Can you imagine that dark night?
Perhaps the silence was deafening the moment He entered the world. Creation held its breath awaiting the Son of God to take His first gasp of air. As His lungs filled, the shrill cry of the Baby-King announced His arrival, and the universe sighed relief–perhaps Joseph and Mary did too. Hope had taken His first breath. Angels and shepherds and stars surrounded the family of three as they huddled together in the manger awaiting the dawn. And Joseph and Mary grasped the tiny hands and precious feet of God.
So much hope.
The scriptures we studied last week were ones of great hope and assurance. They are prophecies that we want to hang onto. Yet they were also the prophecies that have caused many people to refuse Jesus as the Messiah because He did not establish an earthly kingdom.
That’s what happens when we aren’t careful to study the entire Word of God. And it happens to the best of us.
Seven days after His birth, Mary and Joseph traveled from Bethlehem to Jerusalem (which is the next town) to the Temple to fulfill the Law of Moses for the firstborn to be consecrated to God and to offer a sacrifice. When they arrived, a man named Simeon was there in the Temple. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Messiah, and as they came into the room Simeon took the baby in his arms and praised God, saying:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now may 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)
He then blessed Mary and Joseph and told Mary, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34,35).
I wonder if Mary dismissed Simeon’s warning and focused on the happy prophecies given about her baby. But I have a feeling his words haunted her through the years, don’t you?
This week, the prophecies we’re going to study are the painful ones. They speak of the cross, being forsaken by God, and the resurrection. I’ve given both the prophecy and the fulfillment of it on the reading plan this time. But I will also be teaching about these “bites” on my daily broadcast. I hope you can join us at 8:20 ET every morning or check back at my Facebook page later to watch. If we aren’t friends, send me a request or follow me. That works too.
Take a screen shot or grab a journal and jot down this reading plan. I pray you will find some time each day to light a candle, pour your tea or coffee, and dig deep for a few minutes with the Bread of Life. Let Him feed your soul. It’s the most important meal of the day.
I know it may seem strange to study these scriptures now. I know Easter is only a few months away, but the truth is, these fulfilled prophecies are really what make the celebration of Christmas even more powerful and profound. Can’t wait to study with you!