There has been an advert on UK TV by a well-known, international children’s charity which states “No child is born to die”. The purpose is to highlight the plight of the millions of children around the world who have little prospect of survival due to lack of water, food and clothing. However, in my mind, I saw another slogan: “This child was born to die” and that is the greater truth which is the awesome answer to world poverty.
Today Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah sent by God. He came to bring LIFE where there`s no hope of anything but death. Whilst many children die at, or soon after, birth, Jesus was THE child born to die. His purpose in being Incarnate was to provide the true substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of us all, and, to do that, Jesus, the Son of God had to live. What did His Mum feel about that? I wonder.
At the beginning of the story young Mary had some pretty amazing encounters with heavenly messengers, as did her husband-to-be, Joseph. We read that Mary was a thinker, who treasured things up in her heart for later consideration. Did she understand the true significance of the ‘sword will pierce your heart’ prophecy from Simeon? Would she have coped if she knew the detailed ending of her son’s life? Any of us who have lost our children know the trauma of that ending, whether through illness, accident or design. But to know at birth is even more difficult. For Mary, her son`s birth was with the purpose of His future death, and our salvation.
Jesus came with the invisible label attached “this child is born to die”. It`s really beyond our understanding, and was probably so for Mary and Joseph too. But they didn`t need to understand, just to trust and believe.
As we gather to enjoy our Christmas festivities, maybe with family, friends, or as we serve the less fortunate in our communities, the death of Jesus and His resurrection give us greater reason to celebrate. It`s not being morbid, but being real. This was His purpose – He was born to die, and without this incredible truth there`s no hope for you, for me or for all those millions of impoverished human beings in our sad world.
I pray that you will have a Happy Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus, given extra meaning through the new birth into eternal life which we`ve received through Him.
Prayer: Praise You, Jesus, for coming to this earth as a baby, in order to save Your people from their sins. Thank You that we`re included as Yours and we celebrate Your coming with Your family everywhere around the world today. Amen.
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