The Jesus the World Needs to Know

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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.

One hand reaching from the sky, a second hand reaching from below, cross in the sunlight in the background

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!


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4 Comments

  1. Really good points. I hate to see what our society, Christians and unbelievers alike, have made of this holiday. I have seen many blogs from Christians reassuring each other that Jeremiah is not referring to Christmas trees with the cutting down of a tree in the forest, and bringing it inside, standing it upright, decorating it with silver and gold. One site says that this couldn’t possibly be the case because Christmas wasn’t celebrated for hundreds of years after Christ’s birth, and Jeremiah lived way before that~so it can’t be, right? Well, ancient babylonians did this. And as people who study the Bible know, God likes to foreshadow crucial events in history. Can people who do the whole tree thing give a good explanation as to WHY they do this? It’s not good as Christians when we can’t explain why we do things. I think we owe the Lord more than that.

    I remember when I was little, I was asking my mom why Jesus was on some crosses, and not on others (I think I wanted a fancier rosary-type cross). She explained that it was something Catholics did, but we knew that He was only on the cross for a little while. He paid the price to reconcile us with God, defeated death and hades, was seated on the right hand of God in heaven, and is coming back to get us, and is coming as a Conqueror. He is not the pitiful, ever-suffering idol on millions of crucifixes (not to mention: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above).

    You probably already know this~the Catholic church advanced itself by coming into a new area, finding out what the people there already believed, and then telling them, “That’s just what WE believe, too, just OUR names for your old gods and godesses are Mary, Joseph, and Jesus!” They also took over the pagan festivals and put the veneer of Christianity on them, which is how we ended up with these holidays. Bunnies, and eggs, and chicks have nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Christ, but they are well-known symbols of fertility used in paganism.

    Sorry for the length and, ranting nature of this post. To any Catholics who may read this, I mean no offense. Please look into this stuff for yourself. Rosilind, I am glad I found your blog. You have great style. By the way, I have heard something from many Christians recently–they were looking for a prospective spouse but had become very discouraged. Then they met an Eastern European Christian man or woman, and found someone bold in Christ, hard working, thrifty, modest~just who God had made for them. Is that what happened for you?

    Regards,
    Juliana

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I personally have no convictions against celebrating Christmas. I guess I feel that if we seek to celebrate Christ on a day that doesn’t have some sort of pagan or ungodly significance, we will find it hard to find a day to do that. I do believe God redeems these things, and is pleased when we intentionally celebrate Him. I think we see this throughout the Pentateuch and in Esther and all of the feasts and festivals He commanded them to observe for various reasons and occasions.

      I believe that when our Christmas and Easter celebrations are Christ-centered, they honor Him. I know others have opposing convictions, and I think in this we need to heed Paul’s advice that each live according to the dictates of His conscience and then live in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ with honor. So that if one has a conviction that is opposed to our own, we still honor them and do not lead him or her to violate their conscience.

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