“Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
breathes a life of gathering gloom;
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb.”
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Tucked within the Christmas story alongside angels and stars and the joy of that baby who was born comes a bitter reminder of the future awaiting that child. Jesus’ ultimate destination was not to grow up and live a long and happy life on Earth. It was not to rule as an earthly king. It was not just to perform miracles and preach the gospel and reach a hand to some needy people. Jesus did not come into our world to live, but to die.
Satan and his own go about seeking the destruction of Jesus. Later, the Pharisees would plot and conspire and bring Jesus forth to be crucified. Pilate would consent to the deed. The soldiers would hammer in the nails and raise up a cross with a bleeding Jesus upon it. He would suffer immeasurably in the cruelest way possible. He would give His life upon that cross. He would willingly lay down His life for our sakes.
We can’t celebrate the birth of Christ without remembering why it was that He came in the first place. Sin is the reality of our world. Sin dwells within our hearts. Sin separates us from God. But He had a solution prepared. He wrapped it up in the precious package of a baby in a manger and presented this gift to mankind. May we willingly accept the gift that God willingly gave. And then we can go forth rejoicing in the new life in Christ that conquers death once and for all.