“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord”(Luke 2:11).
Christianity is a religion of love and God of Christianity is God of love. John a disciple of Jesus said, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”(1 John 4:8). If we study all parts of the Bible we will start recognizing that we can summarize it as ‘Love’. The Bible teaches us not only to love each other but also how much God loves us.
Religions other than Christianity, especially nature religions, which serve idols, view God as very furious and strict being. They believe that if there is some fault in their behavior or they treat god neglectfully, they would immediately get severe curse or somehow be punished. Among idol believers, there are more people who serve god because they want to escape from his wrath and curse than those who want to get blessed. This trend is a common thread in many religions and their believers in this world. However Christianity isn’t among these religions. It teaches that God is love and emphasizes that the principle of the control of the earth is love. And it expresses that the relationship between God and man is the most intimate one.
We don’t express that the relationship between God and man is long distance like a heaven and the earth but it is the relationship between a loving father and his son. Man was parted far from God when he was disobedient, but the Bible teaches that when Jesus came to this world, God and man reunified and recovered the relationship of intimacy as a father and his son. John described this graceful and peculiar meaning as follows. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is it did not know him. Dear friends now we are children of God”(1 John 3:1,2).
This text, showed the impression about God’s endless love. It’s unfortunate that the world doesn’t believe in God or understand his followers, and their pride and self-confidence as his followers. God really accepts those who believe in Jesus as a Savior and takes them as his children, and he opens to them the path to true happiness.
Therefore even though the world doesn’t know God and believe in Jesus, those who do believe understand their status as children of God is a privilege, and are pleased and satisfied because of that.
God sent his only son Jesus, with whom God has been together from eternity, to the world and let him die on the cross for the sins of human beings, who had no way out but to die and be destroyed, and take them as his loving children. When we know this, we feel deeply impressed by the big sacrifice and sincere love. John wrote about this, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16). Surprising isn’t it? We can’t understand, with our imaginations, the sincere love that God let his one and only Son die to save man. Man, who was to perish for his disobedience, and save him and let him have eternal life.
Then, was there any other way that Almighty God wouldn’t have to give his Son over to death? Generally the public righteousness is not controlled by a private one but follows a principle. It’s public righteousness not to change a promise and a law once it is set.
Human beings must die because of the principle, “When you eat of it you surely die”(Genesis 2:17). It’s extending the unfortunate event forever to live eternally with a seed of disobedience. Because the nature of sin was inherited to the descendants and they also committed sin, and there is no one without sin. So the whole world is full of sin nowadays. Therefore all human beings have a destiny of death. However, God couldn’t stand seeing the human beings, who he had made by himself and wanted to live with happily forever, dying.
Therefore a plan was made to let man live forever, by paying for man’s sin and mending the nature of man’s sin. God sent his son, Jesus to the world, let him change man’s spirit and die on the cross to compensate the sin of man. This is the peculiar truth that shows his public righteousness and unconditional love.
Because there was only one way, God experienced this hardship. Why there was only this way? There was no man who can compensate for man’s sin. This is because there was no man without sin. And there wasn’t any man who could carry the burden of the sin all human beings. This is because there was no man who had same value of all human beings. Even great men like Confucius, Buddha, Mohammad or Socrates, were also born with heredity and character of sin as the descendents of Adam. Therefore even though they did good things, they couldn’t escape from their destiny of the sin inherited from their ancestors. However, Jesus is different from the average man. He has humanity as well as divinity. He is the divine Son of God. He created the world with God- with his hands he created the human race. Therefore there was no one else who can correct our true character and compensate for our sins.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross”(Philippians 2:6-8).
“He is the image of the invisible God the first born over all creation… all things were created by him and for him…. and in him all things hold together”(Colossians 1:15-17). Because of this, an apostle Peter cried the following loudly in front of a crowd of thousands. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”(Act 4:12).
No other one but Jesus can saved us from sin and the result of sin. Therefore God sent his beloved son to this world for doomed human beings. Now, let’s study how the Son of God came to the world with human nature.
At the far west of Asia near the Mediterranean Sea lay the province of Palestine. There was a town called Nazareth in Galilee the north district of the country.
Joseph, a carpenter lived there and was engaged to a Virgin Mary. Then one day Joseph heard a strange rumor. This is recorded in Bible as follows. “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him an a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”(Matthew 1:18-20).
Here the details of the story are not recorded but the angel must have had Joseph understand that what is conceived in Mary is “a descendent of woman” who God promised early, and the Messiah Israel have been looking forward to waiting, or let him recognize the word which a prophet Isaiah said 700 years ago, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”(Isaiah 7:14), and let him free from the doubt and be sure about the Messiah(‘Messiah’ is Hebrew language and same as ‘Christ’in Hellas. That means King so, Jewish people used to this as Savior. And ‘Immanuel’ means ‘God is with us’). The angel said to Joseph that, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). (The meaning of Jesus is ‘Jehovah is Savior’). So Joseph didn’t hesitate to take Mary as the angel of God told him.
Meanwhile, an angel appeared to Virgin Mary and gave her the following news:
“Greetings you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you…. you will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus”(Luke 1:28, 31).
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I’m a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy spirit will come upon you, and the power on the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”(Luke 1:34, 35)”.
Mary also thought it was strange and was afraid, but after listening to the precise explanation of an angel, she realized what an honor it was that the Messiah, who all the Israel people wanted and waited, would be born through her and expressed her faith with courtesy. “I’m the Lord’s servant, may it be as you have said”(Luke 1:38).
With the modern science, it cannot be possible and understood that a virgin who has never been with a man has a baby. But in the Bible, a lot of these supernatural miracles recorded. Furthermore, in actual life there are a lot of odd things that cannot be explained. So is it okay that we deny all the things that we cannot explain? God who created the world with the word can do anything. Like David, we’d better confess with courtesy that; “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain”(Psalm 139:6).
It in the middle of the census set-up in Bethlehem, that the young couple, Joseph and Mary went to their regal domicile Bethlehem to register their family. But because of a lot of people, not only inn but also all the houses and town are full of people. They couldn’t find any place to stay and had to spend the night in a stable. Mary gave birth to Jesus and wrapped him with swaddling cloths and lay him down in a manager that night. At the same time there were some shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks and studying on a hill outside the city of Bethlehem. They were tired of the chaos of the world at that time and were looking forward to the Messiah who would change the world. Then suddenly an angel came and shed the bright light all around and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be the sign to you; You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”(Luke 2:10-12).
This sound of praise which spread out widely through broad hills and valleys, songs of blessings that would come through Jesus. There is peace and calm in those who accept Jesus. There will be only the peace not conflict when Jesus is in control. Jesus is the “King of Peace”.
The shepherds entered into the city of Bethlehem and found baby Jesus wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger and bowed to him, and worshipped his s the angel had instructed.
And from a far eastern country, doctors who recognized that the Savior would be born when they saw the strange star, came to Bethlehem, and worshiped the baby Savior and gave him very valuable gifts: gold, fragrance and myrrh and so on, and returned home. They didn’t forget the words of old writings, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel”(Numbers 24:17).