The word of the Father by whom all time was created was made flesh and born in time for us. He without whose divine permission no day completes its course, wished to have one of those days for His human birth. In the bosom of His Father He existed before all the cycles of the ages. Born of an earthly mother, He entered on the course of the years on that very day. The maker of man became man that He ruler of the stars might be nourished at the breast, that He the bread might be hungry, that He the fountain might thirst, that He the light might sleep, that He the way might be wearied in the journey, that He the truth might be accused by false witnesses, that He the judge of the living and the dead might be brought to trial by a mortal judge, that He justice itself might be condemned by the unjust, that He discipline personified might be scourged with a whip, that He the foundation might be suspended on a cross, that He courage incarnate might be weak, and He security itself might be wounded, and He life itself might die.
He was created by a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares.
In His coming the “last day”’ to which the Old Testament looked forward arrived, but they have not yet run their course; the Christian church is still living in this eschaton. Jesus’ first coming inaugurated it; His second coming will consummate it. The coming of Jesus was, therefore, the beginning of the end.
The Savior who dies on a shameful cross was placed in a lowly trough for barn animals when He was born.
As the Old Testament draws to a close, the temple stands empty, the prophets fall silent, and the throne is vacant. As the New Testament opens, almost all the tokens of God’s love are gone. Suddenly, into this seeming picture of love’s labor lost, comes the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen. God sends Jesus, the Son He has loved from eternity past.
The Story of Love by Michael Lawrence taken from Biblical Theology by Michael Lawrence, copyright 2010, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 143.|The Story of Love by Michael Lawrence taken from Biblical Theology by Michael Lawrence, copyright 2010, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 143.
God hath long contended with a stubborn world, and thrown down many a blessing upon them; and when all his other gifts could not prevail, He at last made a gift of Himself.
Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.
Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.
He was conceived by the union of divine grace and human disgrace. He who breathed the breath of life into the first man is now Himself a man breathing His first breath. The King of kings now sleeping in a cow-pen. The Creator of oceans and seas and rivers afloat in the womb of His mother. God sucking His thumb. The Alpha and Omega learning His multiplication tables. He who was once surrounded by the glorious stereophonic praise of adoring angels now hears the lowing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, the stammering of bewildering shepherds. He who spoke the universe into being now coos and cries. Omniscient Deity counting His toes… From the robes of eternal glory to the rags of swaddling clothes. The omnipresent Spirit, whose being fills the galaxies, confined to the womb of a peasant girl. Infinite power learning to crawl.
Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn’t come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety.
How many observe Christ’s birthday and how few His precepts. It is easier to keep holidays than holy ways.
What a paradox that a babe in a manger should be called mighty! Yet even as a baby, Jesus Christ revealed power. His birth affected the heavens as that star appeared. The star affected the Magi, and they left their homes and made that long journey to Jerusalem. Their announcement shook King Herod and his court. Jesus’ birth brought angels from heaven and simple shepherds from their flocks on the hillside. Midnight became midday as the glory of the Lord appeared to men.