Tag Archives: the birth of Jesus

December 23; Our High Priest’s Birthday

Hebrews 7:1-10:18

Melchizedek is a curious fellow. He appears in Scripture for a few verses, then promptly disappears. We don’t know where he came from, or where he went after talking to Abraham. He was a priest, but not from the tribe of Levi. Curious.

Yet the writer of Hebrews compares Jesus to this mysterious Old Testament priest. He tells us in 7:16 that Melchizedek represents the “one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry, but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.”

Jesus was descended from Judah, not Levi. And with Him came a new and better covenant than the one God had previously made with Israel. (vs 22)

No more animal sacrifices. No more need of any priest to enter the Presence of God on our behalf. Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate, perfect sacrifice for us all, then He sat down at the right hand of God in heaven where He serves as our High Priest in that sanctuary set up by the Lord, not by man.

I hope you’ll read these chapters in Hebrews today. As we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s do so with the knowledge of what His birth meant. Let’s thank Him that the baby didn’t stay in the manger, but grew up to be our sacrifice. Jesus was born to die.

But He is not dead. Right now, today, this very minute He is sitting next to the Father and interceding for you and me. He is praying for us. Does that make you want to fall at His feet in humble praise and thanksgiving? Does that make you want to love Him like He deserves to be loved, obeyed like He demands, and serve Him in any way you can? It does me.

I want to say “Happy Birthday Jesus, my Savior, my King, my amazing High Priest. I love you!”

 

Luke 1-3; It Changed The World

It is the birth that changed the world. Luke’s account of that birth and the events surrounding it is the most familiar to us of all the Gospels. As a Gentile, Luke would not have been raised in the Jewish tradition. He would not have studied the Old Testament prophecies from his youth. But Luke was a man of details, and researched those details about the birth of Jesus for himself. What we read is not a fairy-tale.

These things happened to Elizabeth and Mary, to Zechariah and Joseph, Simeon, Anna, and John. The shepherds really did witness the angel’s announcement, really went to see the newborn Jesus, and really spread the news to everyone they knew.

The Messiah has come!

I hope you’ll read these chapters and put yourself in the scene, and allow yourself to feel what it must have been like to be one of the first to realize what was hoped for all your life has finally happened.

Because the truth is, everything you’ve hoped for, all that you’ve longed for, has already happened in the birth of that precious baby so long ago. That baby grew up to die for you, and to give you Himself. It is the birth that changed the world. It’s the birth that changed my world. And it’s the birth that could absolutely change your world, too.

December 17 – Emptied

Philippians

Christmas is eight days away. If you are like me, you’ve enjoyed the lights, the concerts and programs telling us of the Baby in a manger. We sing about Angels, shepherds, and wise men, and the young mother who gave birth in a stable. Throw in Santa and a long list, and a little snow, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, tells us what Christmas is really all about. (2:5-8) Jesus, existing as God, equal to God, emptied Himself and became a human being. The Creator God became a servant, obedient to the end – the cross. That adorable baby surrounded by dirty animals and lowly shepherds, chose this birth. And He chose His death, for love of you.

Because you sin, Jesus “emptied Himself” to become a man so He could pay the penalty for your sins. Jesus gave it all.

We won’t know the whole reality of the word “emptied” until we see Him. But here is the reason He left heaven:

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (2:9-11)

I pray you’ll name that Name while standing in His Presence, clothed in His righteousness through His own precious blood. For the glory of God.