And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
– Luke 2:6-14
We all know why Yeshua-Jesus came to earth – to die as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, “marred more than any man,” we read in Isaiah 52:14.
It is good for believers to consider the excruciating pain endured during His torture and crucifixion on their behalf.
It is good for us to think of the horror He experienced when His beloved Father turned away in that moment He took upon Him the sins of the world – and darkness covered the earth.
But there was another incomparable sacrifice Jesus made in the time of the Nativity. Think about it. Have you ever thought about what that experience was like for Him?
He literally decided, with the Father, to step down from heaven into a fallen world of danger and deception. He even, presumably, had to disengage from His own divine consciousness to become a helpless embryo. He had to give up all His powers – those He used to create the heavens and earth and all things that were made. He had to be born under trying circumstances following a rough 100-mile walk by his parents from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
We all know how Yeshua-Jesus sacrificed himself for us at the end of His mortal life – the excruciating tortures he endured, the humiliation, the death on the cross. But at this time of the year, I often think about the sacrifice He, the co-creator of the universe, made temporarily to give up His omniscience, His omnipotence, His almighty powers and His seat at the right hand of God and to live inside the womb of a young Jewish girl named Mary and to submit himself to the protection of an obscure Jewish carpenter named Joseph.
Can you imagine how much faith that takes?
He gave up all the unimaginable riches and untold wisdom of the universe to be born in a barn and laid in an animal feed trough.
But, most of all, try to imagine what it was like sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven contemplating this idea of becoming utterly helpless and, for at least a period of time, being presumably clueless!
Like any other child, Yeshua-Jesus was born not knowing how to walk or talk. How many of us would be willing to trade our own lives and consciousness even as adult mortal human beings to re-enter the world that way, again? I’m happy being born again spiritually, but not that way.
To me, thinking about what Yeshua-Jesus did when He chose to be born as an innocent babe is every bit as awe-inspiring as contemplating His decision to be nailed to a cross.
We often talk about and ponder the Ascension. But what about the Descension that took place when Yeshua became, first, an unborn baby, and later on, a vulnerable little infant who would be hunted down by Herod, and ultimately a “man of sorrows,” one who would grow up to die an ugly death on the cross?
Believers acknowledge the sacrifice Yeshua made on Calvary. But, truly, we ought to consider the sacrifice He made the day He willingly stepped down from heaven in the Virgin Birth, which might also be termed the Miraculous and Mysterious Descension.
That’s how much He loved us – to temporarily lay down the powers of an unlimited God to live at the mercy of a young maiden of Israel, her husband, your heavenly Father and His angels.
I consider that a sacrifice, indeed. But I have not heard it often noted as such.
Maybe we should call it “the Nativity sacrifice” – or, at least, “the Nativity risk.”
That’s something to think deeply about when we observe this time of year when so many us celebrate His birth.
ALSO: Get Joseph Farah’s book “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians, and the End of the Age,” and learn about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith and your future in God’s Kingdom. Also available as an e-book.
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