“But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9)
The Christmas season has come and gone, and a new year has begun. While many are still recovering from all their holiday spending and eating, let us spend some time reflecting on the truths of the passage above in light of the recent celebrations.
Jesus the Babe
The accounts in the Bible of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem are well-known to almost anyone who has encountered Christmas. It doesn’t matter whether one is a Christian or not, all people across the planet that have witnessed or celebrated anything regarding the season, have seen the nativity scenes or plays and heard the accounts retold or read from the Bible. From the angel’s first announcements to Mary and Joseph, through to the events of that glorious day when Christ put on human skin, millions across the globe know much of the events.
Included in the events are the visits by the angels, the shepherds and the wise men from the East. The angels came to the shepherds in the field, honouring the fact that God had come as a babe and commanded the shepherds to seek Him out. When the shepherds arrived at the manger in Bethlehem they too worshipped His coming. Later the wise men arrived seeking to honour the baby who was born king of the Jews.
The scene we all know portrayed in nativity scenes and plays is of all the people present, gathered around the feeding trough and honouring the baby Jesus – even the animals are seen to be bowing their heads and remaining silent as they too honour Him. But as solemn, majestic and fitting that scene may be, especially since Jesus as God humbled Himself by becoming a man, we must be careful not to become sidetracked and remember Him only in that manner.
Jesus is No Longer a Babe
The truth of the matter is, as Luke reminds us, Jesus is no longer a baby in a crib, but grew up to be a man (see Luke 2:52). He grew in stature and later became the Rabbi who led twelve men, performed miracles, taught great truths about God and ultimately carried His own cross to be crucified by the people. That little baby in a manger in a small country town, died the death that none of us would wish on our worst enemy just eight kilometres from His birthplace. A death reserved for the worst of criminals and blasphemers, but a death that we know was far greater than that.
Jesus’ death on the cross resulted in the forgiveness of sins for all believers across the world for all eternity. A death we deserved to die ourselves but couldn’t, that restored those who are His into a right relationship with the Father. But more than that, after His death, Jesus was raised back to life and later ascended into heaven where He has been crowned with glory and honour because of that death.
The Ascended Jesus
And it is there, in His position of glory in Heaven that Jesus sits, interceding for us, and pleading our case before the Father. And it is there that we now look to – not the manger in Bethlehem, but the throne in Heaven. As Paul wrote, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
Yes it is wonderful thing to remember our Lord as the Babe born at Bethlehem. We should all celebrate Christmas and remember the fact that God put on human skin, but still more wonderful is to know Him now as the One who is seated at the right hand of the Father, where one day, “every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Just a Thought!
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