“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out
a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”
Read Luke 2:1-7
At this time of year we celebrate Christ’s first coming. We remember the wonderful
redemptive fact of Christ’s birth. In comparison to the sober account
given to us in Luke 2, the commercialization of this event by the world and
the romanticizing of it by many churches is a sharp contrast with the biblical
account. Luke emphasized that this event is not just a nice story, but real history.
One can make up a story, but history tells us what took place at a certain
location at a particular time. The time of Christ’s birth has been accurately
related: when Caesar was the governor in Rome and Cyrenius of Syria. His
birthplace was also accurately recorded as Bethlehem. This was an insignificant
village compared to Rome. However, according to biblical history, this
town provided great hope and expectations for centuries. It was the royal city
of David. According to God’s timetable, His Son would be born there, and it
came to pass in those days. Redemptive history was being fulfilled.
God wrought salvation through His Son to the extent of our depravity and
deep fall. This truth provides real hope for sinners whose conscience accuses
them that they stand guilty in God’s sight. When we no longer see a
way out, the Lord has already made provision for a guilty people. In this
way, light begins to dawn on the horizon. Your redemption is near. The Lord
Jesus has come to seek and to save that which is lost. That is why there is
hope for you too.
The gospel of Christ’s birth is not a made up story, nor has it been given to
provide a false sense of security. Christ’s birth is salvation history. Happy
are those who hold fast to this miraculous event in spite of everything that
takes place in their lives. This message is still proclaimed in the church of
God today. Go to the Lord and stand in awe of His unspeakable gift!
Thought: What is the relationship between your personal history and God’s
Psalter 243:1,2 (based on Psalm 89)
In vision to His saints God spake: From out the people one I take,
A mighty leader, true and brave, Ordained, exalted, strong to save,
Ordained, exalted, strong to save.
My chosen servant I appoint, With holy oil his head anoint;
My hand with him shall remain, My arm his strength shall well sustain,
My arm his strength shall well sustain