Jesus' Footprints

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Luke 2:8-20

Angel&Shepherds

When was the last time you received good news? What did you do?  Did you keep it to yourself or did you share it with others?

Imagine you were one of those shepherds watching over your sheep.  It was a night like any other or so you thought…

Suddenly an angel appears out of nowhere and a bright light shines around you. You’re scared.  You wonder what is going on.  The angel assures you and the other shepherds that there is nothing to be afraid of.  He has come to share good news.  Then he makes the big announcement, “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 to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

The Savior whom you and others have been waiting for is born.  He’s in Bethlehem in a manger.  While you are still trying to digest this incredible news, other angels join the first one and the air is filled with their glory as they raise their voices in a song of praise to God. What a glorious sight. You can hardly believe what you are seeing.  After the angelic host leaves, you and the other shepherds are filled with excitement.  You can’t wait to go and see the Child for yourselves. You are anxious to go and see what the Lord has made known to you. You hurry off to the manger where you see Mary, Joseph and the Child.

The shepherds “made widely known the word which was told them concerning this Child” and those who heard it couldn’t help but marvel but Mary kept these things in her heart and pondered over them.  I can’t imagine what must have been going through her mind.  First, an angel visited her and told her that she was going to have a Son who would be called Jesus and that He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest. Then, on the night after she gives birth, shepherds show up at the manger to see Him because they too were visited by an angel.  This is a lot to grasp.

The shepherds left the manger and returned to their sheep, praising and glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen.  It was a night they would never forget.

What can we learn from this wonderful story?

  • After hearing about Jesus, seek Him out for yourself
  • After you have seen Jesus and have been in His presence, go and tell others
  • Glorify and praise God for sending His Son into the world so that through Him we can be saved

This Christmas, take time to reflect on God’s greatest Gift to mankind.  Celebrate Jesus and thank Him for leaving the glory of heaven to come to earth to dwell among us.  Thank Him for the gift of eternal life which we can receive only through Him.  Share the message of love and hope of the season with others.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men – Luke 2:14

 

 

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

What an honor for the man carrying the jar of water to be the one to lead the disciples to the house where they would celebrate the Lord’s Supper with Jesus. Sometimes we are asked to do simple tasks not knowing what greater events they might lead to. This man was behind the scenes of one of the greatest events recorded in the Bible. He is a man with no name but he waited for the disciples and then he took them where they needed to go. He didn’t ask any questions. He simply did what he was supposed to do.

The owner of the house was also blessed. It is in his guestroom where the Lord’s Supper took place. Of all the houses in the area, Jesus chose his to celebrate the Passover. He had the honor of showing the disciples the large upper room that was furnished and ready. It’s like the owner of a restaurant who has prepared a special room or section for someone very special—famous. Jesus was a celebrity in His time. He was famous for His teachings and miracles. Crowds flocked to see and hear Him. The owner of the house must have felt really thrilled to receive Jesus and His disciples. He knew who Jesus was.

Jesus told the disciples to tell the man, “The Teacher asks: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” The man was expecting the disciples just as the man with the pitcher. They both acted in faith. The man with the pitcher waited where he was told to believing that the disciples would show up. The owner of the house prepared the room as he was asked to believing that the Supper would take place there.

When God asks us to do things that seem ordinary or extraordinary but we do them in faith. A woman who was traveling abroad on missionary work was impressed to carry an extra pair of socks. It turned out that one of the native women needed socks.

Mark 14:12-15

 

Can you imagine going to the tomb early Sunday morning with spices to anoint Jesus’ body and you find the stone that was in front of the tomb rolled away?  You look inside and it’s empty!  You panic.  You wonder what happened.  Where is Jesus’ body?  Who took it away?

As you stand there feeling confused, helpless and distressed, a man in white appears.  You are scared.  Where did he come from?  Then you hear him say, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.  But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”  You flee, scared and amazed by what you have just heard.  Jesus was alive!  On your way to see the disciples, you run into Jesus Himself!  He says to you, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”  With a heart filled with joy, you run and tell His disciples the good news.

What if you were Mary Magdalene who found the tomb empty and wondered who took her Lord away?  She runs to tell the disciples.  Peter and John race to the tomb and find it empty just as she said.  They look inside and all they see are the linen cloths which His body had been wrapped in and the kerchief lying there, neatly folded.  They marvel and leave while Mary remains.

Beside herself with grief, she weeps and stoops down, looking through her tears at the empty tomb when she sees two angels who ask her why she is crying.  After she explains that she is wondering where her Lord was, she heard someone behind her and turns to see whom she thinks is the gardener.  He asks her the same thing–why are you weeping.  She explains and then, she hears Him call her name and her heart leaps with joy and amazement.  “Teacher!” she cries out and she runs to Him but He gently dissaudes her from touching Him because He still had to go to His Father.  He tells her to go and tell the disciples this.  Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,  and told them what He said.

Imagine you are one of the disciples and Jesus appears, standing among you and says, “Peace to you.”  But you and the others are terrified and frightened, and believe that you are seeing a spirit.  And Jessu says to you,  “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

After He says this, He shows you His hands and His feet.  Would you still find it hard to believe that He is alive even though He is right there in front of you?  Luke said that the disciples still did not believe for joy, and marveled.   Thomas refused to believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes.  Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed [are] those who have not seen and [yet] have believed.”

We personally did not see the risen Christ but we believe the testimonies of those who did.   We believe that Jesus came to save the world and that He died and was raised from the dead just as He said.  We believe in His testimony and the Gospel accounts of His resurrection.  Today we celebrate His victory over death.  He is risen!   He is sitting in the realms of heaven with the Father.  And one day we will see Him face to face when He comes in the clouds with the angels to take us home.  Until that day, let us continue  to spread the good news that we serve a risen Savior and bring others to Him so that they too can have eternal life.

Praise God who gives us the victory over death, the last enemy that will be destroyed, through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Hallelujah!



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