I know this is an interesting question (especially this time of year), but in a year with so much confusion and turmoil I cannot think of a better question. After all, each of us has had some concerns this year over the pandemic, the elections, the economy, personal issues, or all of the above. These “concerns” may seem legitimate in this day and age, but nevertheless, such concerns may erode our faith. I ask the question again, “How do you see Jesus in 2020?”
In Acts 2:7, as Linus reads, “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.” This time of year allows a lot of non-believers and believers to see Mary holding baby Jesus in the Nativity scene. Although Jesus the baby does not appear to tell the salvation story, these humble beginnings establish Jesus as a human born of a woman. Born as a human, Jesus experiences a lifetime just like you and I. Jesus demonstrated how we should live our earthly lives and lived it without sin. Seeing a young mother wrapping her firstborn son in swaddling clothes is a beautiful image, but do we see a baby swaddled or GOD’s Gift wrapped for your acceptance by faith?
In Matthew 14:25, we read “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.” I could have listed pages of miracles performed by Jesus, but I feel non-believers and believers are familiar with the Man who “walked on water.” But how much do we understand what the Bible is telling us in Matthew 14. We read that John the Baptist is beheaded and when Jesus is informed, he goes to be alone. While seeking to be alone, the multitude gathered as Jesus had compassion for them as he healed and preached to them. Afterwards, the disciples are “concerned” with the size of the multitude and worry there is not enough food. Jesus feeds the 5000 and demonstrates faith. Once again, Jesus sends the disciples across the Sea of Galilee while He goes up the mountain to pray. While in prayer, Jesus sees the disciples being tossed around in the water and comes to their aid in their time of need. Even after Peter asked Jesus to prove his presence, Jesus grabs Peter as he begins to sink from his lack of faith. As we try to endure the ups and downs of 2020, are we sinking because we lack the faith that Jesus will catch us?
In Luke 23:32-34, we read “There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” I feel there are no more recognizable religious images then the Cross. Whether a single cross or three side-by-side, the image of the Cross is a symbol. That symbol can mean different things to different people, but it should mean the full payment for our sins. Such self-sacrifice by Jesus Christ, to be sinless and take to burden of all mankind’s sin from the beginning of time till His return. To see Jesus bleeding as His nailed hands and feet hold His beaten body executed for a crime He did not commit, but to know that we are the guilty ones deserving that cross. Do you see Jesus as your Savior, sacrificing Himself, to ensure you live everlasting or just another religious image?
Reflect on Jesus as a gift from GOD, a helping hand as your faith is sinking, and the sacrifice for your sinful debt. Jesus should be our focus as we leave 2020 and we should have faith that He will be with us as we walk across the uncharted waters.
We are reminded in John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Indeed, if we would just believe, we will see the glory of GOD.
In 1 Peter 1:6-9 we read how our various trials need not stop us from celebrating His life, “ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we should praise Him for His sacrifice, we should honor Him in our actions towards others, and we should give Him the glory for the heavenly future He has granted us if we only accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
PRAISE BE TO GOD, FOR A SAVIOR IS BORN.