark Knight. This line is part of an iconic speech about the nature of chaos and order given by Heath Ledger’s character the Joker in the superhero movie. What’s interesting about the Joker is that unlike many movie villains, the character truly has no overarching goals. He doesn’t want money or fame or power. There is no plan.
I think sometimes when we think about Jesus within the Bible story there is a danger that we think of Him as God’s last resort.
It can seem like the whole of the Old Testament is one big, failed experiment of God trying to fix things through individuals and the people of Israel until eventually he stumbles upon Jesus as the answer. It can look like God had no plan.
Yet when we look at the Old Testament through the lens of Jesus’ coming, we can see that it all points back to Him. Noah shows us that even restarting the world with the best possible candidate isn’t enough, we need someone greater. Moses shows us a God who is all about redemption. David (and the kings that came after) shows us that only a perfect king will bring about lasting change.
700 years before the Christmas story, God gave Isaiah an incredibly accurate prophecy about the coming of Jesus:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7v14
During this pandemic, a lot has been said about the sovereignty of God. Is God in control? Does He really have a plan? When we look to the Christmas story and all that led up to it, I hope it can be a reminder to us that Jesus was always part of the plan, that our God was in control then and is in control now.
Father, we thank you that the birth of Jesus shows that you are always in control. We are sorry when we don’t live like You have a plan and a purpose for our lives. Increase our faith this season Lord and help us to trust you more. Amen.
Alex Banks is a member of Hope Church Newham. He is also husband to Katrina and father of James (2 ½) and Charlotte (11 months).