Book Preview: This is an excerpt from the book 31 Days at Bethlehem’s Manger, written by Shane Johnson.
A great devotional to pick up for December!
December 8 – Night
“Unto us a Son is given…” Isaiah 9:6
Bethlehem was not His beginning. The Eternal Son had no beginning. “In the beginning was the Word” is a truth that precedes Genesis 1:1, though written long after (John 1:1). Isaiah wrote “unto us a child is born” to mark His entrance into time as the humble babe of Bethlehem, but the balance of this verse is “unto us a Son is given,” which indicates that He was ever the Eternal Son. He was indeed born but He was never created.
Hebrews chapter 1 celebrates the truth that the Son always was. To the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,” and “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thine hands” (Heb. 1:8,10). The Son always was, always is, and always will be. As long as there has been a Father, there has been a Son.
That the Son of God would be a Child, now that was something new. Just think of it: the Eternal Son assumes the rags of our humanity for a time, becoming weaker and lower than the angels He created, in order to clothe us with His own immortality in His own righteousness. Hallelujah! Praise be to the Eternal Son! He had not given this kind of aid to angels, but He did give aid to the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:17). He did not become an angel in order to die for angels. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
To us that Son was given. To us that child was born. Which of the angels can say, “He died for me?” “Redemption,”
“forgiveness,” and “propitiation” are words angels do not understand. To be an ambassador of God is a privilege an
archangel might envy. Let us fully rejoice in the gift of the Son this Christmas season.
Mighty Eternal Son
You breached space-time, entered a womb,
then buried Your steel into our flesh,
to suit Yourself in our costume.
Tissued, weakly Son of Man
You ambushed death inside a tomb.
Dead, You budded with new life
waiting there until You bloomed.
“If you want to seriously meditate on the great truths of what really happened just over 2000 years ago, and how it shook both heaven and earth, forever, you will not be disappointed with any page of this fresh and rich devotional book written by a man I have come to respect very much.
Shane Johnson has provided us with two meditations for each day of December, predominantly with a focus on the Incarnation – God becoming a man, in real though sinless human flesh – to help us not only understand the plan of God, but to motivate us to worship and serve Him. The last few days in the book shift the focus away from the “Christmas” theme, as Shane points to a new year of putting this renewal of adoration into practice, by first addressing what we really believe.” – From the Introduction by Peter Bolton