For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
We were expecting a crown of gold and an iron fist. We expected a warrior king who would take up the throne and punish the bad guys. Instead, we got a baby born in a manger. The first witnesses to his birth were shepherds of such low standing in society their testimony was not even allowed in courts. Surrounding his birth was overwhelming bloodshed with boys under the age of two slaughtered as Jesus and his family fled to Egypt.
His crown was a crown of thorns that tore into his head pouring out blood. His throne was a cross and the iron were not fists, but nails into his skin. He was lifted up above us to behold as he died. It was not what we were expecting. It was certainly not what we deserved because that death brought conquest of death. Christ’s resurrection restored our place before the throne of God. Christ’s righteousness was bestowed on us and our sin bestowed on him.
It was marvelous and melancholy and awesome and overwhelming.
At Christmas so many of us have such great burdens, but there in a manger is a baby who will take up your burdens and lead you on paths of righteousness. All you have to do is ask him.