James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Who could ever have dreamed up something as incredible as the birth and meaning of Jesus? Only the Creator of the universe! Truth is always much more interesting than fiction.

Everything about the gospel message is fantastic. The creator dying for the created. The judge paying the penalty for the guilty. The God of the universe laying aside his royalty, being born in human form in a lowly stable to not only become the servant, but to suffer and die on a cross in the most humiliating way, as the perfect sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. Who could think up something like this? Only God. Only he could make it believable - because it was truth. All of the pagan religions would only be shallow copies of God's mind from the beginning of creation, only deceptive imitations.

It was not that simple. There were great concepts that had to be played out. The Messiah could not be born with a sin nature, thus a virgin birth. Stranger than fiction, certainly. Both Joseph and Mary were visited by angels in order to prepare them for their roles.

There were many angel visitations surrounding this amazing arrival of God's only begotten Son. First, the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, who were terrified. And then a great host of angels appeared praising God and bringing the gospel news.

The angels themselves are very interesting. They are very involved in all the affairs here on earth and many are here for the express purpose of ministering to us and for us, the heirs of salvation. They are continually warring with the fallen angels and assisting us in spiritual warfare.

The angels were extremely interested in God's plans for mankind, especially in Jesus' role on earth and the plan of redemption, human beings and how this salvation would play itself out. I believe they were thrilled to be seeing it begin to unfold. The Bible tells us that the angels wondered at all of this, and in our own roles as humans in this, since the angels are not redeemed from sin as we are through Christ's sacrifice. We are never to worship angels but we can be very thankful for them as God's ministering agents to us in our earthly life. They surround us.

Jesus. The Messiah. Fully God, fully human. Sinless. Emmanuel: "God with us."

Amazing story. Amazing truth. Amazing grace.

The complexities in the gospel story can never be exhausted by our human minds and understanding. We should never let this event become trite through annual celebration. There are vast depths to be mined, more than we can understand in our lifetimes. We should finder deeper meaning, deeper praise each year.

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