What Child is This? The Long-Awaited Child
“O raise, raise a song on high
His mother sings a lullaby”
-What Child is This by Josh Groban
“The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until he whose right it is comes
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.” – Genesis 49:10
Jesus’ human life was planned since the beginning of the Bible. As soon as man chose to sin, there was a desperate need for a Saviour to step in and rescue humanity from their fall. They crossed over into the wrong family. God was going to do what was needed to save people from their sins no matter what it would cost, including His own life.
The Lord became a Rescuer throughout many stories in the Old-Testament. He had large accounts of physically saving an entire nation from slavery, such as the Israelites from the Egyptians. He also had smaller accounts of saving a few people at a time, including Rahab and her family from an annihilated city. He taught the Israelites the appropriate sacrifices to make for each of their sins. But overall, nothing was enough to fully save their souls because everything was temporary. Man was the one that started sin. Man would be the one that needed to finish it too. The only issue is that it needed to be a perfect sacrifice. It needed to come from someone who couldn’t/didn’t sin.
“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.“ – Isaiah 7:14
The only way for man to be redeemed would need to come from purity. God Himself is the only natural perfect being. Therefore, it needed to come from God. But how could it come from Him if it needed to come from man? God’s physical representation of Jesus needed to come and take on the form of man as well to combine the perfect God and man. In order to do this, He needed to experience the human life from beginning to end. Hence the Holy Spirit conceiving the Christ child in Mary’s womb to make Him a baby and Him coming to dwell among us.
“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, fourteen generations.” – Matthew 1:17
Though this was planned since the fall of man, the Lord patiently waited for the time that the world was ready and in most need to receive Him. Man had tried all other methods. They tried to be their own god. They did their own thing. The prophets even tried to rally the Israelites back to full submission to the Lord, but no matter how hard anyone tried, it always fell short. So, the Lord continued to pour out His glory and His grace. He shepherded His people until the point that He and they both had enough. It was time for the Saviour to come and help people to see Him living among them. It was a deep, connected relationship. He was the needed example to show humanity how to live for Him in a way that honoured God. He became the perfect sacrifice and the great High Priest. But it took more than 42 generations to get there. That’s a long time!
It makes me think of our lives. How many times have we prayed long and hard for something, only to wait years before maybe seeing the results? We’ve felt the Lord place something in our minds and hearts, but not see any fruition from it. Why would He do that? Sometimes it is for our growing dependence on Him. Other times it is because it is still yet to come.
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah” – Psalm 39:4-5
God’s timing and ours are vastly different. We cannot comprehend His full understanding of how everything works together. As we can see in hindsight though, God’s timing is always perfect. He knows exactly what He’s doing and He’s never in a rush to do it. Every plan He has written falls into place at the exact moment it’s meant to, no matter how long it takes. So we pray:
“…teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
As we look towards Christmas this year in longing for Jesus’ return, may we be reminded that His plans and timing are perfect. He will come when the world and Him are in the perfect moment to receive our glorious King as the Sovereign Warrior. He will fight the battle one last time and finish evil off for good. Until that time, we are called to draw near to Him, to love Him with all our hearts, and to continue “fighting the good fight” 1 Timothy 6:12. Though Jesus came as a little baby, He was a meek and fierce King. Let’s not mistake His soft cries of a baby with a mere mortal. He came with the most profound calling and fulfilled it for you and me.