1. Journey to the Cross: The Word became flesh

Now that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is behind us, let’s look forward to the commemoration of his final days on planet Earth.

And we must keep in mind that the Bible was meant to be a record of the genealogy and family history of the descendants of Adam through Seth through Abraham through Isaac through Jacob (a.k.a. ISRAEL) through Judah through David through Joseph (and Mary) through Jesus and his followers who wrote testimonies about His birth, life, death and resurrection.

Jesus’ best friend, the apostle John, wrote this at the beginning of his testimony:

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.

All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing made had being.

In him was life,
and the life was the light of mankind.

 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not suppressed it.”

(John 1:1-5, The Complete Jewish Bible)

Jesus’ disciple, Matthew, wrote this:

Here is how the birth of Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam [Mary] was engaged to Yosef [Joseph], before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh [breath of God / Holy Spirit]. Her husband-to-be, Yosef, was a man who did what was right; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly, rather than put her to public shame. But while he was thinking about this, an angel of Adonai [the Lord God] appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Yosef, son of David [direct descendent of David], do not be afraid to take Miryam home with you as your wife; for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit].  She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘Adonai saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins.’

“All this happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,

“The virgin will conceive and bear a son,
and they will call him ‘Immanu El.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“(The name means, ‘God is with us.’)

When Yosef awoke he did what the angel of Adonai had told him to do — he took Miryam home to be his wife, but he did not have sexual relations with her until she had given birth to a son, and he named him Yeshua [Jesus].”

(Matthew 1:18-25, CJB)

Luke, the physician and researcher wrote:

“In the sixth month [of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy], the angel Gavri’el [Gabriel] was sent by God to a city in the Galil [Galilee] called Natzeret [Nazareth], to a virgin engaged to a man named Yosef, of the house of David; the virgin’s name was Miryam. Approaching her, the angel said, ‘Shalom, favored lady! Adonai is with you!’ She was deeply troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favor with God. Look! You will become pregnant, you will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua. He will be great, he will be called Son of Ha‘Elyon. Adonai, God, will give him the throne of his forefather David; and he will rule the House of Ya‘akov [Jacob]forever — there will be no end to his Kingdom.’

“’How can this be,’ asked Miryam of the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’

“The angel answered her,

“’The Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit] will come over you,
the power of Ha‘Elyon [God Most High] will cover you.
Therefore the holy child born to you
will be called the Son of God.’

“’You have a relative, Elisheva [Elizabeth], who is an old woman; and everyone says she is barren. But she has conceived a son and is six months pregnant! For with God, nothing is impossible.’ Miryam said, ‘I am the servant of Adonai; may it happen to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.”

(Luke 1:26-38, CJB)

“Around this time, Emperor Augustus issued an order for a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This registration, the first of its kind, took place when Quirinius was governing in Syria. Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret [Nazareth] in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem [Bethlehem], in Y’hudah [Judah], to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; and she gave birth to her first child, a son.  She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters.

“In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of Adonai appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah [glory] of Adonai shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.‘ Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God:

“’In the highest heaven, glory to God!
And on earth, peace among people of good will!’

“No sooner had the angels left them and gone back into heaven than the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go over to Beit-Lechem[Bethlehem] and see this thing that has happened, that Adonai has told us about.” Hurrying off, they came and found Miryam and Yosef, and the baby lying in the feeding trough.  Upon seeing this, they made known what they had been told about this child; and all who heard were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart. Meanwhile, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen; it had been just as they had been told.”

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: In America and many other places around the world, Christmas has become a time of materialism and excess.  Let’s compare that to Jesus’ actual birth day. Mary was nine months pregnant when she was required to walk 80 miles (or ride on a donkey) from Nazareth to Galilee to Bethlehem, the town of David, because she and Joseph were of the lineage of David. She gave birth in an area inhabited by smelly animals and their dung. She laid her baby boy in a feeding trough. Her first visitors were strangers — shepherds, from the bottom rung of the occupational and cultural ladder of that time period. That’s where Almighty God chose to enter the world of humans. He sent His Son — His avatar — at just the right time, to just the right place, just as He had said through His prophets.

It was not the way the Jewish people thought it would be or should be. They expected a king like David. Instead, their King came as a vulnerable infant and grew up to be a humble servant of the people — Son of God / son of man.

Do you believe it?

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