Blood Night: A Christmas Story
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- Published: Saturday, 23 December 2017 08:37
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Blood Night: A Christmas Story
By Augusto A. Kho
December 17, 2017
Christmas is the world’s most celebrated occasion. But how much do we know about Christmas?
Above photo from the internet
It all started from Adam and Eve during the fall. In Genesis chapter 3 tells us the story how Satan in the form of a serpent tempted Eve and Eve later temped Adam. When God was walking in the cool of the day, He looked for Adam saying, “Why art thou?” And Adam clothed with fig leaves hid himself. When they were confronted with God, the Lord sent them away from the Garden of Eden and their close intimacy were broken. God however have had already something in His mind to redeem mankind and the whole world and He said to Eve.
Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
In other words, the coming of a deliverer or saviour have been prophesied since then. There will be a war between the seed of woman – a male child and He will crush Satan’s head.
Search is on
The search is on from the time of fall of man and God is looking for someone to fulfil the coming of a deliverer. From the time of Adam, He found Noah, Moses, and others. Until God made his covenant with Abraham, Jacob and Isaac.
The Prophets have one central figure focused on a messiah to save His people from their sins.
Until one prince in the person of Isaiah said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. “ The child is not generic but branded which means a son, a male-child as one of the sign.
And God made another sign saying it will be born from a virgin woman. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.,” (Isaiah 7:14).
God is a God of signs that is why the Lord is being called, Jehovah-Nissi. Nissi means a banner, insignia, omen or sign. Signs are directional.
And this sign have been fulfilled in the New Testament time. Matthew 1:23 says,. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. “
But the son that is conceived by a virgin named Mary was nearly rejected when the man named Joseph who was engaged to her had an earlier plan to divorce her quietly when she learned the woman was pregnant. The silent engagement is to spare to woman from public shame for she might be charged for stoning to death due to adultery.
Matthew 1:19 says, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” With that in mind, an angel appeared to Joseph to intervene in his personal decision.
Matthew 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. “
God can intervene in our decision-making just to fulfil His plan to mankind. So he married her.
Under the Spirit
Even when Jesus was in her mother’s womb He is already filled with the Spirit. One time Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant on that time. As Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth, the child in the latter’s womb jumped.
Luke 1:41 “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
God intervenes in the affair of men – whether it is events, places or time
In 6 CE Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was appointed Imperial Legate (Gov)of the province of Roman Syria and tasked to carry out a tax census of the new province of Judea, one of the three territories into which the kingdom of Herod the Great had been divided on his death in 4 BCE according to Gruen 1996, p. 156-157
Luke 2:1-5 “A census was made in the entire Roman Empire.Joseph and Mary were among them.”
As a result of the decree, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to pay their personal levy. There was no proxy then as everyone is required to personally register. The couple travelled from Nazareth to Judah up to Jerusalem in Bethlehem. Bethlehem a part of Jerusalem is 10 km apart. It was unfortunate then that on their way back home, Mary was about to deliver her child and they look for a descent place to stay but there was none.
Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
God had given promises all along the way. The people believed and waited. One of those promises, though, was that the Messiah would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem. It was a small town.Not only was Jesus King David’s forever king, but God promised — through the prophet Micah 750 years before Jesus’ birth — that Jesus would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem.
God intervenes in the affair of men – whether it is events, places or time. It by the official decree of taxation that forcibly driven away the couple to leave Nazareth in the meantime and be in a place where the child was exactly prophesied – in Bethlehem. If it not of the decree, the couple could have not been there in the first place.
When Jesus was still in her mother’s womb, her future husband nearly divorced her quietly that can makes the child rejected. In the same way, when Mary was about to deliver her child, the couple could have been pleaded knocking on the doors of the neighbourhood yet no one invited them in. It was the whole family’s corporate rejection. Will you do the same way of no inviting Jesus in into your life?
Luke 2:7 says, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ”
The word “room” in Greek “topos” means “a place or any portion or space marked off” a spot, ,a location, a home.” Literally speaking Christ was not given a place on that very important occasion in the history of the nation of Israel. Again, no room for Christ to the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:20).
The revelation of the birth of the Messiah was unfortunately not given to the people but to Magi from the Orient despite of the fact that the prophecy of the coming King was given to the Jews.
Matthew 2:1-2 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
The words “wise men” is derived from the word “magos” which is the name given by the Babylonais, Medes, Persians and others to the wise men, teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers, seers, interpreters of dreams, soothsayers and sorcerers, magicians, etc.
The revelation of the messianic birth was therefore not given to the Jews on the day Jesus was born. In fact, the King of the Jews named Herod (the son of a former good king Herod) was very much displeased and ranting with threat to his throne and power.
Jack Zavada (November 2017) writes, “King Herod the Great was the villain in the Christmas story, a wicked king who saw the baby Jesus as a threat and wanted to murder him. Above photo by ano di Pietro's "Massacre of the Innocents," 1470.
The prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled during the birth of Christ. Matthew 2:18, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping ,and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
The Blood Night (photo from the internet)
Compare Jeremiah 31:15 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 'A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.'"
Why does Matthew connect a tragedy in Bethlehem with above passage in Jeremiah about Rachel weeping at Ramah? This post looks at the original context of the Jeremiah Passage.
The number of infants killed is not stated. The Holy Innocents, although Jewish have been
claimed as Martyrs for Christianity.
The Feast of the Holy Innocents that took place on a Bloody Christmas Day has long been celebrated according to Bill Doggett, Gordon W. Lathrop, New Proclamation Commentary on Feasts, Holy Days, and Other Celebrations, (Fortress Press, 2007) page 43.
Being warned again on a dream, Joseph fled with his family heading to Egypt to escape from the wrath of King Herod. And I could not imagine how narrow the escape considering that no less than a king who tagged them as Public enemy No. 1. Have you ever been tagged by a politician as your enemy? Imagine how it feels if a king or president will dub you “enemy of the state”? Would that be possible? Of course yes.
In a very tender age, Christ was not merely rejected by His own people but He forced to be exiled to spare His own life. Notice that God has created a family for Him for His own protection.
Matthew 2:12-13, “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. “
By the way
By the way, what is your gift this Christmas? And to whom? Why people expect gifts this Christmas when it is not their own birthday anyway?
Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. “
This is the picture of those who are addicted in power and position. They are always being threatened by someone who could replace them. As a result of such jealousy and fear, the king commanded his entire army to look for the child Jesus to slay him. And it was the worst blood night ever recorded in the entire history of Israel when innocent children were mercilessly killed due to abuse and addiction of power.
The Magi’s gift
The magi’s gift to Christ are very symbolic. Do you know what does it mean?
K.P.D. : The Symbols
Gold. The magi gave Christ a gift which is symbolic to a King.
Incense. The magi gave Christ a gift which is symbolic to a Priest.
Myrrh. The magi gave Christ a gift which is a symbol of Death. A perfume and a burial ointment for the death that Jesus as a King needs to die to save all mankind. In Isaiah 53, Christ is being pictured as the Suffering Servant.
Should you celebrate Christmas, then give CHRIST a GIFT!