Christmas in Light of the Cross, Day 8

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, . . . to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4, 5.
“The Saviour’s coming was foretold in Eden. When Adam and Eve first heard the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first-born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried. Those who first received it died without the sight. From the days of Enoch the promise was repeated through patriarchs and prophets, keeping alive the hope of His appearing, and yet He came not. The prophecy of Daniel revealed the time of His advent, but not all rightly interpreted the message. Century after century passed away; the voices of the prophets ceased. The hand of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel, and many were ready to exclaim, “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth.” Ezekiel 12:22.
But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. “Afterward,” He said, “shall they come out with great substance.” Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh’s proud empire battled in vain. On “the self-same day” appointed in the divine promise, “it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:41. So in heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.”  -Desire of Ages, Pages 31-32

Christmas in Light of the Cross, Day 2

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,  are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ Matthew 2:1-6 NLT

Strange that the priests and teachers knew the Scriptures concerning the advent of the Messiah, yet they were were not leading out in a revival preparing for His coming. They were totally silent about it until asked by the gentiles who seemed more aware and interested than they were.

Why do you think the wise men from the east were more vocal and active concerning Christ’s coming than the priests and teachers were? Maybe the the priests and teachers did not want to offend the Romans or their king, and stir up persecution? Maybe they did not want the people to be worshiping anyone besides themselves? Or maybe even though they were religious leaders, they were just too caught up with their standing and position in the world to care about a Savior coming to set men free from sin. Earlier the Jewish priests and teachers were wanting a king like all the other nations around them. Later, when Pilate sought to free Jesus, the priests and teachers were claiming that they had no kind but the worldly Roman king. Were the priests and teachers so caught up in trying to make their nation like the nations around them that they forgot the whole reason why they existed?

The New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers. As a priest of Christ are you preparing others for His second coming? If not, could any of these reasons be keeping you back? Let’s not be so enthralled with everything around us that we forget why we exist.

When I was a child a lady from my church was in the hospital. She said later, that the pastor from the church where she worked in the nursery on Sundays came to visit her, but her own pastor never came to see her. So it was, at the birth of Christ, nobody from His own church came to welcome Him.