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MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 






    




Why the Phenomenal Advent?



Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.- Isaiah 7:14 (a prophecy roughly about 750 years before the birth of Christ-child)

In this Message, Yours truly aims to glean some lessons from the phenomenal advent of Christ. None before Him were born to a Virgin and none after Him. So why did Christ come into this World in such a miraculous way? Firstly...

Pure atonement...


Our Heavenly Father who completely unveiled the Blessed Redemption plan on Good Friday (Hey, meditation on Christmas without bringing in Good Friday into the Picture is like trying to ride a bicycle on a single tyre) was communicating through various symbolic means (Lev 1:3-4) and also distinct prophecies (like Isa 53:6) about what would eventually transpire on the Cross of Calvary one day (Heb 1:1).

One symbolic act was instruction concerning the sacrifice of a blemish less sacrifice I reiterate a blemish less sacrifice for the atonement of sins time and again in the Pentateuch (Lev 1:3-4, Lev 8:22/ Deu 17:1). As Divinely foreordained spotless, sinless atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind (Rev 13:8/ I Peter 1:19), Jesus had to be sinless right from His conception onwards. Hence the Virgin birth.

Perfect Arbitrator...


For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus... I Tim 2:5

One basic requirement for being an arbitrator is he should be acceptable to both the disputing parties. The “Dispute” between the Almighty and men began as it were from “The Fall” in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). Enter the Arbitrator on First Christmas...who would commence that work whilst still donning the human vesture (John 17).

Being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit as a Holy Son of Holy God, He would represent the interests, so to speak of God before men and by the same token, being born through Mary as a Son of Man (Matt 8:20) He would be the empathetic representative of fallible and fragile man before God (Heb 2:18).

No virgin birth and it follows that there would be no role for the Saviour to play the role of a Perfect arbitrator. Boy...it is a scary proposition!!!

Yet another amazing aspect of the our Saviour's miraculous birth is that it in a way is a precedent to the miraculous spiritual re-birth of all God's children when they accept God's Son as their Saviour. Consider this amazing Scripture portion...

"...to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13) Priestly Antecedents...


If Christ is called our great High Priest of the order of Melchizedek (both a King and a Priest unlike Aaron who was only a Priest- Gen 14:18/ Psalm 110:4/ Zech 6:12/ Heb 7), then firstly both His Royal and a Priesthood origins have to be clearly established. While His Spiritual royalty emerges from the fact He is Son of King of the Universe born by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), the roots of His Earthly Kinghood can traced to King David through comprehensive genealogical accounts of both Matthew’s (Matt 1:6-16) and the Luke’s Gospel (Luke 3:23-32), with the former enlisting the ancestry of Joseph (earthly guardian of Christ) and the latter enlisting that of Mary (double proof, if one was needed that Jesus was Royal descendant of the greatest King of Israel…David, both from the earthly father and the mother’s side).

So do these Gospels with the elaborate Davidic genealogies authenticating His Royal antecedents close all routes on mapping Jesus’ ancestry to the Levitical Tribe, which is needed to establish His Priestly antecedents? NAY! Praise God for the good Doctor Luke “who having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, decided to write a careful account of the Jesus story” (Luke 1:3) starting with some very important history…oh boy…oh boy…the account of the Priestly family of Zacharias and Elizabeth (a direct descendant of the Aaron). Now who was Elizabeth? OK, OK, mother of John the Baptist but is that all? As we “dig through the tunnels of Lukes Gospel”- surprise of surprises… we discover that she was a relative of Mary (Luke 1:36)! Agreed we need “double witness” in line with the Scriptural instructions (John 8:17/ Deu 19:15) to substantiate a fact? So let’s visit another Scripture portion besides the afore-referred one where Mary and Elizabeth are seen together. Luke 1:40-45 to be more precise...

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

From the visible blessed warmth in the interaction of these two blessed Biblical mothers, you get a picture of two strangers meeting or two close relatives greeting one another? The answer is obvious, isn’t not? While Mary’s father was a Judean, Mary’s mother could have been a Levite and a sister of Elizabeth say the Biblical Scholars like Adam Clarke and JFB. A precedent of Judeans and Levites intermarrying is very much there in the Scriptures (2 Chronicles 22:11)! While the Scripture involving Elizabeth and Mary is quite familiar, it is the angle from which we perceive the well-known account, which makes the whole story revelatory. Thank you, Holy Spirit, there is no teacher greater than you (John 14:26/ 1 John 2:27)!

So minus the role of Mary the relative of Aaronic descendent Elizabeth in the Christmas narrative...the High Priest’s antecedents would go missing from our Great Redeemer’s matchless CV!!!

Physician’s Account...


Ever wondered, why the good Lord got the Christmas narrative written down from exclusively Mary’s perspective (especially her apprehensions on conceiving whilst still being a virgin) in Luke’s Gospel only? For instance in other Gospels’ like the Matthew’s Gospel, we get to view the Christmas Story entirely through the “eyes of Joseph”, so to say and not that of Mary. If at all, there could have been any person who could have logically objected to a virgin birth, it would have been a Doctor and who was Mr. Luke…a Doctor (Col 4:13) Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Anyone still around, like Thomas of yore doubting the miraculous virgin conception and birth…


Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant



Ps… All those whose heart the Lord is touching say this Prayer right where you are…”Father, I confess I am a Sinner. Cloth me with Your Priceless Robes of Righteousness which Your Son Jesus Christ has purchased for me in the Cross. Fill my heart with the joy of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.