From Bethlehem's Manger To Calvary's Cross

on Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have finally found the star in Bethlehem directing me to a place that everybody is looking for. Some people may have followed different stars in their journey and ended up finding earthly treasures placed in golden chests, which gave temporary elation to their very soul. However, as for me the star which I chose to follow, led me to the manger where a newborn Baby was lying so comfortably with nothing but a club of animals rejoicing with this glorious sight.

In my last year’s blog entry (Bethlehem’s Star and the Lost King – December 2007), I wrote there that my only wish for 2008 was to experience my Jesus like I had never experienced Him before. True enough, my journey’s highlight for this year was when I met my Jesus AGAIN in a very unexpected place - - - THE MANGER. From afar, the star was shining so brightly down to that manger, it was dark outside yet THAT STAR gave me so much hope amidst the vastness of that strange place. You see, I was a traveler, a lost king whose sovereignty only extended within the realms of my cognition and personal space. I was nothing, my identity then belonged to nobody, and I was just an inhabitant of this dreary world who never got to appreciate the best of everything. Looking at that bright star, my anxieties of not finding something at the end of my journey (while other people had already found their earthly treasures) was very apparent. The darkness instilled so much fear in me thinking that any moment a starving predator could come up before me and gang up on me for a gastronomical feast. This fear did not last for the star gave me direction towards a sure place somewhere in the dark. It was very strange that despite the darkness and uncertainties around that deserted place, peace was strongly felt. Unlike the evolution of fear, mankind during the prehistoric years was afraid of the dark because they were the popular preys of creatures lurking around unfamiliar places. What I experienced though was pure peace amidst that darkness. Jesus was born not during a sunny day but He was introduced to this world where darkness was all around the sky. This awesome truth speaks of God’s AMAZING GRACE that He came to give us hope in this weary world. The manger speaks of emptiness, poverty, grief, and failed accomplishments but Baby Jesus on that night gave real light and freedom from these bondages. I was a witness of His birth, His self-sufficient light, and His comforting and glorious presence. I experienced Him. I saw His face. I stayed in that manger for a long time to recuperate from my brokenness and despair. All my life as a traveler, I never understood the purpose of my journey for everything I saw and experienced was temporary. Nothing could give me meaning until that night in Bethlehem. Baby Jesus’ giggles, every time I look at His face, gave me an assurance that despite the dirt on my face He appreciates me. His presence made me realise that my purpose in life is to tell everyone about my encounter with Him so that they, too, can experience REAL JOY that only comes from Him. I may have not found the earthly treasures just like what others found in their journeys, but my true treasures are with Jesus and I know that right at this very moment He is preparing a place for me in Heaven. When the time comes that I will meet Him face to face, He will show me my real treasures in the place He has prepared for me.

Just before my attempt to carry Baby Jesus, the noise on this earth has awakened me. Everything was just a dream, but I knew that I was transported to Bethlehem to rekindle the faith that I once had before I got enticed by this glittering world. I woke up with an unexplainable joy and peace in my heart and reckoned that I was really there in Bethlehem. If only the people of this planet could fathom God’s love then we can all experience how it is to be saved by His grace. It is just too sad to look at this world filled with emptiness and greed; God gave His son Jesus to give light and purpose to each of us but mankind has resorted to their own wicked ways and because of this Jesus’ death on the cross was inevitable. From Bethlehem’s manger, we all have crucified Christ in Calvary. He could have opted not to be crucified, Jesus could have used His powers not to suffer from the hands of the people He created but because of His pure love He thought of YOU and ME in every step He made towards death. Every time I look at the cross, I see His love and His amazing grace. What about you? Are you still crucifying Him with how you’ve been living your life?

I was a witness of His birth and His light yet I crucified Him. Every blood that dropped from His broken body reminds me of how precious my life was/is to Him that He took the place for me and He thought of me above all things. From Bethlehem’s Manger to Calvary’s Cross, both places signify my salvation and freedom, I pray that all of you who’s reading this blog entry will have a new perspective of who Jesus is in your life. Merry Christmas to all of you!