Christ Comes to Us From God’s Broken Heart

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

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

15 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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2: 8-19

The birth of Jesus, who was the Son of God, is celebrated at Christmas. We celebrate with warm nostalgia all that surround  that Bethlehem scene. After the shepherds heard the divine initiative of “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, and goodwill toward men” they widely made known the sayings made known to them. Yet we read in Luke 2:8-19 that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. What did she ponder?

At creation God created a perfect world our parents Adam & Eve were created perfect and God said it is good. Then came the fall of man and with that fall sin, we too are fallen. Alienated from God we are a broken people desperate for healing and restoration.

Christmas tells us God’s heart is broken. The action of sending His Son shows how much He loves us. He wants to restore us to Himself. Christmas is for the whole world. As we celebrate this season with family times and friends let us ponder as Mary did what this season is “shouting” to us. God is saying to each of us that He cares for us and the proof of that is in the manger, Jesus. Yes God wants to heal and restore us to Himself at a great cost. How can this baby restore us and bring us back to God. Across the manager falls the shadow of a cross because Jesus was born to die. Not in death as we all suffer but in an atoning sacrifice that brings eternal life! Only Jesus could do this for us. He came to take our place and to die our death. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God , through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is In Christ Jesus , whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance  God passed over the sins that we previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

As we ponder that baby in the manager– how those tiny hands would be pierced with nails, how that sweet brow would someday grace a crown of thorns!  God’s heart was was broken. Jesus the Christ became sin for us so we could have the remission of sins. Hosanna what a Savior!  Ask yourself as you pass by another Christmas—Is it nothing to you that His Blood was shed? Oh perishing world, to you He cries.

~Nick Laninga

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