Has it ever happened at your house? You put away a Christmas gift so no one will know where it is but you. Then, you don’t even know where you put it? Or . . . you put away a special something so you will remember especially where the special something has been put. Only to go to find the special something has become very illusive . . . and finding the special something out of the question?
It happened at our house. It was time to put up the Christmas decorations. The nativity is a favorite. As I carefully arranged the pieces, I realized there was no BABY JESUS in the box! This seemed impossible. We looked through the box. We looked through the other boxes. We looked through ALL the boxes . . . there was no baby Jesus. I was most distraught! How could you have a nativity scene without the most important piece? Sort of like . . . how can you have CHRISTMAS without CHRIST?
My second son, Leighton, was a young boy at this time. He was always doing thoughtful things for his mama. Sometimes he brought me flowers – this time he brought me something else. With his little pocket knife, he had taken a piece of wood and carved a baby Jesus for the nativity scene. It was the ugliest, most beautiful baby Jesus, ever.
We wrapped it in our form of “swaddling clothes” and laid it in the manger. The scene was complete.
Each Christmas I muse once more about this happening, and this year it took on even more meaning. As I reflected on baby Jesus, my mind went to the real reason of His coming. He came to bring us salvation! To redeem us from the awfulness of sin. To rescue us from ourselves!
In remembering the manger, I was reminded of the Cross. The Babe in the manger, so innocent, so tiny came with a death sentence. A death sentence that should have been mine. Yet, He willingly came and took this for me. And not just for me, but for ALL who would receive this most precious gift of salvation and have eternal life through Jesus Christ.
The Cross was the ugliest, most beautiful event in history. Isaiah 52:14 puts it like this, “As many as were astonished at thee—His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.”(KJV)
“Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness”(NIV)
“Just watch my servant blossom! Exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd! But he didn’t begin that way. At first everyone was appalled. He didn’t even look human— a ruined face, disfigured past recognition. Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback, kings shocked into silence when they see him. For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes, what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.”(MSG)
He is come. Love is come for you . . . for me. Many in the Bethlehem town hurried by and missed Him.
Many outside Jerusalem saw Him on the Cross but didn’t recognize Who He was.
Today, may we see with Holy Spirit filled eyes, and receive once again, the ugliest, most beautiful gift ever given — Jesus Christ.
Look for this post on Thursday 12/22/16!!