Majesty In A Manger
In many ways, there was nothing particularly special about the baby or the birth. That poverty, that narrowly-averted scandal when Mary fell pregnant, that greeting party of those social misfits (AKA the shepherds); none of it was worthy of a king. None of it was majestic.
And yet, the birth of Jesus was precisely that. Within its mystery was such mighty love as only a true leader of all humankind could display. It was majesty in its purest, most marvellous form.
His first breaths in a cowshed and his first steps as a refugee on the run from a despotic regime, they were exactly the kind of remarkable start that only our King of Kings would choose.
And in this detail we discover a profound truth; that God was prepared to go to extraordinary lengths in order to reach us.
This whole chapter in Isaiah is a key player in the Bible. It is quoted in the books of John, Matthew and Romans to name but three, and it presents us with the clearest explanation of sin and atonement. And these verses that form Isaiah's poem are at the heart of his book. They point so clearly to the life of Jesus and to the salvation of His people. While his words were intended to be relevant to Isaiah's contemporaries, the truths echo across the centuries and reveal so much about the majesty found in that manger.
Firstly it's clear that He comes for a single, clear reason; because we need Him. Our ‘infirmities… our sorrows’ place us in such dire need of help.
And it's foolish for us to think that He deserved what happened: Jesus wasn't 'stricken by God'. The truth is harder for us to bear, but we must take it in: 'He was crushed for our iniquities'. It was our sin, our wrongdoing, our wanderings away from God's laws that He paid for. We accumulated the bill and He was the one that paid, bringing peace, healing and salvation with it.
We're all guilty, we all 'like sheep have gone astray', and we all are in debt to God.
There’s majesty in the manger all right. There in the stable we find the hope of our hearts. It might not look like much to some, but to those who have knelt before the Lord, who have confessed their sin and accepted His forgiveness, it is more precious and powerful than any earthly power before or since.Comment on Facebook Comment on Twitter
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