The Messiah

This is the season when we commemorate the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. He was born in humble circumstances, although His lineage entitled Him to the throne of King David. The time of His arrival was in the aftermath of the Maccabean rebellion which many remembered as an unwise attempt to reestablish Jewish cultural control and reject foreign influences.

The Messiah was largely rejected, and officially opposed by the Jewish hierarchy who wanted to preserve relations with Rome. The authority to kill Him openly and without meaningful opposition from His few followers shows how small a following He achieved in His lifetime.

In most objective measures, His life failed to achieve any measurable success before His death. But once He died things changed.

The course of history did not alter because of the Messiah’s death. That sent His few followers into hiding, fearful for their own lives. History changed because of what happened three days later, as days were reckoned by those people.

It was the Messiah’s rise from death that changed all history. He achieved victory over death, and those who witnessed it changed from timid and cowering followers of a dead teacher into bold and fearless apostles who heralded to the world the startling message: “He is risen!”

That message remains the singular most important accomplishment in the history of mortal man. It gives all mankind hope. It changes everything. As Job prophesied of himself and of everyman: “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!” (KJV Job 19:26.)

Because of Him, we shall also rise. And rising we shall face judgment. Now is the time to prepare for that judgment by the deeds we do, the words we speak and the thoughts we entertain.