“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
My next column won’t be published until the day after Christmas, so I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the birth, life, and death of Christ.
When Caesar Augustus issued his census decree, Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, traveled to Bethlehem to register. While there, Mary gave birth to her Savior. An angel said to the shepherds nearby, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
In Christ’s short, earthly life, He ministered to the physically and spiritually hungry and sick. He raised the physically and spiritually dead to life. Christ performed other miracles, healed, and forgave sin. He prayed for His disciples and for us, yet to be born. The life of Christ indeed is the Greatest Story Ever Told. The living God, untethered by space and time, stepped inside space and time. God invaded history. He condescended to walk among His creation. The sinless, blameless One became the sacrifice to pay the just penalty for my sins and for yours. Now He sits at the right hand of the Father. When He returns, He will deliver the Father’s wrath.
(My 14-year-old niece calls the period of time before she was born “the before-times.” From her perspective, the before-times include when I was her age and when Christ walked the earth. I’m honored! )
It’s difficult to wrap our finite minds around God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christ is one person among three in the Godhead. Christ is the Son. Christ is the Passover Lamb. Christ is Creator. Christ is God. I contemplate all of this and struggle to grasp the logic. Even so, the intellectual exercise is satisfying.
Next Tuesday, while you’re opening presents or attending church or gathering with family at the dinner table, remember the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Be thankful for your food, your family, and your salvation. And remember His prayers for those He came to save before His arrest. From John 17:
“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”