A Holiday Juxtaposition

My devotional reading lately is nearing the end of the Gospel of Matthew. Caiaphas and the other religious leaders have begun their plotting to do away with Jesus. The woman has poured perfume over Jesus' head, preparing him for burial. Judas has thirty new pieces of silver in his pocket. Golgotha is approaching.

It's interesting going through these events during Christmastide. Bethlehem is approaching. For that tiny baby whose birth we are about to commemorate, His destination was already written down in the prophecies of old. The manifestation of God's love for us--God Himself incarnate, dwelling among us, lowly and humbly--will one day experience one of the most cruel and brutal forms of execution ever invented.

Jesus came to us, born in a creche (which many say was probably a cave of sorts), lying in a feed trough, straw for bedding, lowly shepherd for visitors. He would end life similarly: laid to rest in a tomb (another cave in a hillside), swaddled in cloths, lowly women for visitors. And His entire life was about love. All He did was done in love. Indeed, He was love made flesh. What other gift can we ask for?

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