day 11: identification

Isaiah 63:8-9; Luke 2:1-20

“For he said, ‘Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely.’  And he became their Savior.  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” – Isaiah 63:8-9

“‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,’Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” – Luke 2:11-14

out of His love, He rescued us.  He had to become our Savior.  but it cost Him so much to do so.  to love us He would have to become us…and take on all our pain.  “in all their affliction He was afflicted“…i have to really meditate on that.

one, in order to become our Savior He had to become a human…the Creator would humble himself to take on the form of His creation…in the midst of all its frailty.  second, He became a child, dependent and weak in the eyes of mankind.  third, he was born into poor conditions, in a food trough for animals, to parents in a seemingly scandalous position, as the father was not the biological father of the child.  fourth, he was born to die…a fascinating insight from fructenbaum reveals that the “swaddling cloths” was probably not the regular baby clothes of a child (otherwise why would it be noted as a sign or something unusual to distinguish this child for the shepherds to find?) but the other meaning of the word: burial clothes.  to add to the likelihood of this interpretation is that stables, with mangers for animals, in these days were actually caves…caves also used to bury people in.  burial cloths would thus be kept in caves.  so when Jesus was born he was wrapped in death…literally and figuratively.  in order to save us jesus would be wrapped in burial cloths and buried in a cave after his death.  He would be laid low so we could be “lifted up“.  what affliction of the human experience did he not know or experience at some level?  then there is a very common misreading of the angels’ announcement…it does not say “peace on earth”, it says “on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”  He gives peace not to a land but He gives peace to people.  to think he is pleased with any of us is amazing.  yet He places his favor on us because He offered us this peace even though it meant He would be “afflicted” and knowing that “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace.” (isaiah 53:5c)

how much must He love us that He humiliated Himself so much to do so?  how can we bring our afflictions to Him, remembering that He has experienced afflictions personally?

thank you Lord that you loved us enough to identify with us

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