One of the reasons Christmas is so enjoyable is presents, just admit it, we like presents. When it’s a mysterious gift hidden from us until the moment of unwrapping is the most fun. That’s how the incarnation was planned before the world began; it was a secret, previously hidden but now revealed plan. What was this mystery? Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God.
When Jesus became flesh and lived among us we know it was the predestined plan of the ages. Every part of history was lined up, every prophecy fulfilled, and the hearts of the people, for good or evil, were prepared. John the Baptizer, Joseph, Mary, King Herod, and even the magi were in alignment for this event.
And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Ephesians 1:10-11 NLT
There’s one character I didn’t mention, one we don’t talk about at Christmas: Satan. The previous scripture mentioned the authority of Christ in heaven and on earth; why is that important? Since the timing of the plan of redemption was a hidden and secret mystery that means Satan and his cohorts didn’t know when it would happen. It was decreed that the Messiah would crush Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15) but when? No one knew.
None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1 Corinthians 2:8 ESV
Human rulers, yes, Herod, Pilate, even the religious leaders, but also the heavenly prince or ruler of this world: Satan. Jesus said,
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. John 12:31 ESV
Now that’s something to celebrate! The kingdom of God which was prepared for us since creation has arrived with the incarnation of Christ. The authority that God delegated temporarily to Satan was ripped from his grip when Jesus descended into hell and that authority has now been gifted permanently to the Church.
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11 NLT
You, dear reader, have been given the gift of eternal life through the incarnation of Christ but it’s not just about dying and going to heaven; it’s about kingdom living now. It’s about the privilege of asking for His wisdom, in various ways, to make the right decisions, at the right time, and in the right place. That’s one of the ways we operate in our authority over Satan and it’s far better than any wrapped present.