One of the most powerful stories in the Bible and indeed the basis on which Christianity was born is that God Almighty came in the flesh to live among men. Every year Christians all over the world celebrate this miracle in the form of Christmas.
The Christmas season is one time of the year when joy and merriment are in the air like spices on a windy day. We all love Christmas but often forget the important messages embedded within the Christmas story. This is often a result of the many to-dos around the season which doesn't avail us the opportunity to truly reflect on the message of the season.
We all at some points had our fair share of the Christmas running around, and that makes it hard to sit and reflect. There are several ways you can end up achieving this but one way that is most helpful and stress-free is through Christian mobile apps. A good example is the Blessify.com app.
The Blessify App comes in handy by keeping you on track for visible spiritual growth. With a lot of contextual prayers, bible verses, stories & revelations from the Blessify community, the App helps you stay motivated and spiritual... Now back to our Christmas story.
To fully understand and appreciate the miracle of Christmas and its hidden messages, it is expedient we understand what the world looked like before the birth of Jesus Christ. These Bible verses can studied on a personal retreat with the Blessify app's all encompassing Bible study features.
It was a world under the influence of the enemy. God created man and placed him in the garden of Eden with the dominion to govern and rule the earth. But the devil came and deceived man into rebelling against God, and as a result, man lost all the dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28). From this moment, creation was fallen. For the first time, death reigned, and with it, all of its counterparts: sickness, disease, and suffering.
Since the fall, man couldn't approach God except by the blood of a pure blameless lamb. This process became the Law of atonement given to Moses. Thus, man's relationship with his creator was through the blood of a third party; a blameless lamb of sacrifice.
Certainly, a fallen creation wasn’t God’s original will. Animal sacrifice was only meant as a temporary solution to point to what would later come: the redemption plan devised from the beginning. This is what Peter announced. Before the Creation, God had a plan in place that His Son, Jesus, would come to earth to be the final, once-for-all sacrificed Lamb of God ( 1 Pet. 1:19–20). As the Lamb who was slain, Jesus would destroy the works of the enemy: the power of sin and all its effects.
The birth of Jesus Christ brought to life the eternal lamb of sacrifice which ended all yearly sacrifices. Thus, Christmas is the celebration of the word becoming flesh and dwelling among men. Now we explore even deeper hidden messages of the Christmas story.
Christ the "newborn King" could have been born anywhere in Israel except Bethlehem, he could have been born in Jerusalem the city of his ancestor King David. But Christ was born in Bethlehem for a reason, it was not a coincidence that Joseph and Mary had to return to Bethlehem for the census, and it was a coincidence either that Jesus was born during this visit.
Bible scholars report Bethlehem is the city where lambs purchased for sacrifice in the temple were born and raised. In fact, every firstborn male lamb in Bethlehem was set aside to later be delivered to Jerusalem. And so was the Lamb of God.
The Old Testament is the time and shadow of the reality of the New Testament. If Bethlehem is the birthplace of the sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament, it has to be for the sacrificial lamb of the New Testament. God works in processes and often in circles.
Luke’s account chronicles that after Mary delivered baby Jesus, she and Joseph had to settle upon resting Him in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothing. Once again, this wasn’t the product of mere coincidence. It wasn’t only because “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). But rather, it was ordered by God as a prophetic setting for Jesus’ destiny as a lamb.
A manger is “phatne” in Greek, which is simply another word for a feeding trough. Of course, such a place is suitable for a lamb. Fittingly, it’s where the Lamb of God spent His first days.
A region known for raising lambs should also be known for shepherds. Bethlehem was no exception. The Christmas story continues with the visitation of angels who directed nearby shepherds to tend to the newborn Jesus ( Luke 7:8–20).
It’s only appropriate that shepherds were the first to visit Jesus. After all, it is a shepherd’s responsibility to tend to the birth of infant lambs. Little did they know they were tending to the birth of their final sacrificial lamb.
Matthew 2:11 Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
After the birth of Jesus, his star appeared in the heavens and attracted the Wise men from the east to pay homage and worship the born King. The Wise Men offered Jesus more than homage. They prepared significant gifts for him, at tremendous cost and effort. This royal visit shows that Jesus was not just the lamb of sacrifice but also a King.
In the ancient world, gold was the most common gift for royalty. This gift recognized Jesus’s kingship. Frankincense was an incense used by priests to worship God in the temple. This gift points us toward Jesus’s priestly role as our mediator before God. But it also hints at his deity, as one who is worthy to receive the worship incense suggests. Myrrh is a spice used in embalming the dead. This gift is prophetic of Jesus’s suffering and death, endured on the cross to save us from our sins.
There is nothing in the Christmas story that happened coincidentally, everything was strategically planned and played out as God's intimate will to redeem mankind. The Chrismas story shows that Jesus Christ, the lamb of God and King of Zion, came to the earth to redeem us from sin, the devil, and eternal condemnation.