Isaiah 25:6

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Every night I do my Bible reading, but there was a verse that had caused me some trouble. Obviously I know that every document – especially historical – must be read in context, so I set off on my task.

The Verse:

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
ISAIAH 25:6 (NIV)

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Photo found HERE.

The Problem:

In this verse, Isaiah is talking about the feast that will be had in Heaven. Regardless if it is an actual, physical, feast, or not, it is the use of the word ‘meats‘ that confused me.

Death is an enemy. Nothing died in the Garden of Eden, because death could not exist in the presence of our Holy Lord. This means that when we are together in Heaven, there will be no more death, and that includes animals.

So, how are we then eating meat?

Numerous times throughout the book of Isaiah’s prophecies, he talks about peace from death in Heaven, so why is this different. Isaiah was such a God-loved man, and Jesus often referred to him, so how could I reconcile this?

I was puzzled.

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Researching:

I emailed a friend and my brother, but didn’t get an answer that satisfied me.

I tried assorted Google searches, but no one seemed to be talking about it. Everyone spoke of Isaiah’sproclamation‘ of vegetarianism in Heaven, so I knew there must have been a clear answer to my query. I just had to keep looking.

There is a fantastic website called Bible Gateway, which has a multitude of translations of both the Old and New Testament. The default one seemed to be NIV (New International Version). It read as above.

My friend is a HUGE fan of the King James Version (KJV), so I thought I would see if that phrased it in a clearer way.

And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts
make unto all people a feast of fat things,
a feast of wines on the lees,
of fat things full of marrow,
of wines on the lees well refined.
ISAIAH 25:6 (KJV)

Here we can see it is a bit different. Instead of ‘meat‘ it says ‘fat things full of marrow‘. Granted it’s not very different, but maybe it can give some clues.

As I said before, we must always read in context. One site I visited said that marrow is not only very good for you to eat, but is a delicacy. It is opulent and rich, and not something a lot of people can afford. At the time in which Isaiah was writing this prophecy, they were at war. What was something that was unattainable and would be seen as a great luxury in Heaven? Meat and wine.

While you may be able to read through Isaiah like one chapter after the other, it is important to note that the book is a collection of his prophecies, and each occurred at a different time. What he may have said in one context in one prophecy, would be totally different in another.

I had one last look at the list of Bible translations, and found exactly what I was looking for.

On this mountain AdonaiTzva’ot
will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food and superb wines,
delicious, rich food and superb, elegant wines.
ISAIAH 25:6 (CJB)

This translation comes from the CJB Complete Jewish Bible – and, I think, would be closest, as it is for the Old Testament.

Here we can see that what was translated as ‘meat‘, was previously translated as ‘delicious, rich food‘.

The Solution:

Isaiah was saying that, in Heaven, there will be no more death and fear (like they were experiencing with their ongoing war), and they would be free to eat the best food and drink the best drink.

The use of meat was not literal, and was the context of the time of what they considered a “delicious, rich food“. They would have known it would not have been actual meat, because Isaiah (and others) had said no more death would occur in Heaven.

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Photo found HERE. It is actually titled ‘Wedding at Cana’ by Paolo Veronese. Though not the feast in Heaven, Jesus always likened it to a wedding feast, and it was at this wedding that Jesus miraculously transformed water into wine.

So, I hope you liked this little research trip. I wanted to write it in case someone else stumbled upon the words.

If you have anything else to add, please do so in the comments below!

Why I Am A Christian

I’ve been talking to a lot of people because of this blog. Some are Christian, some are from other faiths, and some are atheists.

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The majority of the time, the atheists are militant, aiming to only proclaim their own faith (in themselves – a foolish option). I tried to answer their questions and spread God’s word, but I was left wanting. I felt broken inside. Over and over again I would answer questions, until I realised that these people didn’t want answers. They only wanted to fight. They never listened, and I felt like I was letting God down.

Then God put a  single verse in my head.

For everyone who asks receives, the
one who seeks finds; and to the one
who knocks, the door will be opened.
MATTHEW 7:8

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Image found HERE

These people weren’t atheists because I hadn’t answered them. They were atheists because they WANTED to be. If they would truly seek God, He would reveal Himself to them.

During this time, I asked myself: Why am I a Christian?

CHILDHOOD
My mother raised me to believe in God. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know He was up there. But with early childhood not being an easy time for my family, I could have blamed God. I didn’t. I understood.

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Image found HERE

RESEARCH
It was when I entered university that I decided I needed to learn more about God. I wanted to know the TRUE history of the world; I wanted to know why I was created; and I wanted to know how I would be spending eternity. All those answers are found in the Bible. As the years have gone on, I have done research, research, and more research. Everything continues to point to God.

question
Image found HERE

So, why am I a Christian? I’m a Christian because I have listened to what God has told us about Himself, I have prayed that I would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and I have faith that Jesus died and rose from the dead to pay for our sins and defeat death.

Why are you a Christian? What is it about our Lord and Saviour that first called to you? Let me know in the comments below!

MYTH: Jesus didn’t die on the cross

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*Images and Content NOT suitable for children.*

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A common myth is that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross, and his ‘resurrection’ was just him reemerging (From where? Why?). Here are the problems with these arguments and how we know Jesus did die, so he would rise again from the dead.

I recently found a very interesting website that deals with this specifically. The link is HERE, and I will be taking my notes from it.

Death by crucifixion takes days, not hours.
Yes, this is true, however Jesus was not just crucified. Jesus was:

  • physically assaulted – beaten, kicked, thrown around and to the floor

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  • dehydrated – Jesus had no water or anything else to eat

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  • whipped – it is unknown how many lashes Jesus received. There was a Jewish law that limited it to forty lashes, but it was most likely not heeded in this instance. Stated from the above website: “When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.” Jesus was already near death at this point.

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  • tortured – this continues from the physical beatings and whipping already inflicted upon our Lord. His clothing would have been returned to him, and then it was torn off, reopening his whipping wounds. The crown of thorns was also placed on his head. “Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body. After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.”

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  • impaled with a spear – When he had been on the cross for hours, and they were hurrying to get them all down before the Passover, the soldiers would break their legs to get them to die quicker. When it came to Jesus, the Romans remarked that they didn’t need to do that, because he was already dead. A Roman soldier then pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, plunging it deep into his torso – his heart, to be exact. “The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.”

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Understanding of medicine wasn’t as sophisticated back then. How do you know he was really dead?
Luke was a physician, and gives us the most medical information we can hope for regarding this event. One thing he writes about, is how Jesus sweat blood, which is thoroughly included in medical journals:

Under great emotional stress of the kind our Lord
suffered, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break,
thus mixing blood with sweat. This process might well
have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

It was the Romans that saw that Jesus was dead, and they were known for their accurate prognoses (especially of someone’s death).

The gospel writers weren’t the only ones that claimed Jesus died on the cross. The Romans did, the gospel writers did, Joseph of Arimathea did, etc. They also had no reason to lie, especially the gospel writers who died for what they had seen. They saw Jesus die, and then rise from the dead. If they had not, they would not have believed him. Remember, they doubted, just like all of us, but they ended up dying for what they saw.

Prophecy and Trust
Over and over again Jesus showed he knew the future, and never sinned (therefore never lied). He spoke of his future crucifixion, and everything happened just as he said.

So, knowing the medical and philosophical proof for the TRUE, HISTORICAL death (and resurrection) of Jesus, I pray you can come to know Him, and put your faith and trust in Him.

God bless.

5 Facts About Christianity

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*Not suitable for children*

It seems like everyday I come across another misunderstanding on the internet about our Dear Lord Jesus. I thought I would address some of these today.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1. Jesus wasn’t a tall, white man with long hair.

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The New Testament gives no description of Jesus. We can only figure out what Jesus would have looked like by looking at the time and place in which he lived.

Isaiah 53:2b says: “he [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Common Jewish traditions meant men had beards – and were humiliated to have a shaven face.

His hair would not have been that long. Not only does Paul says many did not like it that way, but, as a carpenter, it would have gotten in the way.

He probably had a lot of muscles, as working with the wood and stones would have been very laborious.

His family were not rich, so his robe would have looked like all others.

As we read in numerous verses, Jesus looked much like all other Jewish males of the time, and we need to remember that looks have nothing to do with the power and majesty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this so bad? Personally, while I think it’s important to know the truth and understand his appearance doesn’t mean anything, we can also view it as

2. Magi, Wise Men, or Kings?

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Almost every Christmas carol mentions either three Magi, three Wise Men, or Three Kings. But who were they?

We don’t know how many there were. It is commonly thought to be three because they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but it could have been two, or numerous.

They were not Kings. They would have been scholars who were fluent in the Old Testament and knew the signs to look for. They came from the East (the orient), which was possibly Persia or Babylon, etc.

3. The Wise Men were not at Jesus’ birth.

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In Matthew 2:1-12 we read that the Wise Men came looking for Jesus after he was born. They approached King Herod, who then proceeded to call together all of his “chief priests and teachers of the law”. From here, the Wise Men went all the way to where Jesus was. This could have been back in Nazareth since time had passed, although it was probably in Bethlehem because when Herod had the babies killed, it was the cry out of Ramah.

Herod’s order decreed the death of the children under two years old, so time must have passed.

4. They counted the days differently.

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If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday, how could he have been dead for three days? The answer lies in how the days were counted back then.

We can read more in-depth about it HERE, but there are two ways to calculate Jesus’ death and resurrection as three days.

1.

DAY 1 DAY2 DAY 3
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day. “Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the ‘three days and three nights’ could permit a Friday crucifixion.””

2. 

“The verses above tell us that the Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar year. This corresponds to our months of March-April. It is possible, then, that this Passover could have occurred during the week with the Saturday Sabbath following. Since Lev. 23:5-7 tells the people to rest on the first day (not the last day Saturday), this is a type of Sabbath occurrence. Therefore, perhaps the following chart could represent a Thursday crucifixion and a subsequent set of three “night and days” before the Sunday resurrection.”

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Passover/Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“Something worth mentioning concerning this is that in the Greek in Matthew. 28:1, it says “Now after the Sabbaths [PLURAL], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” It is possible that there may have been two “sabbaths” during that week. The first may have been the Passover related “Sabbath” and the second may have been the Saturday Sabbath.”

5. Jesus had brothers and sisters.

You’ve probably heard about Jesus, human-father Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters born after him? In numerous places in the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ siblings. These would have been his half-siblings, as Joseph was not his father (God was).

There is a great website, HERE, that explains it perfectly. Excerpts include:

“Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible
verses. Matthew 12:46Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say
that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The
Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James,
Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also
tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named
or numbered (Matthew 13:56).”

So, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about Christianity. I will be adding more Facts About Christianity, so make sure to subscribe and check back.

What’s Happening December 25th?

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There’s something special coming up, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Oh yeah…CHRISTMAS!!

I was looking on Facebook when I noticed the news trending bar on the side showed the image above. If it hasn’t loaded, it says: ‘Christmas: Dec. 25 Marks Holiday Celebrating Birth of Jesus Christ’.

A few thoughts went through my mind.

  1. Why would anyone need to be reminded of such an obvious event/holiday? Is this revelation really news? I’m more surprised we’re still allowed to mention the J.C. name.
  2. Are there people out there who actually haven’t heard about Jesus? Of course there are, and this makes me feel so sad. I consider Jesus to be not only my God, but my best friend. He is the only one who is always there for me, and always championing me on to do my best. AND lastly,
  3. I love the wording. One of the ridiculous comments Christians usually get around Christmas time is: “You know Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th right?” Like that’s something we’ve never heard before! Of course he wasn’t. With the shepherds out watching over their flock, that time of year wouldn’t make sense. And yes, it does fall on/near a Pagan holiday, but that was pretty much only to give Christians something to do and focus on while they were doing their thing (better explanations are available). What I love about the wording is that it shows that December 25th is a date set aside to celebrate Jesus. Personally, I try to celebrate Jesus everyday; but this is one day of the year where we all focus on the fact that our Powerful Lord Saviour came down to us as a vulnerable babe, lying in a trough.

What does December 25th mean for you?

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Little Drummer Boy – A Christmas Carol Study

This song quickly became my favourite after I heard it performed by a band called Pentatonix. I even wrote a review about it HERE.

If you’re after more, check out my other Christmas carol studies: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, and Silent Night.

Listen to the song, and come along with me as we delve into the meaning behind the lyrics.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum

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Who came? This song tells the story of a young boy, coming to see baby Jesus. It does not hold true to any first Christmas records, so don’t try and find it in the Bible. As you will see, it is a beautiful telling of a child who travelled to see baby Jesus, and offering as a gift the only thing he could give: a song on his drum.

The use of a child, instead of an adult is, I think, a beautiful way of commenting on Jesus’ love for children. Jesus often spoke of the beauty of a child’s love and faith. This child was coming before Jesus’ ministry, with enough faith to come for his very birth.

Why a drum? I don’t know about this, and would welcome any thoughts and opinions. In the interest of expanding my knowledge and having an input for it here, I did some research.

There are a few times when percussion instruments were mentioned in the Bible. I found a great site (Drums & the Bible) which explains quite in-depth.

So while I’m not sure if this was what the song writer intended, it is cool to see the connection.

A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum

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Where would you expect a king to be born? In a palace? Surrounded by legions of loyal followers and servants? How about in a manger in a stable, surrounded by smelly animals? Jesus had only just been born and he was already a King. As both the Son of God, and God, he is the King of us all, and if we accept Jesus’ gracious gift of salvation, we get to spend eternity with him.

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

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As I said above, who would bring expensive gifts to a baby from a no-name family? The Bible tells us of three gifts given to baby Jesus: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Have you ever thought what these specific gifts meant? Were they chosen by the wise men (remember, they were not kings and were most likely more than three) because they were symbols, or did they also have more practical reasons? Let’s have a look together.

GOLD – Gold represents kingship. At numerous times in the Bible, gold was a gift given to kings. It was also something that would pay for their journey.

FRANKINCENSE – Frankincense could have symbolised Jesus’ priestly role. At the time, frankincense had been used for health, funeral purposes, and in the temple. It was used in sacrifices, and could have symbolised the sacrifice they knew Jesus would have to make.

MYRRH – The gift of myrrh was possibly a comment on his future – as it was often used in death and embalming. I found an article on website (HERE) that explains it much better than I could. It reads:

Myrrh was also a product of Arabia, and was obtained
from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a
spice and was used in embalming. It was also sometimes
mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink
was given to our Savior when He was about to be crucified,
as a stupefying potion (Mark 15:23). Matthew 27:34 refers to
it as “gall.” Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and
affliction. The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a
man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life
on the cross for all who would believe in Him.

So to honour Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

While it is unknown where the little drummer boy was supposed to have come from, the wise men (Magi) most likely came from Babylon or Ancient Persia. Despite what the Christmas carols and nativity scenes show, a cursory read of the gospels shows that the wise men actually wouldn’t have been at the birth of Jesus. From their talk with Herod, and other mentions, they would have arrived 1-2 years later. They still brought gifts, but not at the birth.

Pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum ahh

Chinese-drum

Drumming…

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum

We have heard them call Jesus the “King”, but here we see another part of Jesus. He came down to Earth to live as a human. Here, he was a little baby. What is more precious that a little baby? The fact that the most powerful became something to little and vulnerable, is awe inspiring.

I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum

I’ve heard different opinions on the wealth of Jesus (well, at this time, Mary and Joseph).

What we know about Joseph was that he was a carpenter. Nothing seems to indicate they were wealthy in anyway, and we are repeatedly told Jesus was poor. During his ministry, they relied on the kindness of others to supply them with lodging and food.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, Joseph did not have enough money or prestige to get them an appropriate place to stay. The gifts from the Magi (even if they were given 1-2 years later) would have helped, but it most likely would have been used to fund their escape to Egypt.

I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a king, pa rum pum pum
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
(pum pum pum part)

Have you ever felt like someone has given you so much and you could never repay them? How about when Christmas comes around and everyone is swapping presents, and you realise a lot more effort and money went into the present you were given than the one you gave out? Wouldn’t you feel worse if the one getting the short end of the stick was God as human Jesus who came to earth to die for our sins?

In this song, the little drummer boy, he is a poor boy who travelled to greet the Lord in human form, and didn’t have anything worthy enough to give as a gift. With God doing so much for us, it is easy for us to feel inadequate, but we must remember that God loves us and only wants us to accept the sacrifice his son made. There is no list of good deeds that will make us worthy, and no gift we can give to God, because everything is already his!

So what does the little drummer boy do? He shares the gift of music that he had been blessed with. One common misconception about Christianity (from those that want to make it fit to their desires, not God’s) is that as long as you do your best, you will go to Heaven. While the little drummer boy did his best, he did it FOR Jesus. We need to acknowledge that Jesus is God (in the Holy Trinity), that he came to earth as a human, taught, healed, died on the cross, and rose again, all so that we could have eternal life with him in Heaven.

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum

I read something the other day about Joseph not being mentioned in the birth records; not even a ‘midwife’. The Bible says Mary wrapped Jesus in the strips, and Mary laid him in the manger. Being a first time father, there might not have been much he could have contributed. In this song, Mary nodded. I love this mother-son bonding.

The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum

I don’t know what to comment about this part. If you have any comments, please leave them below. I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
(pum pum pum part)

As it was said before, there is nothing better than giving your best to God.

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

This song ends with Jesus showing not just his approval – which could have been a nod – but his love, shown in a smile.

I love this song and really enjoyed looking into the meanings behind the lyrics.

What did you think?

Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below so it can be made well-rounded.

Silent Night – A Christmas Carol Study

This is the third blog post in a series dissecting Christmas Carols. I’ve been going through the lyrics, and explaining how they are wonderful testaments to the glory and love that is the birth of Jesus, Son of God.

You can check out O Little Town Of Bethlehem (HERE), and Away in a Manger (HERE).

This post is about the classic carol Silent Night.

Silent night, Holy night

There are a lot of Christmas carols that refer to the night of the birth of Jesus as ‘silent’ and ‘still’.

While I do not think there are any records of a specific lull, and Bethlehem being inundated with many families coming to register for the census ordered by Caesar Augustus, I think it is referring to the lack of royal heraldry that should surround the birth of a king.

Jesus, the saviour and promised king, was not born in a palace surrounded by servants; he was born in a stable (although exact locations are still debated) and laid in a manger with animals and a handful of admirers around him. Despite all of the ‘clues’ throughout the Old Testament that pointed right to Jesus, barely anyone recognised the signs. It was both silent, and Holy.

Round yon virgin, mother and child

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This line might be mistaken as saying “young”, commenting on Mary’s age. However, it is important to know that there are no indications that Mary was especially young. Instead, it refers to the prophecies and actualities of the event. In the Old Testament, we hear of Isaiah, a prophet who spoke God’s word during the time when Israel and Judah were separated. He foretold events that were close to happening, as well as those which would come long after he died. One of these things was the virgin birth of Jesus.

Isaiah 7:14 reads: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

A virgin becoming pregnant and having a child was not a common thing. It was a miracle, meaning it wasn’t happening all the time. But there is one ‘person’ who could make it happen, and that was the Creator God who made and implemented these laws of nature in the first place. But you might ask, why did God choose a virgin birth? There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, as I wrote above, a virgin giving birth was not something that happened. No one had heard of it before, and it was a clear sign that this event was the one God had spoken about since the first sin.

Secondly, even though all humans are sinful, and Mary was not immune to this, Jesus was not considered a sinner before birth, because Joseph was not technically his father. In ancient Hebrew culture, it was the head of the house – the man – that influenced the sinfulness of the whole family. When we talk about Adam and Eve, even though Eve was the first to break God’s rules, Adam was, in essence, responsible for her and her actions. The male line carries the sin, and with Jesus’ male line coming from God, he was sinless even before birth.

Holy infant, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

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At every stage, Jesus bucked the human-ideal of a King. Being referred to as ‘tender’ and ‘mild’ would not have been a compliment for them. However, Jesus never changed his mild demeanour. He taught against violence and hate, and performed wondrous miracles without demanding attention.

As the Son of God, the creator of Heaven, Jesus lived there before coming down to Earth, and this repeated line seems to point to his knowledge of his Godliness even as a young babe.

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light

When you think of Jesus, you immediately think of love. No one, not even the Pharisees desperate to demean his name and Godly-personage, could truthfully state a sin he committed.

Jesus also called himself ‘the Light’. John 8:12 records: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is a beautiful representation of God’s love and power, as light is not only comforting – as in a night-light to little children – but light drives out the darkness, darkness cannot drive out the light.

Radiant beams from thy holy face

How many of you have seen images like the ones above? Have you ever thought about why Jesus – and Saints in Catholicism – have their head surrounded by a circle of light?

This ring of light is called a halo and features in all sorts of art. When we see them in relation to Jesus, it is a way of attempting to capture the light that shone from his face. No, Jesus did not actually have a glowing head, it is a symbol of his pureness and the love that emanated from him. One definition of ‘radiance’ is: great joy or love, apparent in someone’s expression or bearing. (As a side-note, an example I found for this definition is about a bride’s radiant smile, which is an interesting connection, because Jesus is often referred to as being ‘married’ to the church).

A few Bible verses use this imagery.

The Lord make his face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Numbers 6:25

So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel
saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face
shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
Exodus 34:30

Who is like the wise man and who knows
the interpretation of a matter? A man’s
wisdom illumines him and causes his stern
face to beam.
Ecclesiastes 8:1

There are many, many more examples, which you can find HERE.

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus was only just born, and already he was being praised for his Godliness and Holiness. Not only was this because the people knew who he was, but because it was the beginning of all they had been promised. They knew what he had come to do, and for that promise to have come true, it meant all the other promises would as well.

The Israelites hadn’t always had a smooth existence. We all know about the Israelites being held as slaves in Egypt and God’s miraculous rescue. However, it was far from being the only example. With every human tracing back to Adam and Eve, it is natural the story goes all the way back to them. God spoke to Satan, and Genesis 3:15 reads: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” This ‘he’ is Jesus, who Satan knew would one day destroy him. So at every chance he got, Satan has tried to turn people from God, and mess-up God’s plan to have Jesus be born. All too many times Israel turned from God and got their deserved punishment, and at the time of Jesus’ birth, they were under Roman rule. So with Jesus the fulfilment of the birth, they knew they were on the ‘dawn’ of their redemption from Satan and sin.

Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

black-baby-jesus

It is in the New Testament that we learn the most about Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament, we are told what to expect and look for, but it is through the Gospels that we fully learn about our Lord, Jesus. Most of the accounts tell of Jesus’ ministry, with a few telling of his birth, and very little about his childhood.

So does that mean Jesus was not God when he was younger? Did he not know? I, personally, believe Jesus knew he was God from birth, and that is what this repeated line means to me. They were not back-projecting praise when he became God later-on in life, they were saying that he was God since birth.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight

lluu8

Despite a lot of Christmas carols saying three Kings came to visit Jesus, there are no actual account of this. Instead, it was shepherds, and then Wise Men (there are no times when it says three, people just assume that because they brought three gifts).

The shepherds were watching their flocks one night (also noteworthy is that Jesus most likely wasn’t born on December 25 because the weather wouldn’t have permitted shepherds and their flocks at that time). Suddenly, Angels of Heaven appeared to them. These beings are not the angels seen above, and were strange looking creatures.

I found a good description on a website called What Christians Want To Know:

Angels are not composed of physical matter but are spirit
beings created by God (Heb. 1:14).  They can resemble human
form when God permits or wills it (Gen. 19).  There are different
orders or ranks of angels in heaven.  Those that covered the
throne in heaven were mighty seraphim angels.  They had six
wings that hovered over the throne of God.   Two of the
seraphim’s wings covered their faces because God is so holy that
even the seraphim angels could not look upon God (Isaiah 6:2).
Another set of wings covered their feet for they were in the midst
of holy ground where God abided and Moses (Exodus 3:5) and Joshua (Joshua 5:15) had to remove their shoes while in the presence of
God.  Angels do have some human features like feet, voices,
and faces (Isaiah 6:1-2).

If you witnessed something like this, you would “quake at the sight” too. Even if they were in human-like form, there was still something about them that wasn’t usual.

Glories stream from heaven above
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.

angels-singing-1

We read in the above section that the shepherds were terrified of this strange sight. Imagine their amazement when the angels began singing! ‘Hallelujah’ means ‘Praise the Lord’.

I recently got a children’s picture Bible (reviewed HERE), and I think it explains this part so all people can understand:

Then, all at once, the whole sky was full
of angels. They were singing together,
praising and thanking God for his gift to
the world. “Glory to God in heaven,” they
sang, “and peace on earth to those who
love him.”

What a spectacular sight and something to write about!

Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

What is a ‘Saviour’? The dictionary defines it as: “a person who saves someone something from danger or difficulty.” Sounds interesting, but still kind of bland. Jesus is the Saviour, but he is definitely not bland.

There’s a lot to this, so I’ll summaries it in points and can explain further upon request.

  1. We were made to be sinless and live with God. God is holy and perfect, so can’t be around sin and let it continue.
  2. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were telling God that they wanted him to take a step back, so he did.
  3. With God’s eternal life for us now gone (remember, God can’t let sin continue and thrive), we were going to die. God didn’t want that to be the end.
  4. God taught Adam and Eve (who taught the continuing generations, etc.) how to conduct sacrifices. This death of animals wasn’t pleasant, and each time, they would have to see what their sin was doing (there was no death or suffering before the first sin). This death was to take the place for their death, making them once again right with God. But these were only animals, and it wasn’t enough to cover ALL of their future sins.
  5. There was only one sacrifice that could cover the sin, and that was a pure and sinless being. Not only this, but this being needed to defeat death. Death is an enemy to be feared, and needed to be overcome. Jesus was this being.

Jesus was – and is – definitely our saviour. He saved us from the danger of sin and eternal death.

Will you be thinking about these reasons the next time you sing Silent Night?

What is it about this song that you love the most? Let me know in the comments below, or write your own blog post and link me!