(Post by: Michelle Hobbs) Blogmas Day Three
As our family has been gearing up for the Advent season and preparing our hearts for writing these Blogmas posts, I have to admit I have struggled with what to say. I have been distracted and stressed with all the usual hubbub of this time of year, but my mind has consistently kept coming back to the phrase “Death-Defying Hero”.
Our culture loves a good hero tale or movie, and there has been no shortage of them these days. Hero stories are great. They always start with a group of people who are oppressed by some sort of evil. There are usually tellings of ancestors’ stories promising someone will come along one day to deliver the oppressed. Then we finally meet the hero and get to root for him as he goes to battle with his opponent.
However, I have noticed the heroes of today can often be found lacking. In regard to morals or methods, today’s heroes are not much better than the bad guys they face off against. Not really someone I want my kids looking up to or someone I aspire to be.
Fortunately, we do have the ultimate Death-Defying Hero to emulate. I would like to remind us of just who it is we should be celebrating at Christmas.
Jesus, the Messiah, came to fulfill the long-foretold prophecies of the Old Testament that a Savior would one day appear to save Israel, and ultimately all of us, from the grip of Satan and death. Since the original sin of Adam and Eve, humankind had been slaves to their sin and separated from God because of it. God, in His great mercy, had a plan to restore humankind to Himself and give man dominion over earth once again. That plan was Jesus.
Scholars differ in their opinions regarding how many prophecies there are that were fulfilled by Jesus, generally ranging from about 200 to 400. Here are just a few:
- He would be human, born of a virgin.
- He would reconcile people to God.
- He would crush evil at his own expense.
- He would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as David.
- He would appear after the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian destruction and before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
- He would be born in Bethlehem.
- He would be called Immanuel, God with us.
- A messenger would prepare the way of the Lord.
- He would appear in Galilee and be a light to the gentiles.
- He would perform miracles and teach in parables.
- He would be humble and meek.
- He would be called Son of God.
- He would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
- He would be rejected, betrayed, and despised. Hated without reason. Forsaken.
- He would be silent before His accusers.
- He would be mocked, beaten, spat upon, stripped. Lots would be cast for His clothing.
- He would die and His death was described. He would be lifted up and His hands and feet would be pierced. His suffering would include thirst. No bones would be broken.
- He would suffer and die for the sins of others.
But His death was not the end! Although He was buried in a tomb, Jesus would not see decay. He rose again on the third day; defying death and bringing salvation to all who believe in Him and accept Him as their Lord.
The simple Gospel really is such good news, friends! Through Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, He made a way for you and me to defy death also!
Madie’s post from yesterday brought the story of Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe back to mind. In the scene that she described, the hero, Aslan, has risen from the dead and has broken the stone table, which represented death. My favorite few lines follow the scene she described. Aslan says:
““Oh, children, I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!” He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she did not know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him.”
Did you catch it, friends? Not only did Aslan leap over the Table, representing death, but Lucy scrambled over it too! This is what our death-defying hero has done for you and for me. He has made a way for us to scramble over death and get to Him, never to be separated from God; to have everlasting life! Hallelujah and Amen!
My prayer for you and me this Advent season and Christmas is that we would stay focused on celebrating our death-defying hero, Jesus. He is truly the reason for the season; nothing else really matters.