Bear Creek Baptist Church
The Coming of the Lord
By Bruce Cannon
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2)
There are so many references in the Old Testament to the coming of the Lord. Every Passover lamb that was slaughtered pointed to that day when Messiah could come to pay for the sins of the world. The Ark of Noah was a foreshadowing of the salvation the Lord would provide when He came. Those who got into the Ark were spared the floor just as those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior will also be spared the judgment of God for sin. The covering God provided for Adam and Eve when sin entered into the world, through the killing of an innocent animal, also pointed to Jesus’ coming, salvation and forgiveness. He not only would cover sin when He came; He would pay the price for redemption and wash sin away.
The above text tells of the great light man would see when Jesus came into the world. And, what a great light it was! For four hundred years God had not spoken to His people. The last word they heard from the Lord was through Malachi’s prophecy and it was an indictment against the people of God. After that prophecy the Heaven’s would be silent. Once again man had allowed sin to dominate his existence and that always breaks fellowship with God.
And then four hundred years after Malachi’s prophecy it happened. A census was ordered. A journey by a young virgin and her espoused husband was taken. Micah prophesied the birth would take place in Bethlehem. The census moved Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where they could follow the ruling of Caesar Augustus to the place where the birth would take place just as it had been prophesied centuries earlier. The plan of God was being fulfilled to the letter just as it had been given.
Mary and Joseph arrive on time for the birth to take place in Bethlehem. Upon arrival a place for her to have the baby was sought, but there was no room. A stable and a manger would have to suffice. But what accommodations are these for such a noble birth? And yet, that is exactly where the King of Kings and Lord of Lords should be born. He, Jesus, is the great and faithful High Priest who would experience everything His creation, man, would have to experience. Does Jesus know what its like to be poor? Absolutely! He was born in poverty and raised much the same.
Upon His birth the night sky lights up with angels who proudly proclaim, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-14)
And, a star lights the night time sky as no star had ever done before. What was this star? Astronomers have tried to explain it being the lining up of planets to produce the bright light. But, I beg to disagree. I believe it was the smile of a Heavenly Father who, looking down upon His Son, beamed with pride and joy. Thus, the Savior of all mankind was born.
What an amazing story! I love Christmas because of what it means to all mankind: the payment for salvation was made through the Lord Jesus. What God required for the payment of sin only Jesus could pay. He who knew no sin died on a Cross that we might be forgiven, have a home in Heaven and be spared the judgment of God. Praise the Lord!
From my home and heart to yours: Merry CHRISTmas! May each of you know Him and e