The scriptures foretold the coming of the Savior long ago. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
So when the wise men saw a bright star shining in the east; east they went. Many days and nights they journeyed, waiting to see the word of God fulfilled. This particular day was a long one and now night was upon them once again. They wondered how much further they would go. How much longer would it be until they cast their eyes on His holy face. They were filled with such anticipation! The sun set and the familiar darkness of night began to cover the land. The stars all took their places, like a brilliant sea of sparkles, but it was different this night. No longer was the star of the east far away...now it was close to them and so bright that it illuminated their faces!
They were filled with joy as they had never known! “The star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.” Matt 2:9-10 The star revealed God’s most precious gift as it led the wise men to the little feeding trough the babe was using as a bed. In that star shone all the wise men’s hopes and dreams of meeting the Savior of the whole world!
He has arrived! How wonderful, how glorious Immanuel, “God with us” is here!
The light is still with us here today as it shines the hope of Christ in a man or woman at the time of salvation. “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,” Titus 3:4 You see, there it is... that moment in time when we come to understand that God really is here and He loves us! God appears to us just as the star appeared to the wise men and the shepherd boy. It is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, that God is not looking down at us with a mallet in His hand ready to sentence us to death for our sins. But rather quite the opposite is true; God sent His Son, His Only Son to rescue us. Judgement happened alright, but it was upon His Son who had no sin! In Christ, God’s love and kindness shine bright in our human hearts!
Verse 5 of Titus 3 says, “ He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” It’s a special time of Christmas in our hearts when we realize God is with us! We know it is not because of any good thing we have done, but rather it is all because of God. Mercy, unmerited favor, is the blanket that wraps our Savior as He dwells in us.
As a babe God came to us and as babes we return to Him. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 He was born as a human and we are born spiritually.
Because Jesus came to earth, this different kind of birth is celebrated in the heavenly realms when salvation happens. It is that of the lost and broken sinner, converted by God into a baby saint. “Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. Do not be amazed that I said “You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” John 3:6-8
We can’t explain how it happens. All we can do is thankfully conclude that God gave His very best for what He must have considered His best. Jesus is our gift. We are His gift to God the Father.
This Christmas may we truly embrace Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us, knowing that in Him “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17
As you rejoice, singing those old Christmas hymns, know that you are not rejoicing alone. God and the whole army of angels are singing too! His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven… in Christmas.
“…Now to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen….” Rev 1:5-6