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  • Joshua Grover

Where was Jesus during the first Christmas?

“He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the

universe by the word of his power…” Hebrews 1:3


Where was Jesus during the first Christmas?


If you’re like me, you probably thought, “Why, in the manger of Bethlehem, of course!” And you’re not wrong. Jesus was indeed in a manger in Bethlehem on the night of the first Christmas, but He was also somewhere else. And the rest of that answer really matters.


When we think of Jesus at Christmas time, we often think of Jesus as a baby. And he was

just that. He was an actual person who lived in history. He was a person who experienced

growth, emotions, and bodily death (and resurrection!) (Luke 2:52; John 11:33,35; 19:30; I Cor.

15:3-4).


But on the night of the first Christmas, Jesus was not just a baby. He was also the eternal

God. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus is divine. He did works that only God has the

authority to do (Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 8:23-27; 14:22-23). He equally shares the

one divine name and nature with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18-20; John

8:58; Phil. 2:9-11).


So on the night of Christmas, Jesus was in the manger (as a human) and he was also present everywhere (as God). Even though Jesus’ human nature had him confined as a helpless infant in a manger, his divine nature continued to uphold all things in the universe (Hebrews 1:3). Perhaps a bit mind-blowing, but as Bible-believing Christians, it’s a truth we’re taught in Scripture and get to celebrate!


But why is this truth - Jesus is truly God and truly man - so important?


As a human, Jesus is qualified to meet all of our needs, especially our need for the forgiveness of sin as our mediator (Heb. 7:22-28; Heb. 9:15-10:18). As God, Jesus meets His standard of perfect obedience and holiness that He placed on men (Rom 5:12-21). Thus, as the divine Son and the incarnate Son, Jesus alone can save people from their sins and completely restore them to being image-bearers of God (Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 2:5-18). That is one reason why Christmas is so important to celebrate!


So next time a conversation about Christmas comes up, feel free to ask, “Where was Jesus on the night He was born?” The answer makes for interesting conversation and is a great path to discussing one’s eternal destination. With these wonderful truths in mind, we can continue to see Christmas as another memorable time to worship and praise God for Who He is and what He has done.


Have a very Merry Christmas!