01/04/2021 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
Over this past year circumstances have dictated we utilize the internet for the majority of our shopping. We order our groceries online, and then set a time to pull into a parking place and have an attendant bring them to our vehicle. We can order our medicines and can even see a doctor and receive a physical diagnosis, all online.
Recently I ordered a set of soft luggage on a manufacturer’s website. I received multiple notices informing me of the order processing, order packing, and order shipping. Once the order “hit the streets,” I received a tracking number. This enabled me to track the package across the country as it traveled from state to state, from distribution center to distribution center. The tracking function even told me of the day and time the delivery would be at my door. Moments after the delivery, I got a text message saying, “Your package is here!” I’m not sure if you’re like me, but all this “tracking” can get a little exciting.
The Old Testament is one big notice of order processing, order packing, order shipping, and order arrival. There are prophesies about the coming King in almost each book of the Old Testament, some being a little more veiled than others while some being extremely blatant! The package is on the way! There was an excitement in the Hebrew people, and even knowledge of impending delivery in other cultures and nations. Wisemen or Magi from the east traveled great distances to bring gifts to the “delivery.” Why then did people, who knew the prophesies refuse to get excited about the “delivery?”
When Jesus began His ministry, He was perceived as a minor threat to the so-call religious elite. As time passed and the people began to see the miracles and believe He was the Messiah, the elite’s threat perception went from minor to major. Their blindness grew to the point of ultimately “refusing the delivery” altogether!
As Christians, we get excited about the birth of Christ. We learn of His teachings through the Gospel accounts of miracles and interactions with the helpless, the hopeless, the outcasts, and maybe even the Rabbi during a nighttime visit with Him. People who came to know Jesus would never be the same after the interaction. My question is this: Why is there excitement about the birth than at His death?
If it were not for His death, we would have no hope of a life in eternity. We would continue to carry our sin because of our own actions. There would be no sacrifice we could make which would compensate for our shortcomings. But Christ’s death and resurrection did all of this for us. He has secured life eternal for us in a place so grand we can only imagine.
Churches should be full to capacity honoring His death and resurrection with as many people who celebrate His birth. He arrived to save us with His birth, but His death on the cross truly saves us from an eternity in a place we all deserve.