Jan 20, 2011, 12:14 PM
Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament had hinted---in veiled
language though---that a Saviour was going to come to the world to save
humanity from sin and death in order to reconcile God and His creation. The
relationship had been broken when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God’s
command not to eat of the tree of good and evil; for when they did they would
surely die. (Genesis 2:15-17)
Well, they did not die physically but spiritually; they ceased to see things the way God did; there was complete separation. The daily evening encounter with God came to a halt as all of a sudden they could not stand in God’s presence any longer. (Genesis 3:14-19) When God pronounced the curses this was what He said. These were some of the words addressed to the serpent--Satan in disguise. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
Offspring of the woman
This virgin birth – something unheard of in science - was to mark the entry into this earth of the offspring of a woman. An offspring is known to be the seed of a man, but this time a woman begets a child without knowing a man. (Luke 1:34)
What was unknown though at the time was how, when, and where all of these events would take place. However, as things gradually unfolded, God revealed piecemeal through his prophets the details of this great event.
Prophet Isaiah had the privilege of receiving the key revelations regarding the coming of the Messiah: “For unto 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, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 11.1)
It was again revealed by the prophet Isaiah that this event would be unique in its genre---a virgin birth. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel (God with us).” (Isaiah 7:14) It happened just as the prophet Isaiah had declared it would.
When the angel visited Mary, he broke the news thus; “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) Isaiah had announced the child’s name as Emmanuel which means ‘God with us’, the angel gave God’s son, the name Jesus – “for he will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Two new elements come to enrich the scene as the stage was gradually being set. At this point further precision is given - a Son that would be born of a virgin.
Isaiah did not just stop at those revelations. He continued to throw more light. “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9.7)
Micah, one of the minor Old Testament prophets provided supplementary information by stating exactly where the Saviour would be born. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5.2)
When the event finally took place it went unnoticed by the world. Joseph, Mary, the sages, the shepherds and the place of birth were of no significance. Here was a king born in a stable–-the home to animals. “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
This all sounds like a rather insignificant event which would later storm the world as Jesus began His ministry boldly challenging the status quo and practices of Israel’s religious leaders of the day. He sought to educate many about the kingdom of God and what that means for humanity.
Indeed joy had come to the world because the Lord had come. “… a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying ‘Glory to the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests.” (Luke 2:14)
Our Lord Jesus, the gentle Redeemer, awesome Ruler, sent down from glory had come to do His Father’s will. Yes, He was manger-born but yet a king, a holy king, come to reign in the hearts of men and women.
Today, like yesterday, the world is being called upon to receive her king, to welcome Him.
Let every heart prepare Him room.