In a few days we will once again come together on Christmas Day, a day to gather with families to celebrate and commemorate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior, to the world!
Perhaps before the day is over, we shall need to pray the prayer once prayed innocently by a little girl who, along with her family, had been caught up in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity that came to a head in her home on Christmas Eve. Dad, loaded with bundles, seem to have an even greater number of worries. Mom, under the pressure of getting ready for the special occasion, yielded several times to tears that very day; even the little girl, trying to help, found that she was always under foot. Finally, now in tears herself, she was hustled off to bed. There, kneeling to pray the Lord’s prayer before tumbling in, her mind and tongue betrayed her and she prayed,
“Forgive us our Christmases as we forgive those who Christmas against us.”
We may have to pray that childish prayer ourselves this year before Christmas Day concludes! We need, therefore, to be careful to keep our focus upon the ONE who is to be center stage at Christmas, our Lord and our Savior! It will always do us well to rethink and rejoice in the Marvel of His Birth, the Miracle of His Birth, and the Mission of His Birth:
- The Marvel of it. There are many things that could be said about the marvel of His birth; it was surely marvelous as to the timing: ”when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His own Son.” (Gal. 4:4). It was the absolute right time prophetically. Prophets had foretold His coming hundreds of times. Daniel’s vision in the 9th chapter of that book pretty well pinpointed the time of the Messiah’s arrival; thus, wise men from the east came looking for “he that is born King of the Jews.” (Matt.2:2). Not only was it the right time prophetically, it was the right time practically: the Greco-Roman world was ripe for the appearance of this one who came to be the Savior of the world. The Greek language, like English today, was almost universally spoken, a significant factor in the spreading of the good news; and the Roman roads made it possible to travel the then-known world. It was surely the “fullness of time,” prophetically and practically.
Then, too, when thinking of the marvel of His birth, mention must be made of the triumph of it. What God promised Satan in the Garden before He clothed the naked pair that had just sinned—that He would by the seed of the woman bruise his head—God sealed with the birth of His Son, Satan’s final defeat. Along with Satan’s defeat, sin’s ultimate eradication was guaranteed. Jesus came to “put away sin,” and His death on Calvary, 33 years after His birth in Bethlehem, provided the basis for sin’s final death-blow, when Christ shall rule in righteousness. What a marvelous triumph over Satan, sin, and the wages of sin, death!
- It was marvelous, and it was miraculous. Miraculous in the conception of the Christ-child. “Before they (Joseph and Mary) came together,” she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Truly, “that which is conceived in thee is of the Holy Ghost,” Mary was assured by God’s messenger. His birth was contrary to the laws of nature; He was reared in obscurity, had no formal education, founded no world-famous institution, was not wealthy nor brought up by influential parents. Yet, His birth changed how calendars were kept. Angels sang to herald His coming to shepherds on lonely hillsides. Wise men trekked thousands of arduous miles to worship the child, bringing precious gifts to this one they called King. His teaching, miracles, ministry and death would turn history upside down. Everything about His birth breathed “Miracle!”
- Then, too, think of the Mission of His birth! It was to save sinners: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (I Tim. 3:15). Jesus said it this way: “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). Hallelujah! What A Savior!
Jesus was a great teacher, but He did not come merely to teach; He was a great example, but He did not come just to be an example; He was a leader of leaders, but leadership was not His mission; He was a great physician and there was no sick person He could not heal, and He did heal many and brought the dead back to life—but healing the sick and raising the dead were not His mission; He was a prophet, too, but He did not come just to prophesy! He came to present Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel; and He came to save sinners from sin and the eternal consequences of sin. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
So, as we celebrate this Christmas the birth of Jesus Christ, focus once again on the Marvel of it all; the Miracle of it; and surely the Mission of His coming, via the virgin birth, to a sin-cursed world to be our Savior. “Man of sorrows, what a name; for the Son of Man who came. Ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah! What a Savior!” What a Savior indeed!
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt.1:21)