“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.”
Psalms 22:1-10 NKJV
From the manger to the cross
As I have gotten older, and eternity draws ever so near, I have become more consumed with reflecting on the manger and the cross. From before the deception of Eve, and the failure of Adam, God had a plan to rescue His creation from sin. From that moment, God the Son, was ordained to come to earth and die for our sins.
As I have grown older, I have become far more intimate with my Lord, as I will one day see Him face to face. In that intimacy, I have begun to consider my sin, and the price that He paid for my salvation. That awareness has caused me to seek to be more holy in my day to day life, not giving myself over to compromise. In His payment, He left the glory He knew with the Father to be made low, humbled for our sake.
Reading through Psalm 22, I am reminded of some of the things Jesus had to bear. Psalm 22 is the first of three, that describe the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, with Psalm 23 and 24, completing the set.
For me, Christmas, our chosen celebration of the birth of Jesus is inextricably tied to His death, burial and resurrection. He was born to die, and rise again.
He gave up glory, that we cannot yet behold, to live in the form of His creation, occupying the flesh of His design. Humiliation was present from the beginning, as even His paternity was left to scoffing.
“I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.””
John 8:18-19 NKJV
Their question, “where is your father”, referred to the long standing rumor that Jesus had been sired by a roman soldier, and was no mere insult. But Jesus did not take heed. He was on mission.
God could have sent Jesus to the most luxurious palace, but He chose a humble girl, and a more humble man, to usher His Son into the world. To illustrate to that world His intent, He had Jesus presented as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb of God, swaddled, and laid in a stone feeding trough, just as the select lambs for Passover Sacrifice.
He then announced to certain poor shepherds what He was going to do.
God had chosen the foolish, and the most unlikely to bring about salvation to the world. This God_Baby become God_Man, slain from the foundation of the world.
Because of that first Christmas, we have been given a ministry, those of us who have been saved and born again.
He has chosen again to take foolish and most unlikely sinners, made clean, to spread the message of the Gospel, and tell the world of the true meaning of Christmas. Let us be faithful to go out and use our opportunities in the coming day, to tell our loved ones about Jesus.
Let us be bold to tell of Jesus placed in a manger, and later nailed to a cross, who endured the shame of our sins, and paid the price. Because of Him, we have a new life, a new destiny and the hope of Heaven. He has given us the greatest gift of all.
Brothers and sisters, let us enter this Christmas time bent on living holy lives, as ambassadors of Jesus, reflecting who He is. May we sacrifice our appetites and desires for the glory of God, that He be made known.
We are in a time when the light of the Gospel must go out, and be unhindered by our sinful proclivities. There are many who do not know the Lord, who are heading for hell. We are on a rescue mission, and it is on us to tell of true meaning of Christmas.
We have been given wonderful gifts, His word, His presence through the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts that we can use to complete the calling He has given us.
May we bold to use all for the glory of God.
Have a fabulous Christmas Eve!