Christmas 2014

Is 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

The coming of Christ, two thousand years ago and his corresponding death three decades later changed history, his birth marks the junction of time and dates AD and BCE. It was not a story or a legend but actual events with deep meanings and had its beginnings from the start of time itself.

There are those who fear the slippery slope of Gay marriages invoking the coming of Jesus Christ leading to the destruction of the whole earth! But the only sin is unbelief in Jesus Christ. For Christ has come and is coming back again.

Jesus chose to be born as a Jew, to a very humble family yet in the line of King David. He was poor yet had a kingly heritage as prophesied by the prophets of old. For His coming was in the plans since the beginning of time, the seed of woman that will bring down Satan. Even Satan knew it, soon after His birth, through Herod ordering all male babies to be killed.

Jesus penetrated through the darkness of this world, a world under the domain of Satan, where the weak is oppressed by the rich, the powerful and the religious powers. There were many religious faiths.

God had chosen Israel to be the nation and the people from whom the Messiah would come, hence Jesus chose to be born to Mary and Joseph. Mary was chosen. Israel was chosen because it was the smallest and weakest of nations just like today Israel is surrounded by a vast numbers of Arab nations wanting her demise. Israel had to remain faithful to One God in a land of many faiths through 2,000 years of testing and trials from the time of Abraham (born 2000 BCE).

Jesus was born to the poor because He was to be the high priest for all. The high priest need to identify himself with the entire people. If He was born to royalty like Moses, He would never be a priest like Aaron who suffered with the people under bondage in Egypt. A high priest is to have compassion with the people.

Jesus did not stand with the marginalised of the poor and needy in the large cities organising protests against the Romans conquerors or the Jewish religious legalists. He went into the desert to baptise people into the kingdom of God.

The poor and the needy were looking for hope, for the Messiah for liberation and they went into the desert looking for Jesus. Jesus healed them, fed them, but did not engaged in any process to create communities to oppose the Romans or the Jewish religious hierachy.

Jesus was a very lame “Messiah”, who didn’t ride in a white horse or rally a army to liberate the Jews. He talked about a Kingdom of heaven, not on earth. It was indeed so frustrating to His disciples who were looking for a liberator against the hierachal powers. His kingdom was clearly not on earth (John 18:36).

For Liberation comes within, and Jesus could not liberate them until He died and rose again at the Cross of Calvary. He came to die that we might live and rise with Him. He was the 2nd Adam to bring us back home to heaven, to the new garden of Eden.

The last Adam had given the reign of this world over to Satan. Once Jesus was resurrected, the coundown begin for the ultimate showdown and take over. The power of death was broken, the way back to heaven was establish through Jesus Christ. There is a revolution rather than any evolution.

People change but not much. Change comes from the inside, to a heart that is contrite and humble and willing to admit their sins and dependency of a saving grace in Jesus Christ. It is grace who changes our hearts, not religious laws or good works.

If Jesus had come to Singapore, our Christian leaders may even send Him to jail in the name of Loving Singapore! lest we fall into the slippery slope of sin because they may not be very much different from the Jewish legalist as can be seen in how they have demanded gays be put in jail. It is not sin that undermines a nation and a faith but injustice against the weak.

The religious hearts of the people of faith are hardened by religious laws rather than God’s love, grace and mercy. There is judgement in their hearts not that they are holy but because there is hidden sin. Their own sins condemn them and they put their sins on gays to be crucified.

The Jews killed Jesus, for it was religion and her strict religious laws of man’s self effort to reach God that killed Jesus. We can’t reach God and see Jesus by doing good works of love alone or being holy in our own estimate.

When Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the “I AM”, He was essentially claiming Himself to be God, hence to the worshipped. The Jews killed Him for this was ultimate blasphemy unless Jesus was really God.

Jesus is God as He stood 2,000 years ago at the Cross of Calvary and to be worshiped. But those He came to save mocked Him yet He asked the Father to forgive them. Yet, this mocking and cursing will end one day!

At the Cross, the banner put up by the Romans reads

“Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19)

In Hebrew, this reads:-

Yeshua Ha’Netzeret V’mlech Ha’Yehudim

which would be a shock to the religious Jews, because the acronym stands for Y-H-V-H or Yahweh, the name for God. The Jews asked for the banner to be taken down, for religion takes away Jesus Christ. It was religion that killed Jesus.

Jesus came not be be worshipped even though God, but to serve and to sacrifice Himself at the Cross that He may bring us back to God.

There is no justice and mercy in this world. The rich are getting richer. The poor are suffering. The religious zealots persecute the weak. The church hierachal concerns herself with tradition, power and control, their own religious kingdoms on earth. Many have died in the name of religion.

Yet, Jesus came to establish His church as His witness and His people to be salt and light before His return to establish a new Kingdom on earth. (Mat 5:13-16). The decay cannot be stopped by any new evolutionary kindom on earth. The salt preserved the nations until the coming back of Jesus Christ.

In this Christmas, Jesus is no longer a babe in the manger. He is no longer hanging at the Cross. The Advent, the coming, now means that Jesus is coming again. But He already came into the hearts of those whose faith is in Jesus as Lord, God and Saviour. His Kingdom is already in their hearts, for the abundance of the Holy Spirit brings oil of life into our spirit to rejoice as we see His coming again, very soon.