God is the Great Communicator. The Bible says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets at many times and in various ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
As Francis Schaeffer said, “He is there and He is not silent.” He certainly was not silent in the circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ.
Tradition says Jesus was born in a cave; He would be buried in a cave-tomb.
When Jesus was born, His mother wrapped Him in swaddling cloth, the same type of cloth used to wrap the dead before burial. (Luke 2:7). When the magi came to worship Jesus, they brought Him myrrh, an aromatic gum resin used for embalming. (Matthew 2:1-12).
When He was born, Jesus was placed in a “manger,” a trough out of which animals ate their food. Jesus would later say He was the bread of life which had come down out of heaven and that unless people ate of Him they would not have eternal life. (John 6:51-58).
These four symbols forshadowed the sacrificial death of Jesus and spoke of His identity as the Savior of the world.
The Lord did not appear to religious, political or even business leaders to announce the birth of Jesus but through an angel to lowly shepherds working the night shift and through a star to the magi from the East, signaling that Jesus’ sacrificial death would bring salvation to all men who would believe, both near and far.
The magi came to worship the king of the Jews with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11). Gold is a gift fit for a king and it spoke of Jesus’ role as the King of kings. Frankincense was used as incense and was representative of the prayers of the people rising to God. Thus the Frankincense spoke of Jesus’ priestly role. And, as mentioned above, the myrrh was used for embalming, thus announcing Jesus’ role as the sacrificial Savior who would lay down His life for all those who would believe.
The Christmas story is not just good literature; it is reality written by the finger of God so people would get the point.
The Christmas story in not a quaint tale designed to give the warm fuzzies; it is the Great Communicator speaking loudly and clearly. GS