Every year at Christmas time, there are just some things that never change. There always seems to be the latest and greatest toy or gadget that everyone seems to want. There is the inevitable stress associated with family travel plans. Christmas shows fill the airwaves, and decorations light up the neighborhoods. And within the church, there’s the long-awaited candle-light Christmas Service, which is usually preceded a week or so by the Christmas Musical (Cantata).
Specific to Christianity, Christmas always brings sermons, or Bible readings following the traditional verses of Scripture that point to the prophesy and birth of our Savior. We often point to verses such as Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Additionally, we also read about the shepherds receiving the announcement from the Angels in Luke 2:8-11: “8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” This is indeed a time to consider these things. The birth of Christ is paramount in the life of a believer. He was (and is) the long-expected Messiah!
While reading Gospel Centered Discipleship (Dodson) recently, I came across an interesting passage that sets a scene that I will not soon forget. Though the context of the passage wasn’t necessarily meant for a Christmas story type of application, I find it to be extremely relevant, with a different perspective. Referring to “Jesus’ messianic identity as the anointed servant of the Lord, prophesied by Isaiah, as the one who would rescue and redeem God’s people” the author expounds on Hebrews 13:12 “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify a people through his own blood” He sums it up this way: “Jesus rescues and forgives disloyal, undeserving disciples from their sin over and over again through his once-for-all death on the cross. The King becomes Servant for all who hope in him, when Jesus lays down to atone for our every failure to obey and honor him as Lord. The King descends from his throne, moves out beyond the courtyard to a place outside the city, where his body is engulfed in sin to sanctify a people for himself.“
Based on the author’s description, I’ll tell you that my mind envisioned a King that had dominion over all territories. Even so, there were many outside the gate that despised his rule and dominion over them. In an effort to save them all, even those that rejected him, the King leaves all of his security details behind and ventures outside of the city into the very midst of those who seek to do him harm. Picture our President venturing out without the Secret Service, or the Queen of England without her security details. In our world’s current political climate you can understand the dangers associated with such a venture. Yet here was Jesus, the KING of kings and Lord of lords, leaving all of his glory to venture into such a place. Motivated by love, he willingly left a security detail of more than 12 Legions of Angels (Matt. 26:53) to move out beyond the gates of Heaven into a people who would reject him. Jesus came to be born of the virgin, he lived a perfect, sinless life, and was put to death by the very ones he came to save. Yet in the same power in which he came, he was raised to life again defeating death, hell and the grave!
As previously mentioned, I know that this isn’t your traditional Christmas story. Moreover, my post is likely to be disheveled and prepared in haste. Even so, I pray that whichever Christmas story, or Scriptures that you read…I pray that Christ will be magnified in your life in such a way that others will want to know more!