The importance given to creation of man is evident from the one simple statement, “Let us make man”, for the Lord sought the cooperation of the other members of the Holy Trinity for this. The act of breathing life into the pile of dust is an act of sowing of a part of Himself by God for only in that way can man be in the image and likeness of God. The light that was placed in the soul of man was covered by darkness after disobedience but the inner urge to know God remains in mankind due to this. Lord Jesus’ coming is a step by God the Father to reignite that spark of His light in us to help in our transformation into what we were and are supposed to be.
Sowing of God’s Divine light – Apostle John’s statement that “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” illustrates an important aspect of life in man (John 1:4). God had warned Adam and Eve of imminent death on eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and this death was due to their separation from God and hiding of that ‘light’ in mankind by the “garments of skin”. The life in Lord Jesus and the light thereof reconnects us to God through His sacrifice on the cross and forgiveness of our sins. This light provides us that all important connect with God to give us life from our deadness in sin. Man’s efforts to reach God on his own terms and efforts are bound to failure and confusion for this aims at creating a name for self rather than glorifying God like the erection of Tower of Babel (Genesis 6).
Any attempt on our part to create any impact in the heavenly realm while living on the earth is bound to fail for that is an act of rebellion against God to become equal to Him. However, we can tap into the heavenly resources through prayers to influence activities in the earthly realm. To create any impact on the earthly creatures, the source of that power must be from outside, for after sin mankind surrendered their dominion rights to the devil. Since he is in control, he would make all efforts to stop losing his dominion. His attempt during the temptation of the wilderness was one such and when the first two tricks failed, he tried the direct approach. After showing the glory of earthly kingdoms to the Lord, he offered, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9).
Not only must the New Light be from outside the earthly atmosphere, he must be from God for the original light in Adam was from Him. This light must be able to overcome the darkness of sin of the world and not succumb to it. After awakening the hidden glory in man by lighting up the extinguished lamp, he must empower those who receive him to stay lit and not fall back into the control of darkness. He must become part of this world to create the needed impact for the lost kingdom being restored to man must first be retaken by man himself from the devil. In the process of creation God was not part of the world though His glory was revealed by the Son. He must enter the earthly realm through the established laws of God and not otherwise, thus the natural birth through a woman. The seed must perish to reemerge as a new plant though of the same kind. God sent His Son to be born of a woman, to die for us as propitiation for our sins and resurrected Him from the dead on the third day, victorious over sin and death. The seed planted in the believers changes them to get transformed into “His image and likeness” and resist the forces of darkness and to light up others.
The right time – “But when the right time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” and the birth of Lord Jesus fulfilled all conditions. The 400 years long gap from the period of Prophet Malachi to His coming was a time of complete darkness for no word was received by anyone on the earth. During this period God allowed many events to take place to bring in the right time.
Israelites were overpowered by other kingdoms and carried as slaves to different regions. Being far from Jerusalem and the Temple, wherever ten Jews could gather together they established Synagogues to worship God. Later Alexander conquered the world and Greek language, philosophy and building designs were strictly imposed. Greek language and thought became the common way of life. Though Hebrew and Aramaic was spoken by Jews, Greek became the common means of communication and Apostle Paul, a scholar of Hebrew, chose to write His epistles in Greek. Later the Roman Empire did try to impose Latin as the common language but failed and allowed status quo to continue. The Romans built roads and established sea routes to make travel all over their Empire easy. Since they had few soldiers on ground, they enforced strict adherence to their laws and crucifixion was used to punish criminals to create dread in the hearts of others. Local religious leaders were allowed to propagate their religion but appointment of High Priest was changed from hereditary, heirs of Aaron, to those chosen by the Roman authorities.
The Maccabean revolt to safeguard Jewish religious values led to creation of various sects – Pharisees and Sadducees etc who claimed to be guardians of the faith. LOGOS must suffer extreme cruelty and die on the cross to take upon Himself all punishment that was our due to redeem us and this news must reach all corners of the earth. Persecution of the first century church led to scattering of believers to various parts of the world, ensuring preaching of the Gospel to all.
Sowing of the Light – Lord Jesus through His ministry of more than three years on the earth through His teachings ensured a clear differentiation of light and darkness. The indwelling Holy Spirit by revealing the mysteries of the Scripture and ‘convicting us of sin’ fulfills this further. The Savior Messiah proclaimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matthew 28:18) and commanded all believers to operate in that same authority to fight evil forces. The promises of Scripture are His authority for us while the Holy Spirit empowers us to enforce the same. “God has given us the Spirit not of fear but of love, power and self control” (2 Timothy 1:7) and to use this power judiciously, we use self restraint. Holy Spirit and God’s commands create an urge within each one of us to reach out to others to light up their lives through our personal testimony of what God has done in our lives. James, brother of the Lord in his epistle exhorts us to do good to others as an exercise of faith (James 2:18) for the great commandment is to be like Him and reach out to others in His love.
Defeat to victory – God sending His Son into the world, the Son being rejected by His own, arrested, tortured and then crucified appears to be the biggest defeat for God. But God probably delights in such mysterious apparent defeats to gain an unimaginable victory, to sacrifice His Son to gain many more into His bosom. The Son also played His part to the full whereby the Father highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every other name that at the name of Lord Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). The devil would have been celebrating after the Son was nailed to the cross but his glee was short lived to see the same Son descending deep into the lower parts of the earth filling the darkness there with the light of His glory (Ephesians 4:9-10). All saints who were held captive below the earth were then led by the Lord captive into heaven (Ephesians 4:8-9).
Joseph was promised glory and power in his dreams but for fulfillment of the same, he had to be sold as a slave, be imprisoned for not succumbing to temptation of Potiphar’s wife, be forgotten by Pharaoh’s butler. But it was all planned by God and the butler remembered Joseph at the right time to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and be appointed number two in authority in the then most powerful nation in the world. Joseph acknowledged this before his brothers to say, “You sold me as a slave but God sent me before you to save lives” (Genesis 45:4-5). What would seen as a defeat for years was suddenly turned into victory and fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams by God.
But that is God’s way of making His Son empty Himself of all His Divine glory to become a child, dependent on others for sustenance and care to be the promised Redeemer of mankind. This is the way for us too, the way up is through descent into partaking of the Son’s suffering and the route to success is through Divinely appointed setbacks (Romans 8:17). Christmas is about witnessing the birth of the Creator as a child to suffer for others as a great display of God’s love for us.
Satan planned and could see only the cross but God saw the empty tomb and innumerable soldiers ready for His kingdom through faith in the resurrected Messiah. Lord Jesus’ mission did not end with His resurrection and the disciples were commanded to wait for the Comforter, The Holy Spirit, to receive power for exercising the authority of the Word. Holy Spirit is the Divine Light sown by God in every believer to shine bright in this world full of darkness to light the lamp of God’s glory in others in obedience to the Great Commission of making ‘disciples of all nations of the earth’.
The birth of the Savior as a child and that too in an animal shed for there was no room for Him in the inn is the message of coming for all ‘who are weary and heavy laden to give them eternal rest in Him. It had to be in Bethlehem for God’s Son had come to His own home, the place where Jacob was shown the ladder to reach God. Lord Jesus bridged that breach of sin to provide us access to the Father through Him.
The Magi were made aware by God about the three roles of the Son, King, Priest and His suffering and they offered their gifts accordingly. Crushing of the head of the devil was achieved by the Lord to signal to us to stand firm and resist the defeated ‘hungry lion’ to make him flee from us. Christmas is not about receiving and giving gifts but to appreciate and rejoice in the invaluable gift of the Son to al of humanity and getting transformed into His likeness to live His life in us.
True Christmas is to reach out to ‘bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners’. This and much more He did and this is what is expected of us.