A SAVIOR KING IS BORN
Matthew 1:1-2:12; Luke 1:1-2:38
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. And what I love most about Christmas is that it is a time to celebrate that our Hope has come. After thousands of years of waiting, in the fullness of time, God sent forth his Son (Gal 4:4). After centuries of the people of God looking forward to the One who was to come, Jesus finally came. Christmas is a time to remember the faithfulness of God and to rejoice in the salvation he brings through Jesus.
While these scenes of the Christmas story are familiar to us, their significance may not be. Here are three observation about who Jesus is and why he came from these first stories of our King.
1. Jesus fulfills all the promises and hopes of the Old Testament. Matthew starts his gospel by telling us that this Jesus is the son of David, the son of Abraham. This is not just a note on his family history. It is a declaration that the promised son – a promise given to both men – has now come. The angel tells Mary that this Jesus will sit on the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32). He is the coming King to reign forever (2 Sam 7:13). He is the one through whom God will bless all the families of the earth – the beginnings of which we see in the coming of the Wise Men – (Gen 12:3). Every promise and every hope now finds its yes and amen in him.
2. Jesus was humble in coming to the earth. Beyond the fact that Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, humbled himself to come to the earth (Phil 2:6-7), the way in which he came was a display of humility. He was born to working-class peasants. He was born in a barn and laid in a feeding trough. No great palace of kings. No great fanfare at his coming. Just a lowly family, treasuring their son and the quite truth that he would one day be King over all. What a humble beginning!
3. Jesus was born to die. Mary and Joseph, at the command of the angel, name the baby Jesus. The name is found in the Old Testament as Joshua. It means “the Lord saves.” Jesus was born to be the savior of his people. Yet, he would save them in an unexpected way – by laying down his life. He was born to save his people from their sins (Matt 1:21). And the only way to do that was to be the perfect sacrifice himself. Even from the beginning of his life, his death was in view. Christmas and Easter are inseparably connected. As John Donne once wrote: “There is an inseparable line from the créche to the cross.” From the créche to the cross, from the cave manger to the Calvary mount, from the swaddling cloths to the grave clothes, we see this truth: Jesus was born to die.