Nativity scenes are abundant this time of year. We’re all reminded of the baby born the Savior of the world. Recently I was in a coffee shop and Christmas music played in the background. I heard several well-known secular musicians singing and playing Christmas music. As I pondered the fact that the most meaningful Christmas music we enjoy is actually worship music, I considered that most of the artists I heard would never sing worship music. Why is it easier to sing about the baby Savior than it is to sing about the risen Lord?
Think about it. How is it that one, having never professed Christianity, could sing so meaningfully,
“Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know, that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.”
Is it possible that though the lyrics clearly describe our Savior and His mission, the world still perceives the baby in the manger as somehow less offensive than the Lamb on the cross? We must never forget that the sleeping Child Mary held was always the Deliverer. Jesus Christ is Emanuel, God with us and He came to pay the penalty for sin. Yes, the ugly stain of sin, of which we’re all guilty.
Our culture has perfected the secularization of one of the most profoundly, unsearchable acts in human history. God became man and dwelt among us. He would identify with all of our sufferings and at the appointed time, having walked sinless, He would willingly give His life. Jesus bore within His flesh the wrath of God though He deserved none. No matter how easy it is for the world to sing of the precious baby born in a manger, believers must remember exactly who He is.
In our celebration of Jesus the baby, let us remember Jesus the lamb. He was always going to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. The gentle Child, easily adored was always going to reveal sin and transgression. We must remember that Jesus didn’t grow into a mission. Death, burial, and resurrection was the continuum determined before Bethlehem. An understanding of this is what separates worshippers from singers. Remember what Simeon said of the baby, Jesus when His parents brought Him to the temple for consecration?
Simeon, took Him in his arms and praised God saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:28-32)
Nothing changes our King or His call. And because of this nothing changes the call of His followers. We are charged to make Him known and declare His mission. One thing never changes. Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. O come let us adore Him!