Jake Heppner, Southbrook Baptist Church
If you could hear the Vikings coaching staff preparing for a game, you would hear phrases like, "We need to stop the run. We need to load the box. We need to control the line of scrimmage." If you could see their whiteboards and clipboards, you would see that every design has a plan of execution that would affect the player's drills that week.
The arrival of the Messiah in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago was also part of God's design; Jesus was no accidental baby; the arrival of the Christ was no happenstance, but the pinnacle of God's plan to bring back broken humanity to Himself. Part of the design of the Messiah's arrival included a special messenger, John the Baptist, to convince the people to prepare their hearts for the Messiah's arrival. John the Baptist was also a miraculous birth, being born to parents who were well beyond childbearing years, and when it was revealed to Zacharias, John's father, that his son would serve in the critical role of preparing the people for the Messiah, he preaches a description of what the Messiah's arrival was intended to accomplish, as read in Luke 1:67 and following.
Zacharias recognized that the first part of God's design in sending His Son, Jesus, to earth was to accomplish God's purpose of redeeming His people: "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
for He has visited and redeemed His people..." Zacharias' community assumed they were already right with God because of their good behavior, but the Messiah showed even the most devout religious leaders that their hearts were wicked and rebellious as a result of their humanity, and even the most well-behaved people are unable to earn and credit or goodness from God as a result of their own efforts. The only way for any member of the human race to close the chasm of enmity that exists between humans and Holy God is to trust in the redemption of Christ as He died on the cross. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came to earth from heaven in order to live a perfectly righteous life so He could sacrifice that innocent life on the cross in order to redeem, or purchase, the broken souls of humanity. Humanity was created in a state of fellowship with God, but Adam and Eve chose disobedience, as every human does, and chooses a state of animosity toward God. God's loving design was to prepare a mediator who could bridge the gap between holy God and sinful humanity and represent one to the other, so God's design sent His Son to exist in humanity and pay the price for humanity's rebellion and self-centeredness. Every person who expresses faith, trust, and dependence to God in the fact that Jesus Christ, God's Son, died on the cross in order to redeem them from sin's penalty and sin's condition will be liberated from sin and adopted as God's child. What a gift God has designed for our world in His Son's arrival so many years ago!