Wednesday, December 22, 2010

He came knowing He would die. Yet He came

Luke 2:11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

1) Jesus came to die.
- Cloth Linen. Jesus the babe was wrapped in swaddling cloths. When He died, He was wrapped in burial cloth. "So Joseph (of Arimathea) bought some linen cloth, took down the body (of Jesus), wrapped it in the linen..."
- Manger. Jesus was lying in a manger. During that time, a manger is a concrete trough cut out of rock. When Jesus died, He was placed in a concrete cave. "... and (Joseph) placed His body in a tomb cut out of rock."
- Feed. A manger is where horses and animals feed from. Jesus came to be fed upon when He said, "This is My body broken for you. Eat this in remembrance of Me."

2) Jesus came to save.
- Birth. Born to us. A birth signifies new beginning, new hope. The old has passed, the new has come. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."
- Saviour. In the city of David, a Saviour. That is His name - Yeshua, meaning 'He saves'. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
- Babe. You will find a babe. A baby is in total submission to the hands that hold him. "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission."

3) Jesus gave Himself both as a present and His very presence.
- Present. Born to us a Saviour. Jesus is a gift. A gift is not a gift if we try to earn or purchase it. The only thing we can do to honor God is to receive with thanksgiving. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son..."
- Presence. Jesus will never leave nor forsake us. He gives us His peace and abides with and in us. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)
- Light. Born to us this day. When all is dark and bleak, see Jesus in the situation today. While the skies were dark in the night, glorious light and songs of joy burst forth amid the shepherds at the birth of Jesus. "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."

Luke 2:9-14 "An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

  Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

Did you notice that peace was only given to those whom His favour rest? Today God's favour rests on each one of us because we are the beloved in Christ Jesus. We have the peace of Christ which the world cannot understand. We cannot fail but have successes in every area of our lives because of His favour.

The shepherds were then in their throes of mundane life. Just like us who are milling about our daily lives. They were caring their sheep in the middle of the night. And so are we who are caught up with our cares, bills to pay and Christmas shopping. At times life's journeys can be as dark as night.

An angel appeared bearing the good news of a Saviour, and the heavenly hosts suddenly exploded in the midst singing praises to God. Likewise heavens are opened and the glory of God will fill our dark nights when the good news of Jesus is shared. The power of the gospel will transform lives and bring hope to all who hear. Our fears are dispelled; our nights become days. His praise will automatically fill our lips.

Luke 2:15-20 "When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them."

No one told the shepherds to go to Bethlehem. Yet they were willing to leave their flock to search for Jesus. No one reminded them to spread the word concerning Jesus. One look at Jesus was enough for them to spread the word concerning what they had seen and heard. And the people were amazed. Throughout our daily lives, all we need is to behold Him. One glimpse is all we need. One revelation  from His Word is enough to light up our dark situations to change our perspective of life and give us the strength to carry on.

The message of the good news (gospel) the angel spoke drew the shepherds to Jesus. The Word the angel carried was actually Jesus Himself. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. This Christmas, not only is the message of the birth of Jesus important, the Jesus we bring especially the Saviour gives hope and light more than people care to admit it.

It was not His birth that saved us but His death and resurrection.

Jesus came knowing He would die. Yet He came.


Anonymous said...

Anyone knows anybody who will not die?

Teabie said...

Anyone knows anyone who was borned solely to die for people who would scorn, discredit and later, kill him?

Kaffein said...

Nice one, Teabie. Have a blesed Christmas and New Year!


Anonymous said...

Answer to Teabie.

It's karma lah.

Teabie said...

Answer to Anonymous:

Karma ah... the law of causation, Buddhist teaching, yes? Okies lor. Please tell me what Jesus did to deserve being murdered.

Anonymous said...

karma, like religion is just a belief.
Religions and Beliefs have no reason to speak of.
It is just the faith a believer has in his/her belief(thinking).

Kaffein said...

Anon1:49> karma, like religion is just a belief. Religions and Beliefs have no reason to speak of. It is just the faith a believer has in his/her belief(thinking).

Kaffein> Wow. For once I thought you were a preacher of karma. First you call it belief, then you claim there is no reason to speak of.

So... what do you believe anyway? The way you off-handedly remarked "It's karma, lah." in your inital comment made me sit up. It was so flippant and off-handed. One would have guessed you knew what 'karma' is all along.

I'd thought we might have a good discussion after Teabie's response with 'what Jesus did to deserve the agonizing death'. You brought in the word 'karma'. Yet you don't profess it. No disrespect here, friend, either you have stumped me by confusing the whole 'karma' situation, or you are really one confused soul.

To put it curtly, either you are here to discredit my writing or Jesus' death. Either way, it's one-liner smack. I have no qualms about it but I'd rather have a more meaningful discussion.

If 'karma' is as what you claim it to be, then there is a major flaw because Jesus did no wrong yet He received all the bad as if He did all the evil Himself. Isn't that what 'karma' means - you reap what you sow?

Allow me to share with you a secret. 'Karma' is not something new. It can be found majorly in the Old Testaments which basically depends on one's actions and good deeds. Do good, get good (blessed). Do bad, get sacked (cursed). Interestingly, there is a tendency that good and honest people die earlier than bad ones. If 'karma' is as you said, then who would want to be good?


Kaffein said...

Let me share the good news to you:
Jesus put an end to the 'bad karma' in our lives. At the cross He received all the bad we have done and gave us His goodness. He did no wrong, yet He received them - all the curses and rejections. In return we (the bad, naughty ones) received all His love, goodness and acceptance.

Wow... isn't it good news? I mean who would want to die for a bad person. Not me. Jesus came to give us a better way, one filled with hope and a good future. Those who receive His work at the cross will never have bad 'karma' in their lives. And I can assure you, I have done a fair bit of 'evil things' in my life. Truly I don't deserve this life of blessing I have now. But I wouldn't reject what I can receive from Jesus.

If 'karma' is just thinking and nothing big and major as you claim it to be, why then do we feel guitly when we do something bad? Who put that 'karma' thinking of right and wrong in our bodies? If someone put it there, then that someone must be good because most of us strive to be good.

But we know we can never be good enough. Because of these, we will continue to pursue thoughts that will always put us into bondage thinking that one fine day, our bad deeds will catch up with us. How can we truly enjoy the present and the now with such thinking?

Each day I will be more focused on watching my steps and continously looking over my shoulder with thoughts that just around the corner, something bad is waiting to jump on me. All because of some past bad deeds have a strangle-hold on me. Yet I don't want people to know about my bad deeds. How can I repay them? How much is enough to repay them?

Well, Jesus took our deeds upon Himself and died for them. So once and for all, He cleared our thoughts of debt.
Good news? Jesus put a crown of thorns on His head and took away all the bad thoughts and guilty conscience. When you receive Christ, you'll be free of depression and oppression.

I have come across many cynical and suspicious people - good people who think they don't deserve any good in their lives because the good things will end very soon. Their past will catch up with them. Such people don't enjoy life very much. If you receive Christ, you will be free from that.

I'll leave you with these words - Jesus said, "I came to give you life, and life more abundantly."

Merry Christmas and Blessed New year, Teabie and Anon.


Anonymous said...

Anon wishes everyone lives a life of kindness and good health.
And a world with less wars, too ideal to wish for no war. More peace and less divisive human created elements and natural disasters.
To be born is to die, a good ending to ones' life is as preferable as a good beginning and all in between.
All the best from; Yours Truly Anon.

Macrothinker said...

Hi Kaffiene, I have enjoyed this post although I found out later that I was two years late. I have stumbled upon your blog (literally) by chance. I was jumping from Redbean's My Singapore News to Feed Me to the Fish via my Favourites listing, and your blog appeared. This must be my New Year's blessing :)

Wishing you a blessed and joyful New Year!