“So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. […] So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.” – Matthew 2:14 and 21 (NASB)
If we start the Christmas story in the New Testament, we miss the rich complexity of the story God has been telling since the beginning of things. Sally Lloyd-Jones puts the situation in perfect perspective in The Jesus Storybook Bible. She writes:
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
To read the Bible as a story—God’s Story—is to see how God has been drawing people ever nearer to himself. It’s also to see how no solution but Jesus will solve our sin-and-death problem. We can’t keep the commandments God has given us; we run after other things or turn God’s words into a list of dos and don’ts.
We cannot save ourselves, but God can. And he does. He foreshadows the coming rescue with the Israelites’ exodus in the Old Testament and accomplishes it in the New Testament. He gives us Jesus, “the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together.” God provides the sacrificial lamb and leads us out of slavery so that we may freely love and worship him.