What Child Is This?

Two thousand years ago, a baby was born to a lowly village girl, named Mary. There were no congratulatory messages or fanfare from the rulers of Judea, the Roman governors and the religious leaders of that day. Angels broke the news to a few lowly shepherds. Later, some wise men came from afar to greet the King of the Jews, and Simeon and Anna the prophetess were expecting their Messiah. Except for these few, the majority of that day went about their earthly routine. Here are some truths to help us worship and honor Him properly as our new-born King.

First, let us never lose sight of the purpose of His coming. He was born to die. Of course, all of us will one day face the prospect of death. However, Jesus Christ was uniquely different. He was the only sinless and perfect Man who ever lived on this earth. He did not have to die. Nevertheless, He voluntarily laid down His life for us. He said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (Jn. 10: 18). He did it out of His great love for us. (Jn. 3: 16; Rom. 5: 8).

Second, He came so that we may have life more abundant. Putting it in another way, He made Himself poor so that we might become rich (2 Cor. 8: 9). Paul described it as Christ emptying of himself (Phil. 2: 6-8).

This emptying and becoming poor meant that the Lord and Creator of the universe stooped to be born in a stable, had a crude trough for his crib; had no home of his own, used the disciples’ boat for a pulpit and when He was crucified even His garments were stripped away from Him. He lived a servant’s life, died a criminal’s death and was buried in a borrowed tomb. He gave His all so that we might have all the riches of His glory and eternal life! Peter put it thus, “… Christ … hath begotten us again unto a lively hope…and to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Pet. 1: 3, 4).

Finally, our Lord Jesus does not want us to celebrate His nativity as a joyous occasion only, but He wants us to celebrate it by making room in our hearts for Him. That is what Emmanuel means, God with us. In short, He wants to be born in us so that He could live His life through us.

Before his conversion, Paul rejected the Christ - Child who was foretold by the prophets (Isa. 9: 6). At the Damascus road, he found the true meaning of Christmas. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2: 20).

This is exactly how we are to celebrate Christmas by letting Christ come into our hearts. Then and only then will we be able to share this glad tidings with our needy world. Have you made room in your hearts for your new-born King?

Rev. Mark Tay