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Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas: The Plan

“If only we could just see God. If we could touch Him, and look Him right in the face. Yes, then we could believe the things that are written. Then we would have no trouble obeying His commandments. We would know for sure if only…?” Perhaps, that is why folks throughout the history of mankind have been so quickly convinced to make a god out of wood, stone or metal. So, okay, they wanted to see God with their own physical eyes. God had a plan so it was possible for the span of one human lifetime. However, just as is true for our own sojourn on earth, the lifetime had a purpose, a mission. When that mission had been completed, regardless of what anyone may have thought, the lifetime sojourn on earth was over. The Servant returned to His rightful place in Heaven.

Our original question was “Why Jesus and not Mohamed, Buddha or one of the millions of Hindu gods?” Well, the answer is simply one of history and logic. Of all the created beings or things that man has ever strove to worship as his god, there is only one who was there in the very beginning, Jesus. Anthropologist and archeologists have found evidence that mankind, as far back as the Neanderthals, had a spiritual belief system—so, at least 70,000 years ago if not longer. Fast forward 60,000 years or so, agriculture began to dot the landscape, adding more gods for the people to worship. We hit the fast forward button again, noting Hinduism joined the scene around 4000-2500 BC (or BCE.) Some suggest that Judaism was next on the scene around 2000 BC, though one might find evidence that it was earlier. Next, Buddha was born into a Hindu family. The belief system known as Buddhism was launched around 560-490 BC. Jesus’ birth marked a dramatic change in the way the world noted time. The years were now “in the year of our Lord” (AD) instead of BC, before Christ.* Mohamed was born around six hundred years later. By 622 AD, Islam had joined the world’s religions. No, if the plan should come out of the Creator’s drawing board, there was only one who was there before anything and anyone else, Jesus and only Jesus. None of the others had found a way to planet earth, until Jesus and the rest of the Creation Team, put him/it there. We know that wood and stone can be carved or chiseled to make images that people can set up on a shelf to worship, but we also know that they would not even be there as raw materials to carve or chisel if the Creation Team had not chosen to put them here in the first place!
 
Since the problem for the people was, clearly, one of obeying their Divine Creator, then it should be the responsibility of the Creator to come up with a plan. And what a plan it was! Jesus would leave Heaven, and spend time on earth. They would see Jesus. They would touch Him. They would hear Him speak of the very precepts and commandments that Father God had always held as the way for them to keep their own relationship with the Godhead solid. Then, when the fullness of time had come, Jesus would also provide the sacrifice for them, the final sacrifice. It was for this ultimate purpose that he had come.

Because they were expecting a fully grown, regal prince of a man to walk onto the stage, they were taken by surprise when Jesus’ life began just as theirs had, as a newborn baby. No, that was not what the people had in mind at all when they thought about a Conquering King, their Messiah. They just could not get their heads around that notion.

Jesus did grow into a fine and gentle man whose strength was in His own relationship with the Father God, the very thing He wanted to model for us while he was walking this same soil with the common people. Jesus boldly proclaimed truth. He did not shrink away from the religious leaders, who tried to dispute what He knew to be true. Jesus was the son of a carpenter, a common blue collar worker’s boy.

Most of us would not think of entering the scene as a commoner if we were royalty! We would want to let everyone know that it was time to glance an adoring look at the one riding on that stallion all decked out in gold braid, right? That would be the way we would distinguish ourselves from the masses. But, Jesus never wanted to distinguish Himself from the common people; He wanted to identify with them, and show the people that he did understand their daily struggles and challenges. It was for them He had come.  It was for them that he would lay down His own life; His sinless lifeblood would purchase their freedom from the bondage of sin and the eternal death that awaited them. That was the plan. God’s people had been looking for their conquering Messiah for many generations. They were waiting for Him and His arrival just could not come soon enough! Knowing this, God was careful, and thorough, in His preparations. More than 400 years before that cozy manger scene played out in the little town of Bethlehem, God had his prophets declaring it would happen just as it did, baby and all!

*Time is now recorded as BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) instead of BC and AD.

****Christmas: The People… Next Post

 

1 comment:

  1. Quoting Hannibal Smith of the A Team...

    "I love it when a plan comes together!"

    Keep Winging His Words

    ReplyDelete