Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Mark 15:24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.

24 Καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ᾽ αὐτὰ τίς τί ἄρῃ.

Here we are on the day after Christmas and I find myself in Mark 15.  This seems a bit macabre given all the sugar we have been consuming to remind us of the sweetness of our Savior.  We exchanged gifts to remind us that Jesus gave us the best gift we could possibly ever receive.  We sing songs like "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night" as we contemplate that first Christmas.

I have always loved Christmas, but now that I am a parent of two small children I love the giving more than the receiving.  I never really understood that until the past few years.  I would still have trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve because of the anticipation.  Now I look forward to seeing how my children react to their gifts.  They rarely disappoint.

But here we see that, in contrast to the sweetness of Christmas, σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν.  There's nothing fancy about this verb.  It is simply a present active 3rd person indicative.  It means what it looks like it means.  They crucified Him.

My point is that there was a shadow of a cross hanging over the manger where He was laid.  He was born to die as a ransom for mankind.  So while we think about the wonder of Christmas let us be even more amazed as we consider that His death loomed over His whole life.  I don't think that His parents quite understood that, based on how they reacted to His ministry.  As a baby He didn't understand it either.  But as we look back at the gospel accounts we can see how He was born to die as a payment for sin.  What a Savior!

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