Did you know that the Christmas story didn’t just start when Jesus was born? No, 700 years earlier, God looked down and saw his people disobeying him.
He sent messengers to say, “I’m disappointed with you lot! But I’m going to give you a sign. A young woman, a virgin, will become pregnant. She’ll give birth to a son, and he’ll be called Emmanuel, which in your language means ‘God with us’.
“He’ll be called Prince of Peace and King of Kings, but he won’t be raised as royalty. You could walk past him in the street and not even recognise him.
“People will look down on him. They’ll beat him and bruise him. People will say, ‘God is punishing this man for the wrong things that he’s done.’ But no! God will be punishing that man for the wrong things that we’ve done. You see, we’re all like sheep who have gone astray. We each choose our own paths through life. But God will take our wrongdoings and place them on that man.
“He’ll be dragged before a court, but he won’t find any justice there. Like a sheep being led to be slaughtered, he won’t say a word. He’ll be executed as a criminal and buried in a rich man’s grave.
“All of this will be part of God’s plan to punish an innocent man for our wrongdoings so that our dirty hearts can be made clean.”