December 25, 2013

Christmas wonders

Today we celebrate that Jesus was born, an event not to be thought of lightly or celebrated merely with turkey dinner and gifts under a tree. Other than what happened thirty years later, His birth is the event of all events, the most significant birth in history.
It was in God’s eternal plan: The Bible says that the advent of God the Son was planned before the world was formed. God knew sinners needed a Savior. God loves us so much and wants us to know Him.

Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you. (1 Peter 1:20).

It was prophesied. Hundreds of years prior to the advent, the prophet Isaiah said God the Son, God with us, would be born, even where this would happen.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 1:35, 2:11)

He was affirmed by those who walked with Him. The disciples saw Him, touched Him, observed the credentials of His identity and rejoiced. Even a Roman soldier said that this truly was the Son of God, but John expressed it wonderfully . . .

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)

Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He is sinless, not the best human being ever, but beyond that. His life makes no sense if He was mere human and even less sense if He was not God Incarnate, God coming into human flesh, entering in at the lowliest door. Our Lord’s birth was fully God becoming fully man.

This makes redemption from sin profoundly possible. Just as Our Lord came into human history from outside, so He came into me from outside. I am a sinner unable to save myself, yet He made my personal human life to become a ‘Bethlehem’ for Him. Just as Jesus said, I cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God apart from being born from above, a birth unlike natural birth in that this is something God does, a miracle.

You must be born again” is not a command. It is a fact, but even more amazing is that it happens. As the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians, He was himself in “the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” (Galatians 4:19)

The lights, the tree, gifts and family together are wonderful, but this day holds even greater wonders; one that Christ was born and two, that He was born in me.

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