It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a manger scene on public or private property. Yards filled with Santas, Frostys, reindeer and decorated trees appear to be in the vast majority. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” has won the popularity contest when compared to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Colored lights, jingle bells, gifts and eggnog represent fuzzy, warm feelings that can be enjoyed by all including myself, in spite of my wife’s accusation of Scroogeitis. But without controversy, the real “reason for the season” has been the object of one of the world’s greatest cover-ups. Will a special counsel ever be appointed to investigate the “Watergate” of the ages? I trow not!
Perhaps the mystery of obscurity lies in the first verse of the New Testament: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Before the actual birth of Jesus is recorded, the beginning of Matthew’s gospel introduces the Messianic line from Abraham to Joseph. The first time we read of “the book of generations” in the Bible is in Genesis 5:1 which records the generations of Adam. In that chapter the phrase “and he died” appears about every third verse, teaching you that “in Adam all die” (I Corinthians 15:22). But in Matthew 1, although it is evident that everyone in the list dies, not one death is recorded, illustrating the great Scriptural truth that “in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).
Self-righteous Pharisees would miss the ramifications. From Adam the seed of death was passed on to every human. The loud evidence for this is the silent graveyards of the planet. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned..” (Romans 5:12). All arguments against this universal fact cease when the patient "flat lines". Jesus Christ, referred to as the last Adam (I Corinthians 15:45) came to restore to us what we lost through the first Adam. Every adult on earth is either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” The first man leads to eternal death (Romans 5:12); the second man leads to eternal life (Romans 5:15-19).
The genealogy continues with interesting observations concerning the number of Gentiles on the roster. Thamar was a Canaanite (Genesis 38:1-6); Rachab was an Amorite (Joshua 6:25); Ruth was a Moabitess (Ruth 1:22); Rehoboam’s mother was an Ammonitess (I Kings 14:21.31). All of these groups were at one time or another enemies of Israel. When the wise men came seeking the “king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2), they possessed a clear understanding that Christ’s lineage allowed them entrance into His presence.
Not only does the family directory include historical adversaries but also a rundown of sinners who exceeded the normal bounds of bad behavior. It contains a woman who committed incest with her father-in-law (Thamar), a professional whore (Rachab), and an adulterer and a murderer (David). The implication is obvious: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Many in today’s society would not consider themselves represented by either group. Enemies of Christ---certainly not! Blatant sinners ----heavens no! Therefore, they are blinded to “the reason for the season.” Ignorance of the Scriptures have led to millions of funerals which have conveyed no hope. “for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). The declaration of God mandates reconciliation for all, not just some. Receiving God’s gift would result in the absolute best, merriest and most wonderful Christmas gift any person could experience.
Speaking of the word wonderful, it has been worn fairly threadbare in these days. We speak of a wonderful time, a wonderful person, a wonderful book, and apply the word to a thousand things entirely unworthy of it. The word finds its rightful place as set forth in God’s Word. The prophet Isaiah said, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, “His name shall be called Wonderful” (Isaiah 9:6).
Truly, He was wonderful in the way He fulfilled the many prophecies concerning Himself. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” (Hebrews 1:1), spoke to Abraham and provided a nation through which our Lord should come. Then He spoke to Jacob and revealed the chosen tribe of the Saviour’s ancestry, the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10).
There must also be a family, so through Isaiah He made known that it should be Jesse. To Micah He whispered the name of the birthplace, Bethlehem. Through Daniel He made known the time of Jesus’ birth (Daniel 9:25 ). In Isaiah and Malachi He spoke of the forerunner, John the Baptist, and in Jonah He set forth a picture of our Lord’s resurrection. And when the Christ came, He fulfilled to the letter all these predictions and many more. Now that is wonderful !
From our family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas!