“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord!”
Luke 2:10-11 (NAS)
Two thousand years ago, this angelic announcement reverberated throughout heaven and earth, splitting time (BC & AC) and birthing the true meaning of celebration!
Oh, to have been there that first Christmas! Yet, looking back at that incredible moment in history, we worshippers of 2011 have more reason to celebrate than those bowed at the manger that first Christmas morn.
Why is that cradle or manger scene so important to us?
Many believe in the Babe in the manger, more so than they believe in God. Yet they see Him only as a good teacher, a moral man, or a mere legend that lived in history.
Yeshua (Jesus) is so much more!
Many powerful verses fill scripture, but for me this is the most potent, life-changing one of them all:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (tabernacled -pitched His tent) among us…” John 1:14 (NIV)
The cradle was where God came to earth, wrapped in human form. The brainy word to describe this event is “incarnation.” (I looked it up in my Bible for Dummies!)
Why did Elohim dress in human form and move down into human history?
He stepped out of heaven into a soiled stable to save our soiled hearts (Phil2:5-8).
Our LORD desired for His children to know Him fully on a personal level. He wanted them to know Him and love Him for who He was, not for what He could do for them. So, He tried to reveal Himself to man through the Prophets and the Law, but that allowed people to know Him only partially! Therefore, He came up with another plan.
Eugene Peterson describes it this way, “…he moved into the neighbourhood” John 1:14 (The Message).
No one needs to be in the dark about who God is.
He went beyond just writing us a letter or sending us a spokesperson in His place. He chose to reveal who He really was through Jesus.
The Infinite became an infant.
O, Precious Ones, we can celebrate today for the cry coming from the cradle was that of no mere Babe. It was the cry of God!
John called Him “The Word.”
John used the word “Logos” to say that the Divine Power that the Greeks believed existed, who kept order and guided their choices, had become real flesh.
Therefore, John declares down through the ages, “In the beginning was the Logos(Word), and the Logos (Word) was with God and the Logos (Word) was God!” John 1:1
Can you just imagine what it would be like if God had never decided to come as the Baby in the manger?
It would be as C.S Lewis penned about the land of Narnia with the absence of Aslan, “It was always winter but never Christmas.”
One reason worshippers today can have hearts filled with praise as they celebrate Christmas is that they can sing “Emmanuel (El –the very name of God), Emmanuel – God is with us!”
He was there for us 2000 years ago, and He is here with us today – no matter how bleak or dark life gets! He loved you so much that He willingly stepped down out of heaven for YOU!
The cradle, however, was only the beginning.
The cross was the cruellest instrument of death known to man. Suspended between heaven and hell, the victim of the cross waited for, and eventually longed for, death!
At Calvary, we find the Creator put to death at the hands of creation! However, the grave couldn’t contain Him, for three days later the WORD rose again!
Therefore, we worshippers bowed before Christ this Christmas will never experience the sting of death! Yes, this physical body will someday be placed in the ground, but our souls will live on as in the words of Paul, “…to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” 2 Cor 5:8 (NKJV)
If you are searching for Jesus this Christmas, do not look for Him in the manger—it is empty!
If you are searching for Jesus this Advent season,do not look at the cross – It is empty!
If you are seeking a Saviour, do not stoop to look in the tomb –It is empty!
Look up for any day the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then, those who are alive will be caught up in the clouds to join with them and Jesus!
What a party in the sky that will be! We will be celebrating and singing at the top of our lungs, “Joy to the World the Lord has Come!