December 22, 2021
Born To Die
Recently, our middle daughter Nicole married Connor. They live so far away in Charlotte, NC. They joined our oldest daughter Dominique and husband Adam who live in Pittsburgh as being out of the nest and starting their life and new families. With Gigi in her senior year at Temple, we are now 90% empty nesters. We really miss our girls, and even their husbands, a lot. Rare but precious are the times we all get together and one of those is CHRISTmas! So today all their cars are packed and they hit the road to our home in Ocean City, NJ, where we now live, to have Christmas all together. Since everyone in our family is ultra-competitive, except Martine, I am sure some of our fun conversations will involve who will be the first to give us grandkids. Both Dominique and Nicole are excited to be moms someday and will be great, and Adam and Connor will be loving and awesome fathers as well, while Gigi is excited to be their quirky artsy auntie! Martine is especially excited to be a granny and me as Big Popi.
Talking about grandkids, I always dream about whether they would play sports, which ones, and hoping I don’t get a technical foul from the sideline when coming to their protection. I fantasized about all kinds of classic childhood activities, sitting on Santa’s lap, reading stories together, watching cartoons, going to Disney, talking to them about God, and the wonderful possibilities that would be available to them as they grow up through each different stage of life. Who they would look like? What interests, gifts, and skills they would have? Who would their friends be, was their spouse born yet, what jobs would they pursue, and what would their children be like? Wow, I realized, my kids, and their kids, were born to live, and live an amazing abundant life formed by the decisions they make!
Then it made me think of the One whose purpose in life was being born to … die! Our sin demanded a payment, but as Eternal God, He could not die. So on that first Christmas over 2,000 years ago, Jesus became the unique God-man when He entered human history as a babe in a manger. He knew when He left the splendors of Heaven to come down to earth, becoming once and forever a member of the human race, that He was born to die! Our Heavenly Father gives us a glimpse of that truth through Jesus’ physical birth in that humble stable in Bethlehem. This powerful reality was made so evident through the simple “swaddling clothes” in which He was wrapped – clothes set apart for burial of the dead!
The overwhelming truth of this is that He was willing to die. He was not forced or coerced. Scripture tells us, ”…who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man.” (Philippians 2:6-7)
It’s Christmas time again, and for me that means Jesus, simply Jesus! And despite man’s attempt to distort and destroy it in every way possible, the old, old story has never changed. The simple truth is that man was lost in sin, separated from God, without hope … without eternal life, and then … JESUS CAME! Imagine that! Into this troubled world came an event that changed everything! God entered human history. God became a man!
Jesus left heaven for one reason, to die on a cross to reconcile to God everyone who would believe in Him. The sinless, spotless Lamb of God gave Himself so that we might have eternal life. Born to die! What love! What sacrifice! Darkness pierced with light! Never has there been a greater need for the Savior of the world! In this dark hour of history, Jesus shines more brightly than ever as the “Light of the World!” It was in the “fullness of time” that He came and when the time is right He will fulfill His promise to return and take us home. That is the Christmas message! That is our assured hope!
Today, think of your destiny. For what would you die? Would you have chosen to be born if your knew your main role was to die a violent death? For the Christian, everyday is Christmas! But in this season that we set apart to commemorate the unique event of the Incarnation of our Lord, Satan will use everything he can to take our eyes off of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas … that He was BORN TO DIE! FOR YOU! May you make your Christmas one that will fill your heart with this truth. Whether you accept His death for your life, or you reject His death and try to be perfect on your own is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Heavenly Father, I can never begin to thank You enough for sending our Lord Jesus to die for my sins and every sin ever committed by the human race. Thank You for His willingness to fulfill Your plan to reconcile all people back to You. I can never begin to understand such love. I am humbled and overwhelmed when I think that Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, left Heaven to identify himself with the filth of this world of sin. Oh Father, purify my life so that I may be obedient to You, live the life that is pleasing to You, and bring honor and glory to Him. I pray this in the name of the One who was born to die, Jesus Christ; And all God’s children say – AMEN!
For 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. Isaiah 9:6