I drove home Friday night in the fog. I’ve driven Hwy. 7 over 100 times this year; I know it like a glove but in the fog, if I get distracted, I can forget where I’m at.
A young man once asked me, “What’s all this Christmas stuff really about?” A good question amidst the fog and distraction of the busyness of the season. I thought awhile and told him “Christmas is all about Jesus who came to earth to be among men and go to the cross.”
Even at Christmas, “the cross” should be at the center of all we do. The cross has seemed to lose its popularity over the years. Yes, it’s gory and bloody, but it is central to our faith; the idea of Jesus (God Incarnate) coming to earth. Remember the Christmas story, the angels, the virgin, the shepherds, and the manger? They all point to the cross. It was not a cosmic mistake that Jesus was sent to the cross. No, God the Father was not asleep when God, the Son, Jesus was handed over to the Roman authorities to be skewered to a tree for your sins and mine. It was the plan from the beginning.
Over 300 prophecies needed to be fulfilled for Jesus to be born that day in Bethlehem. It was God’s plan. But I wonder if we live in a fog, distracted from the full message of Christmas. God with us mere men, so God Himself, Jesus, could go to the cross for you and me.
Don’t get disheartened, sadly we are no different than generations before; yes, they were distracted also. After Jesus’ resurrection (Luke 24) we find two of Jesus disciples leaving Jerusalem, heads down, sad and disheartened. The Romans had killed their Messiah. They wanted an earthly Messiah, a king, not a heavenly one.
They are walking along a road when the resurrected Jesus comes by their side but disguises Himself and asks “what were you talking about as you walked along? " (Luke 24:17 CEV). In short they replied, “have you not heard all that has happened in the last week concerning Jesus from Nazareth? We thought He was going to be our Messiah, but He was handed over to the Roman authorities and killed.” To help them understand, Jesus took scripture and showed them what He had to suffer before He entered His Glory. Yes, God’s plan was for Jesus to suffer and die for our sins and rise again from the dead victorious over sin and death.
What do we get? We are sons and daughters of the Most High. We will live and reign with God eternally. Jesus will come again some day. He will come as King and Judge. Remember this, brothers and sisters, the manger is empty, the cross is empty, the tomb is empty. I am waiting for the day when God the Father turns to the Son and says, “Go get my people.” Jesus will rise from His seat at the right hand of God and come and get us. The seat on the right hand of God the Father will be empty also. God will be with us and we will be His people.
Let not the fog distract us this Christmas. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Come!
May God bless you and your family this Christmas season.