Christmas-gate: The Scandal of Christmas

6For to us a child is born,
     to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
     and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
     there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
     to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
     from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

This may very well be one of the most astounding prophecies that Jesus fulfilled by his birth. It reveals so much of what the Christ Child would accomplish for all those that would put their trust in him.

Here in the form of a small, defenseless and humble child the Redeemer of the world stepped into the limited from the eternal. In the hands of a young, faithful maiden was held the hope of the not just the faithful, but of the cosmos itself. In the company of beasts of labor and livestock the King of kings was born.

Jesus was born in a lowly place, not so he could learn humility, but so that the humble would not fear approaching him.

Jesus, the baby, was given to us so that we could, if we would, find the hope and solace our hearts and souls long for.

God’s Wild Idea

But, what really astounds is the last line of this passage. Look at it again. Notice the “who” and the “why” of this event. Who will do this? “The Lord of hosts will do this.” The birth of Jesus was not relegated to the hands of angels. It was not entrusted into the feeble hands of broken humanity. No, God himself, concocted and executed the greatest scandal ever perpetrated in the universe!

If you do not believe that the birth of Christ is a scandal, you must read the stories again.

  • An unwed, pregnant girl
  • A betrayed groom
  • A birth in an unsanitary stall
  • Outcast shepherds, the first to hear
  • Pagan wise men, the first to worship
  • A mad king, bent on retaining power
  • The king’s counselors, unable to accept the news

This is a scandal. We have grown so used to it that we have made it seem so normal. And it was all God’s idea.

God Enjoyed What He Did

If the fact that God made this event take place is not enough, the way in which God did it just as unbelievable. Isaiah says that it was “with zeal” that God was going to do it. With zeal? God enjoyed doing what he did. While that is not completely surprising it is surprising. God took pleasure and delighted in sending His son into the world. God was not unhappy or saddened by the Son’s departure from heaven into the world of men. No, the Father sent him with “zeal”.

There are so many miracles taking place in the birth of Jesus. What makes this entire event and the circumstances that surround even more spectacular is that God was not only behind it, God was pleased by His role in the whole thing.

The sun will rise on Christmas morning and we will be challenged once again to consider not only if we have accepted the man that this baby would become. That would be too short sighted a view of Christmas. We will be confronted with whether we, like our Heavenly Father have enjoyed and delighted in the coming of the Son of God.

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