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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

12.20.16 // Expecting the Messiah: When God Became a Man

At Christmas time, we focus on the birth of Christ. We’ve already spent several days discussing the humble beginnings of Jesus’ earthly life. Let’s take a look at a prophecy written long before Jesus’ birth about what Jesus’ earthly life would look like. He started off with humble beginnings and continued on in humility with His death on the cross.

Isaiah 52:13 53:12
“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turnedevery oneto his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”

This is our God who became a man.

A humble appearance with no beauty, majesty, or form that we should look upon Him with desire.

A humble spirit that bore the sins of the world, ridicule of men, shame of nakedness, cruel pain of the cross, and inner turmoil of His Father turning away at His darkest hour.

A humble attitude that kept silent when He was shamed, falsely accused, beaten, and crucified, even though He knew that He was innocent of any wrongdoing. Rather, He humbly bore the punishment because the ones He deeply loved US were guilty.

The birth, life, and death of Christ is deeply marked with humility. The one man who had a right to share in the glory of the Father the Son of God walked in humility. From being born a helpless babe who slept in a feeding trough to being falsely accused and murdered, He remained humble. Philippians 2 reminds us that Jesus didn’t consider equality with God as something to be grasped while He was fulfilling His earthly mission. He did not lose His deity while on earth; rather, He humbled Himself and took the form of a servant so as to accomplish the Lord’s will to appease God’s wrath for sin by providing a sufficient sacrifice so that sinful man (US) could have a restored relationship with the Father! Thank you, Jesus for choosing to humbly accept Your calling. Because of Your obedience, we can be saved!

This Christmas, thank God for the whole of Jesus’ life not just that He was born, but that He was faithful in His ministry, faithful to endure the wrath of God on the cross, and faithful to die because WE are sinners. Thank Him for His deep love for you. Thank Him for His humble example. Thank Him for living a perfect life so that you could be saved from your sins. Thank Him for remaining humbly obedient to the Father no matter the cost. Ask Him to give you the strength and guidance to live a humble life as Jesus did. As you look upon a Nativity scene at the tiny babe in the manger, remember what He came to earth to do save you. Worship the Jesus Christ this Christmas season because He chose to come for you!

Merry Christmas!

Always, Jacquelyn

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