Glory to God in the Highest!!!
Wow! God sent a choir of angels to announce the birth of Jesus, the Christ, to shepherds. He also created a special star that some very curious stargazers followed in order to find Him.
In other ways the birth of Jesus was just plain hard. Caesar had demanded that everyone go to his family’s country in order to register for taxation purposes. God used him to engineer a way to get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem so that Jesus would be born in Judah, the fulfillment of prophecy (Micah 5:2). Mary and Joseph traveled somewhere between 80 and 120 miles to get to Bethlehem. Some say it would have taken from 4 days to a week to get there, sleeping on the ground, and eating camp food. A stable would look good after that.
Pictures always show Mary on a donkey, but the Bible doesn’t mention one. It could be that we have trouble envisioning a pregnant woman walking so far, so we made up the donkey. The fact is, we don’t know. Nor do we know when the baby was born. It could be that the couple had been in Bethlehem for some time. It says in Luke 2:6, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born…”
The important thing is that Jesus was born. And it was so very important that God sent angels and a special star to announce it! Not only that, but God took care to send angels ahead of time to both Mary and Joseph to warn them about what was going to happen. That way they had time to prepare. Mary was given some special notice too when she visited Elizabeth. God kept reminding her how very special this child was. She needed that, considering what she was having to face in her community.
Then there were the special reactions to Jesus by Anna and Simeon, after He was born, in the temple of Jerusalem. Simeon said, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Jesus would grow up to be a man that would teach, heal sick people, and lead people to God. But the most crucial thing was the salvation that He brought the world when He was crucified. He took all of our sins on Himself as He died, and even suffered the rejection of God, His Father. God brought Him back to life! That is how He could save us! “Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” (Charles Wesley)
Scripture taken from the NIV.