As we are in the season in which we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I find it is always good to focus daily on its meaning. In an age where holding to a Christian worldview is under increasing attack, at a time where leaving Christ in Christmas is being treated almost as if it is a sin against humanity, I find the world to be not only a sinful, dark and fallen place but an ironic one at that.
Thoughtful people need to make an almost concerted effort to meditate on Jesus and what His birth 2000 years ago means—to our eternal destinies. We can read the gospel accounts of His birth, and I am sure many a great sermon will focus on these birth accounts over the next few weeks. But I would like to turn elsewhere for reflection today, toward the book of Psalms.
The birth of Christ has such potent meaning for us because of the death of Christ upon the Cross. His birth, if that was all that had passed in His life, would not have the meaning it does without the salvation bought with His blood upon the Cross. I think it is the Cross that offends, and by association with the Cross at the other end of His earthly life, that the birth of Christ tends to offend many as well. That birth and that death will come full circle within earthly history upon His return. The work of Christ is finished on the Cross, but we will not see the fulfillment of His work until His millennial reign.
It is this fulfillment that gives His birth such meaning, it is this fulfillment that gives us the hope of the season. For without the birth of Christ leading to His sacrifice, the appearance of the righteous King would fill all with horror. But because of the events that started with His birth, we who have trusted in Christ will be filled with joy.
“He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:4, 8).
As our righteous King, He will install a reign of justice for all in His kingdom. There will be no oppression, no one will want for anything ever again. It will be a reign from sea to sea, no one but the righteous King anointed by God has the right or the ability to rule the world. Beware of anyone else who attempts to do so by force or flattery.
“His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things! And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen” (Psalm 72:17-19).
The righteous King will be blessed in His reign, and that blessing will last forever as will His reign. All are invited to share in that blessing for eternity. It takes submission to the King and obedience to His will by trusting in Him alone for salvation and accepting His gift. Why is it that so many are more willing to struggle to grasp that which is fleeting and rage against that which is freely given? Why does pride blind so many that they would perish in their defiance, and not humble themselves before the true King? A King who humbled Himself, first as a helpless child, then as a willing sacrifice, all for a people (all of us) who deserved none of what He did and offered.
For the most part the world cannot do what He should not have had to. And the celebration of His birth every year seems to be a painful reminder to many when it should instead be a joyful remembrance to all. Christmas is a time of reflection, not only of the birth of Jesus, but His life on earth, His death on the Cross and of His Second Coming in power and glory to rule, reign and restore all things anew.
Executive Director – Rafter Cross Ministries