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It was a birth like no other.
A King born in a stone-hewn wayside shelter meant for travelers and their animals. The news of His birth was announced by angels and his visitors were herdsmen.
His cradle was a feeding trough and his mattress old, smelly hay.
Hardly the opulent conditions usual for a king.
But he was no usual king.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we decorate with colors gold, silver, crimson, and purple – colors that are rich and luxurious – as we celebrate the simple birth of a man who was anything but ordinary.
His birth marked a shift in history. We mark timelines by his birth: before Christ and after Christ.
But I have a question for you.
When you tell people about Jesus, which Jesus do you talk about?
Do you talk about baby Jesus?
Baby Jesus had not yet lived a sinless life. He had not yet been tempted in the desert. He was not yet baptized by John the Baptist. He had not yet been whipped and beaten and mocked. He had not yet hung on the cross and died for our sins. He certainly had not yet risen on the third day, conquering death, hell and the grave.
While Jesus’ birth is one of the two events on which our entire faith rests, it is the latter event that brought us salvation!
Jesus’ birth alone could not save us.
His birth could not reconcile mankind unto God.
His birth could not cleanse us from our sins.
His birth could not destroy the enemy of our souls and defeat death.
I grow concerned at times because the only time of the year that we see Jesus glorified in public places is at Christmastime. We hear songs about Him on the radio, see him in the stores, see Him on pictures and greeting cards, and in nativity scenes everywhere – but He is always a tiny baby.
The rest of the year He is forgotten – even at Easter, the celebration of His ultimate victory: the resurrection. This event is completely overshadowed by bunnies, eggs, and baby animals.
This season as we take the opportunity to share Christ with the lost, may we tell people of the man who lovingly endured horrific torture, suffered rejection from His Father, died like a criminal…but didn’t stay dead because 3 days later He arose from the grave, went down to hell, defeated Satan, slew death, and ripped the keys of Hades from their slimy grasp.
Oh – He may have died the death of a criminal, but it wasn’t long before He arose as a mighty warrior, conquering what no man could conquer, defeating what no man could defeat.
And soon He will return again – not as a helpless baby, not as a simple man with calloused hands, and not as an outcast who kept company with the smelly, uncouth, and uneducated outcasts of society. He will never more be whipped, beaten and ridiculed. He will never more be executed as a criminal.
He will return as the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. Every dictator, every royal, every politician, every soldier, every man, woman, and child will bow before Him and acknowledge Him for who He is.
This is the Jesus the world needs to know!