Key Word:- BECOME
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
The Baby Jesus. A Lovely Little Body but a Horribly Big Skull
It is a well-known fact that childlessness is hereditary; if your parents don’t have children, then in all probability, neither will you! Unless of course, you are a miracle baby. Enter Jesus, stage right.
Well on the eve of God’s official birthday, let’s celebrate what actually happened and take in the wonder of it all, for Joseph having wandered from Inn to Inn trying to find a place in Bethlehem, (they couldn't get a room because they were Jewish), has his wife Mary, about to give birth in a stable. Out in the cold fields under an open and starry sky, stinky footed, sin defeated shepherds, quietly wash their socks by night, only to be very soon surprised by a multitude of celebrating and proclamating heavenly hosts, all singing and dancing in the dark, dank fields of Bethlehem of a Saviour born in a manger. Yes, it’s Christmas time in Bethlehem and Mary shall give birth to the Messiah, the promised Saviour of old. However, it’s not His miracle birth the angels are celebrating, no! On this most wonderful night of nights, the heavens are rejoicing in totality over the cord separating arrival of the Saviour. For you see, what is going to happen physically is in fact the most beautiful, but the most natural thing in the world: Childbirth! No, despite the rejoicing of the angels, this is not the miracle of Christmas. So where is it?
The Scriptures are clear that life begins at the point of conception. So the real miracle actually took place nine months previous at the home of Mary in Galilee at that very point of conception. You see at Christmas we must remember that the Christ, already given the name Jesus by His Father, had been with us for the full term of this pregnancy, a whole nine months; and hidden away in Galilean embarrassment and obscurity! Yes embarrassment! For a virgin conceived! “Oh really,” said the neighbours. “Yes really!” was God’s happy reply.
A virgin conceived a child from the Almighty. A virgin conceived and carried within her the Holy thing! God clothed Himself with flesh and quietly grew from molecular proportions within the warm womb of this frightened yet faithful young virgin, to be the baby of nine months, popping His head out into the world in a stable on Christmas morning, to the young boy posing eternal questions in the temple, to the young prophet terrifying all the religious hypocrites around the roads to Jerusalem, touching the lost and the leprous, dining with the downcast and outcast, loving the lame to leaping joy, the unseeing to sight sublime and raising the dead to live again. Aged thirty three, He will lovingly release the whole world of the weight of its amassed and terrible sin, and place them all upon his magnificent and manly shoulders and take them to Calvary’s cross, where with shredded flesh and pierced head, with holy hands and love set, love sick heart, He shall pay in full the penalty we all so deeply deserve and buy us back from the devil.
The purpose of the conception was always Calvary and Mary knew it. She shall watch Him there and Scripture shall again be fulfilled, when a sword, more terrible and sharp than the sword of the wraith witch king, hot from the burning coals of hell, shall pierce her pitiful little mummy’s heart, when they take down her lovely and beloved son’s broken and bloodied body from the terrifying cross. But today it is Christmas Eve. All is bright and all is white. Tomorrow the promise, indeed all the promises from Adam onwards, all the deliberations and plans between the persons of the Holy Trinity, all that is yet to come in the eternal ages now bound up and encased in the organic safe of Mary’s marvellous little womb, shall be born! Even Mary's personal Saviour.
Yes, Mary, though a most magnificent woman, from her own lips rightly testifies that she was a sinner, in need of a Saviour. The miracle is that God took residence in her womb, took DNA and sustenance from her body and became fully human, in need of her tender care and loving direction. This virgin conception of the Christ child is no invention, no trap, nor trick, nor contrivance. This virgin conception is necessary, unsullied, pure, holy, and immaculate. There was no sexual intercourse with God the Father as some have taught over the centuries, else she would not have remained a virgin. No, from the text and the tenor of the Scriptures, we can make a reasonable assumption that within the home, the room and the womb of Mary, nine months ago, there was an “enveloping in a haze of brilliancy”. Possibly Mary was surrounded by a shining cloud of brightness which infused her whole being and touched her with preternatural influence, as God clothed Himself with flesh and to the astonishment of gaping mouthed angels, stepped through the shining protected portal of eternal proportions and contracted Himself to embryonic dependence.
The real miracle of Christmas friends, took place nine months ago! Tomorrow the safe and natural arrival of the Christ child will be celebrated when Jesus pops out his gentle head and begins His own independent journey towards His prepared destiny outside the city walls of Jerusalem, all the way to that grotesque Golgotha, that hard and horrid, place of the skull. That is what Christmas is all about dear friends. Amidst the snowy white, is the flowing red of blood that will be shed for us and the living verdant green of life, that shall be given to us.
Listen: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:29-35
Pray: O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.