December 18, 2012
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 18 DECEMBER 2012
The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of the Savior. In select passages of their inspired writings, they revealed what is the called the “deity,” or “God-nature,” of the Messiah, who is Jesus. For instance, David, in Psalm 2:7, wrote that the Messiah (Jesus) is God’s only begotten Son. Isaiah 9:6 declares the Messiah’s title to be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father [i.e. “One who is eternally a Father with respect to His people;” that is, “He acts toward them like a Father”], Prince of Peace.” The prophet Micah (5:2) wrote, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” None but the Lord God himself could rightly possess such titles. Jeremiah 23:6 proclaims the Messiah is “The Lord our Righteousness.” Clearly, the Old Testament writers foresaw that the Promised One would me more than merely a mortal man.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, rev. ed. [1943; reprint, New York: Collier Books, 1960] 55-56).
As we contemplate biblical passages and Bible doctrine, it should be evident who the Child's birth is that we celebrate during this time of the year. He was very much a newborn baby who would mature as a true man. He is the Promised One who would “bruise the head” of Satan and destroy his influence upon the earth at His second coming. He is the Anointed One of God who has been identified as the most unique person in the history of the world.
He is the prophesied Lamb of God who was born to die on the cross at Calvary, as a sinless substitute for sinful humanity, and thereby satisfy the wages of sin and remove the consequences of sin for those who trust in Him.
He is the death-conquering Savior who rose literally from the dead and conquered sin and death once for all time, so that those who have been redeemed may be free from the power and slavery that sin and death maintain in this world.
He is the Prince of Peace who will bring internal peace to those He has saved and external peace when He returns a second time to establish His eternal reign throughout the heavens and earth.
He is God the Son who loved the world so much that He would lay aside the eternal glory and majesty that attended Him in heaven, to become a man—a servant—who would give His life to death in obedience to His Father’s will, so that those who believe and trust in Him would receive His life for eternity.
He is the Child born to die. Those three words, “born to die,” state simply and clearly that our Lord Jesus Christ laid aside His glory, majesty, and rights as God Almighty and took upon Himself the nature of a man. Speaking of the reason He came, but even more so the attitude that was His during His humiliation, Philippians 2:5-11 states:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Son of God became the Servant of God when He became the Son of Man. Fully God in His nature, He took to Himself the full nature of man. Being fully God and fully man, He would be able to reconcile men and women to God the Father in a manner that would satisfy the holy justice of God the Creator, and make provision for sinful humanity. Second Corinthians 5:19 reads, Jesus Christ “was reconciling [bring back into fellowship or friendship] the world unto Himself [in Christ, by means of Jesus’ death and resurrection], not counting their trespasses [missing the standard of God’s perfection to spend eternity with Him] again them” [that is you and me who live by faith in God’s dear Son].
Jesus of Nazareth is the Child, who as a Man, gave His life so by grace through faith in His work alone, we may live with Him in the fullness of His glory for eternity. What a wonderful message to seize our thoughts during this Christmas season!! The Psalmist asked, "Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory" (Ps 24:10). Therefore, in the words of the popular Christmas carol: “Let every heart, prepare Him room.”
Yours in Christ,