All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
– Matthew 1:22-23
What an Entrance
Now that was an entrance! If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie Aladdin, you know the scene . . . Aladdin had just used one of his three wishes to become a prince so that he would qualify to marry Princess Jasmine. He’s dressed marvelously as his new persona, Prince Ali Ababwa. And he doesn’t come alone. On the back of an elephant, with a full scale orchestra and what looks like a zoo accompanying him down the main street, Prince Ali enters the palace. It wasn’t true, but he wanted everyone to believe that he was a prince. I think the genie put on a pretty convincing show!
It is true that Jesus is the Prince of heaven, yet he didn’t come in an elaborate show. Can you get any less elaborate than a virgin’s womb, in lowly Bethlehem, in a barn? He was the long foretold Prince of Peace, yet he arrives, not in pomp and circumstance, but in humility. He would convince people of his royalty, not in dress or with an orchestra or exotic pets. He would convince people of his royalty with his love. The world heard the news that the angels sang; they’ve heard the message that the shepherds (and evangelists after them) proclaimed. The Holy Spirit used that gospel to plant faith in hearts, faith that would enable believers to see the grandiose love of God wrapped in flesh and laid in a manger. Our humble Savior showed his love when he set us free from sin and death.
His appearance wasn’t amazing, but the grace that he gives sure is! His entrance wasn’t awe-inspiring, unless faith enables you to see in him the heart of God that bleeds for you! See the virgin birth through which God was born to be with people like us. The Divine was born to die, so that death-bound sinners, like us, could live. The fact that God would leave heaven and set foot on earth to rescue sinners is an amazing feat of love. Yet humility was and always has been his theme.
By faith, we see what really happened in Bethlehem that night: the grand entrance of God born in flesh, God born to save us from sin and to win us for his glory.