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God’s Messy Plan
Watch at: https://youtu.be/HCl8WObDL-k
Christmas is all about God’s messy plan for a messed up world and for messed up people like you and me.
Of Jesus’s birth, the Apostle Paul said that Jesus, “Being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6-7 NKJV)
And of Jesus’s birth, we are told, “While they were there the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7 NKJV)
God’s messy plan for this messed up world was for Jesus, the 2nd person of the Godhead to leave behind heaven and all the glory and majesty that is heaven. Think about it. Heaven is where the streets are paved with gold, and so gold is nothing more than heavenly asphalt. And precious stones that we pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for, are nothing more in heaven that bricks to build the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem.
In other words, what we would consider to be valuable, in heaven they are just every day building materials.
And this is what Jesus left behind to come down to be born in a messy place, and not only am I talking about earth, but about where exactly He was born.
When they arrived in Bethlehem there was no room for them in the local inn, so they found a small cave that was used for a stable, and there she gave birth to Jesus. And they wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid him a manger.
Now, this wasn’t a plan that any of us would have or could have ever thought up, not even in our wildest imagination. And that’s because it was a really messy plan. It was a plan where Jesus would come down to the earth, which He had created, and get all messed up in the process.
And so, the Lord God of all creation’s plan for humanity’s salvation involved sending Jesus Christ to this messed-up, sin-ladened planet.
So, where does the God of the universe send His Son? I mean, where does God make reservations for His Son to be born, who is no one less than the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He didn’t send Him to a clean and sterile environment like a hospital or doctor’s office. He didn’t send Him to the local inn, which was no Ritz Carleton, more like a motor inn you’d find in some small town.
Instead God made the reservation right behind the Bethlehem Inn. It was a stable, or what we would call a barn today. But it wasn’t made of wood as you see in our modern nativity sets. Instead it was a small, cold, dark, and dank cave, filled with animal sounds and animal smells.
That’s right, God sent His own Son to a place that houses animals. A stable housed sheep, goats, donkeys, cattle, and horses, not to mention mice, rats, and all manner of insects. And with all of these animals and vermin you would have what they would leave behind which is an assault against the senses; namely manure and feces.
But not only was Jesus born in such a messy place, He was laid in a manger. Now, again, a manger in those days wasn’t like what we see in nativity sets. Rather it was a hollowed out stone where the animals ate from. Now, while they probably took out all the old chewed up food and laid fresh straw in its place, they never sanitized it. On the bottom was probably several years of old dried out animal saliva, not to mention some more recent wet stuff.
Jesus wasn’t laid in a nice clean bassinet with a cute little mobile going round and round over His head. He was laid in a place where the animals ate.
Even the clothes He was wrapped in shows just how messy this birth really was. The Bible calls them swaddling clothes. What are swaddling clothes? Well they’re not baby clothes from Dillards with cute little pictures of ducks or penguins? Hardly! Instead they were pieces of cloth tied together in strips and wrapped around the child to restrict their movements.
One would expect that the King of Kings would be wrapped in the finest linens, or the finest silks, but instead He was wrapped in common rags. You might say that Jesus came in a plain brown wrapper.
And so God sent Jesus to a messy place. It was a dirty, gritty, grimy, and filthy place. It was a place fit for animals, not for humans, and definitely not a place where one would expect to find a king. And He was then laid in a saliva filled feeding trough wrapped in nothing but rags. But this was God’s plan, and it was a messy plan.
But why would God make such a messy plan? Because it was God’s plan for Jesus to come as one of His own creations, and not for the righteous, of which there are none, by the way, but for sinners like you and me.
God’s messy plan was for Jesus to go to the messy and pull them out of the muck and mire. And because He came as one of us, He can relate and understand everything that we go through in this life.
And so Jesus followed God’s messy plan for a messed up world. And that very first Christmas Jesus was born in a dirty and filthy stable. Laid in a manger, a feeding trough, a place where the animals ate. And He was wrapped in strips of rags to keep Him warm.
Jesus was following God’s messy plan, which led Him to die upon the cross, a very painful and messy death. But we can thank God that He did, because without it, think of the mess we’d all be in today.
The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that while we were still sinners, God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. And because of that, we can get cleaned up, that is, our messed up lives filled with sin can be forgiven and we can be made brand new.
The Lord said that even though our sins are as red like scarlet, than can be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). And when we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord then we will be brand new creations in Christ, where all of our messed up past will be done away with, and everything will be brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And so God’s messy plan for this messed up world was sending His Son to a messy place, where He ended up dying a messy death upon the cross, all so we don’t have to remain messed up, and where we don’t have to die, but rather have eternal life in heaven with Him.
And so, God’s messy plan was to send his Son, Jesus Christ, the 2nd person of the God head to this messed up world, and to a messed up people like you and me, so we don’t have to be messed up any longer.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study