The ‘Miracle’ of Christmas

Christmas is almost with us again. The excitement and fever is building up, as the stress levels of adults and children increase by the day, ramped up by the retail trade, who have come to depend on big sales at Christmas to increase their profits. It should be a time when Christ is at the forefront of our minds, but sadly, life becomes so busy around Christmas time that Christ can be pushed out of our thoughts.

Now, if we do manage to give some thought to Christ at Christmas, what do our thoughts centre upon? Is it what we call ‘the miracle of the virgin birth’ or do we dig deeper. The fact of the matter is that there was no miracle in the birth of Jesus. It was a natural process which every mother goes through as part of normal life. The birth itself was not a miracle, even although the mother was a virgin. Yet the virgin birth lays upon us the really big question: if there was no male involved in His conception, how was He conceived? The answer is that His conception was a miracle. In fact the conception of Jesus Christ was the biggest, and the most astounding miracle of all. There is nothing to compare with what took place in the conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of the virgin Mary, that is, the womb of a sinner. This miracle stands alone among all miracles.

There, God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, entered and took a created human nature into permanent union with His own eternal divine person! That is the miracle of Christmas, not the birth of Christ, but what we call the incarnation, that is the enfleshment of God the Son. What followed from that miracle was the development of the embryo through the normal and natural process to full term in the normal, natural time; and then the birth; again normal and natural in every way. I have used the description ‘normal and natural’ three times in the last sentence, because it is so important.

The miracle was in the conception. The practice and doctrines of the early church, which we call the ‘Apostolic Church’ are of crucial importance to the church in all ages. It is the authoritative pattern which we must follow. There we find that little attention was paid to the celebration of the birth of Christ, but much about the miraculous conception. The words of John 3:16 are among the most well known of all scripture verses, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That was the greatest act of ‘giving’ of all time, and it took place at the conception of Jesus ]Christ, not at His birth. To take one other text, in John 1: 14, “The Word, (that is the eternal Son of God) was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

Let us then think a little deeper about Christmas, and let us be amazed at what God has done for sinners. The more we think about it the more our amazement grows. Perhaps we might even feel compelled to fall on our knees and worship Him and receive Him that we might get RightWithGod this christmas,

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Invisible and Visible

In Revelation chapter 4 we are given an amazing revelation of the throne of God, and some idea of the glory that surrounds it. In verse 2 we are told that there was One sitting on the throne. In verse 3 we are told that the One sitting on the throne was a He, a male person. There follows a mysterious description of that Person: “Like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance”. How are we to interpret these words? There is little to be gained by studying these stones. After all our studies we know no more about the appearance of the person than we did before. All we can say is that there was  a person on that throne that could not be described in words, What it does point to is One who is invisible, but yet a real Person. It was the throne of God, and God Himself sat on  the throne, the Invisible God; Invisible because God is a spirit.

Now when we move forward to Chapter 5, we read that there was a book in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. We shall look at this book later because we want to focus our attention on another Person who appears. This Person is different from the Person in Chapter 4. This person is visible; in fact He is man. He is called by two strange names, “The Lion of the tribe of Judah”, and “the Root of David”. These are two names used elsewhere in the bible for the Lord Jesus Christ. However He was no ordinary man because He alone was able to take the book out of the hand of the One that sat on the throne. This  was because He was God as well as man.

So in Chapter 3 we have on the throne God invisible. In Chapter 4 we have God visible, the Lord Jesus Christ, taking this mysterious book out of the hand of God invisible on the throne.  Clearly this is God the Son taking the book out of the hand of God the Father, Let us now take a look at this book itself.

This was a most unusual book, It would not be a ‘book’ like the books we are used to. It would be a scroll. and we read that it was written on both sides, back and front, suggesting that there was no space for additions. This was God’s plan for the history of the world. In Chapter 5 we have the wonderful picture of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ taking the book out of the hand of God the Father, agreeing thereby to carry through the history of the world.  We read in psalm 40, verse 8 of the loving spirit in which this was done: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea thy law is within my heart”.

What a comfort it is to the believer, that the Lord Jesus Christ is God visible. It means that when we get to heaven we shall see Him with our very eyes, and be able to enjoy Him forever more.

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