The birth of Christ was no ordinary occurrence. This event that would divide history was promised by God in the Garden of Eden and foretold by the many prophets who lived years later. The world was held in suspense for several hundreds of years before Christ was actually born. Christ stepping into the world as a mere mortal was the first part of Godís master plan to restore man.
The key players in this plan were, a young virgin Mary, her carpenter husband Joseph, Shepherds, Wise Men from the East and Angels who faithfully carried out Godís instructions. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, an Angel appeared to shepherds keeping watch over sheep in the open countryside. No sooner had an Angel informed the shepherds that the Savior Christ was born than a huge heavenly troop invaded the sky to perform one of the best rendered numbers in history to welcome their New Born King.
While reading this account in Luke 2: 8-15, it is impossible to miss out the exuberance of this divine performance. It seems as though, unable to contain their joy anymore, the Angelic troop burst forth from behind the sky screen in song and praise. Theirs was an elation which could not be contained within the boundaries of heaven. Christís birth was no doubt a merry event in heaven for through Him God could finally bring fallen man back to Himself.
This gets us wondering as to what was Christís part in all this? Paul gives the clue in Phil (2:6,7) Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (ESV). By being born in the world He created, Christ intentionally, voluntarily, deliberately stripped His position, His privileges and His rightful dignity to which he was entitled in the form of God and slipped into the guise of not just man but that of a slave/ servant.
Even as the Angels plunged into ecstatic chorus, there lay Christ deprived of His status as God and designated as one among His fallen creation; man. When Christ stepped out of heaven that day, He knew what awaited Him. It was not only a smelly manger, poor parents and an unwilling people who would reject Him as their Messiah. Christ knew that the degraded status that He now took up would one day end on a cross.
The fragile baby nestled in Maryís arms that night, the Son of God put up with every human emotion, economic crisis and physical agony just so He could know and feel what it was like to be man; a sinless man. The babe of Bethlehem whom the Shepherds found in a manger rested in the filth and squalor, knowing He would soon be rejected by the ones He came for. The King, whom wise men sought out, was aware of the way of suffering that He would soon tread.
On that first Christmas Day Jesus willingly abased and emptied Himself just so He could bridge the gap between fallen man and His loving Father. The Christ Child in the manger was a symbol of total obedience to the Father. Abandoning the riches of Heaven, Christ stepped into a life ridden with poverty, injustice, ridicule, criticism, ingratitude and betrayal. Jesus put up with every scorn, abuse and insult. He willingly allowed His sinless, uncorrupted body to be pierced and punctured. His spotless, flawless blood stained the cross on which He hung to become the atoning sacrifice that cleanses man and frees from sin.
Christís death on the cross was not the tragic end of the babe of Bethlehem. He who emptied Himself of His position as God, proved His power over sin and death by coming back to life on the third day after He was crucified. Christ did not leave behind His mortal remains like men do but won over death and returned back to His Father. Through this Christ unlocked the promise of eternal, unending life in heaven in close communion with the Father to all who trust in Him.
The Angles singing out jubilant praises before the watching shepherds knew all that Christ would accomplish that day when He was born. They rejoiced over their King who would restore man to God. Today as you celebrate Christmas, do you share this same joy? Christ is no longer the baby in the manger. He is our risen Lord who will soon come back to gather His faithful ones. Are you one among these?
The Christmas story is now heading towards the final act with Christís second coming. When Jesus comes again, there will be no room for mercy for He will come not as a helpless baby but as a Judge. If you have never asked Jesus into your life, this Christmas is the right time to invite Christ into your life and allow Him to deliver you from sin. If you have forgotten Christ and disappointed Him, you still have a chance to get back before it gets too late. Make this Christmas a meaningful one by drawing close to Christ and inheriting His free gift of eternal life.
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