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December 27, 2007 / beidson

Celebrating Christmas With Herod: An Invitation To Death

herod.jpgI’ve always thought it quite amazing to read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, particularly because of Herod’s reaction to it.  Matthew tells us that upon learning of Jesus’ birth, and knowing the truth concerning this baby boy, he ordered the execution of all male children in that area under the age of two.  These are pretty gruesome words, especially as we find them stuck here, in the middle of such wonderful news.

Matthew goes on to tell us that Jesus’ father, Joseph, was warned in a dream of the coming slaughter, and told to flee to Egypt with his family, so that they might be delivered from this great evil.  And so they did.

For those of us who hope in this “baby boy,” we need not fear the wrath of Herod, because in Christ, we have escaped his wrath, and even the wrath of God, who delivers us from such enemies.  We have fled to Egypt with Christ, and are protected by the sovereign power and grace of God.

But for those who will not bow to this “baby boy,” there is indeed reason to fear Herod, for all those who do not flee to Egypt with Christ are left to die at the hands of a merciless madman.  Those who do not rejoice in the birth of Christ will celebrate Christmas with Herod, who murdered countless baby boys so that he might protect his significance.  And those who stick around for Herod’s party will wish they had obeyed the voice of God and fled to Egypt with Christ.

John tells us, “We know that everyone who had been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he (Jesus) who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.  We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:18-19).

It is better to lie in the hands of a merciful God who protects us through Jesus than to lie in the hands of Herod, and worse, Satan.  For those who are in God’s hands cannot be touched by the evil one, but those who reject Christ lie in the power of the evil one, and he shows no mercy, not even to baby boys.

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