One of my favorite Christmas songs is not even a carol. It’s a song by Steven Curtis Chapman titled, “Heaven in the Real World.” There is a stanza in the song that says:
It happened one night
With the tiny baby’s birth
God heard creation crying
And He sent heaven to earth
Why did God send Jesus to earth? Did He actually hear creation crying? The Bible tells of times when not only man cries out, but all of creation under the burden of sin:
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
So why did God send Jesus to be born in a manger on that particular starry night? What was it about that particular time in human history that caused God to move? The Apostle Paul shines light on this question:
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
Jesus had one mission on earth; it can be summed up four words: He came to die. However, there was much Jesus had to do before He faced the horror of the cross.
The actual number varies from theologian to theologian, but they do agree that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies. One particular prophecy Christ fulfilled He read from when He spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth. After reading from Isaiah 61, Jesus said:
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21b)
I encourage you to read the passage from Luke 4:16-30. If you look at the above verse, you would think the Nazarenes would rejoice that they were living in a time where they not only saw prophecy fulfilled, but also and more importantly, the Messiah’s arrival. However, they rejected Jesus and even tried to kill Him.
How could they have missed the Messiah among them? Let’s not be too hard on any of Jesus’ contemporaries. We have the luxury of 2016 years of history and the Bible and we still reject Jesus almost daily.
As Christians, we might even be guilty of ignoring Jesus on Christmas. Far too many of us have to “fit” Jesus into Christmas Day or even the whole weekend because we’re so busy with the “traditional” things of Christmas.
What are those things? Presents, Christmas dinner, sports, fellowship, anything that gets in the way of celebrating our Lord’s birth. None of those things by themselves, or even the sum of them, are bad. It’s mainly how we prioritize our time that causes us problems.
I never get tired of hearing Christmas songs; I’m listening to them on the radio when I drive to work and on my iPhone while I’m at work.
Maybe you have had your fill of Christmas carols or Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” May I suggest a new song for you to listen to? Try out Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Heaven in the Real World.” I leave you with the second chorus from the song:
There is a hope
There is a peace
That will make this life complete
For every man, woman, boy, and girl
Looking for heaven in the real world
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers