Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
This time of year we think a lot about Him and His name. Wonderful Counselor. Prince of Peace. Savior. Jesus. Mary and Joseph knew the Name but they couldn’t have possibly understood what it would really mean. How could they know that His Name would cast out demons, give sight to the blind, cleanse lepers, heal the infirm, and save sinners. He was just a baby in their arms, born in a stable with animals. Who could imagine that this child would die, rise again, and bring light to the world. “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus . . .” (Matthew 1:21) Mary and Joseph were just happy to have a place to spend the night. Who knew that angels would fill the skies with song and that shepherds would do the one thing shepherds never do, leave their flocks for a journey to Bethlehem. To anyone but Mary and Joseph it was an ordinary birth, but the Name was extraordinary. Jesus. Paul was later to write, “At the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10). Everyone. Kings and rulers. Angels and demons. One of the best ways to honor him this season is to bow in His presence and gently whisper His Name. Jesus.
Christmas reminds us of the babe in the manger, but strictly speaking Jesus didn’t come to live, He came to die. Not of old age or accidental calamity. Death with common thieves. Death with great pain and suffering. Death that all might live. The process leading to it would take three plus decades, and along the way He would live as an ordinary man. But nothing about His death would be ordinary. It would be as unusual as His birth. But die He did that we might believe in Him and have eternal life. Remember this Christmas season that the baby Jesus was destined to die. He was the child the Magi adored, but He was to become the Savior we would call upon, because He who was born in Bethlehem and laid down His life in death in Jerusalem.