Wednesday, December 24, 2008
God's wisdom and strength... Advent of Joy #24
When Jesus was born, angels heralded His birth, appearing to shepherds in the fields saying:
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
When Jesus was brought to the temple to be circumcised, Simeon who was waiting for the time when He would see the Messiah, praised God and said to Mary,
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
And so began Jesus life on earth. Born as a baby, there was already a foreshadowing of what was to come.
After Jesus’ resurrection, two angels told the women at the tomb,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He is risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again?”
Can you imagine the reaction of people in that day, after hearing that Jesus was resurrected? Can you imagine the disciples and followers of Jesus starting to see the plans of God? Can you imagine how crazy they must have thought God was? They had to have thought that God was so foolish, that He had no strength if the person they thought was the Messiah was dead and buried.
But when they saw Jesus resurrected and full of glory, and felt the power of the Holy Spirit running though them. Then they began to see the wisdom and strength of God in a way never before.
How could He be the conquering king they thought He was? The religious rulers and authorities had taken Him and killed Him.
Don’t those thoughts follow the lines of many today?
He was just a man.
He was just a prophet.
He was only…
He really wasn’t…
Today, in our own “wisdom” we think that we know everything and there is no way that Jesus could possibly be who He said He was.
Today, in our own “strength” we try to do everything by ourselves, including getting into heaven by doing “enough” and being “enough” and wondering what “enough” really is.
Christmas is about so much more.
Christmas is about the insane foolishness of sending your one and only Son to die to reconcile the world to you…. and then leaving it up to the world to accept or reject or ignore your Son.
Christmas is about the weakness of Jesus. His allowing Himself to be taken in hand by the rulers of the day and beaten and killed so inhumanely.
However, without Jesus dying and rising to life again, we would have no reason to celebrate Christmas. We would have no reason to celebrate his birth, because without his suffering and bearing all our sin and shame, we would have no salvation. He took the penalty for our sins. He alone is worthy of our praise. He reigns victorious over death so we may have life.
This little baby born to us this day in the city of David is Christ our Lord.
This baby rejected by men, is chosen by God and precious to Him.
This baby is the reason and source of our JOY.
Let’s remember this baby together on the advent, the eve, of His birth.