What do you think of at Christmastime? Undoubtedly, if you’re a Christian, you’ll be thinking about the birth of Jesus. But there’s also the “stuff” of celebrating to consider: food to prepare, presents to purchase, and parties to plan.
These things are good, of course. But they can sometimes get in the way or take our focus off of Jesus. That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves every year that Christmas is not about us, or presents, or family feasts, but about Jesus. He is God’s anointed Son, of whom the Father spoke centuries before His birth, from the mouths of the Prophets and the praise of the Psalmists.
Psalm 2 is one such example, one that calls us to look at the Son in awe and reverence, the One to whom God said, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father” (Psalm 2:7). This psalm gave its first hearers a day to look forward to, one where the Father would publicly announce Jesus as the one from above, the Bread that would come down from heaven to feed hungry souls and set captives free from their chains.
And that is what happened when Jesus came. In His incarnation, Jesus broke the chains of sin by bearing its punishment for us, established an everlasting Kingdom, and promised rest for our weary souls. This is the good news we celebrate at Christmas.
But not everyone welcomes Him with open arms. Some would just as soon keep the chains fastened and have Jesus dethroned. Like the rulers who surrounded Israel’s greatest human king, the world conspires and rages against the ruler of creation (Psalm 2:1-2). But this is the way humanity has been ever since the fall:
- Cain murdered Abel because Abel’s offering was acceptable in the eyes of God.
- The people jeered at Noah while he constructed the Ark that would rescue his family from the coming flood.
- Goliath mocked David, threatening death because the shepherd boy refused to bow his knee to the Philistines.
But their plotting is always in vain. Their attempts to destroy the work of God are futile. God is not worried, for they will be shattered “like pottery” (Psalm 2:9). Their plans will never succeed because God’s plan can never fail. For from the beginning, He has had an answer to their scoffing, an answer that would come in the form of a virgin birth in Bethlehem.
The long-awaited Savior entered in the most humble of ways. The Maker and Ruler of the nations came as a different sort of King, one who came not to be served, but to serve. To bear the sins of the world on the cross, as only He could. To call His people from every tribe and tongue, redeeming them through the shedding of His blood. And even now, this meek and approachable King stretches out His royal hand with an invitation of peace and joy to those who will find their rest in Him (Psalm 2:12).
This is the good news of great joy we celebrate at Christmas: God has decreed that Christ, the Anointed Son, be your Savior and mine. He has established an eternal throne to which you and I can freely approach because of the cross. We are sons and daughters of God because we have “kissed the Son” (Psalm 2:12) Who came down to rescue us.
The Christmas season is an incredible time to remind the unbelieving and rebellious world that there is still time. May every heart of every citizen, king, and ruler of this earth come to serve the Lord with awe, rejoicing, and trembling, giving glory to the Anointed One.
Today’s post is by Joel Littlefield, a pastor, author, and podcaster preparing to launch a church plant in Maine.