THE BIRTH OF THE ANCIENT OF DAYS - John Piper
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” —John 18:37
This is a great Christmas text even though it comes from the end of Jesus’s life on earth, not the beginning. The uniqueness of his birth is that he did not originate at his birth. He existed before he was born in a manger. The personhood, the character, the personality of Jesus of Nazareth existed before the man Jesus of Nazareth was born. The theological word to describe this mystery is not creation, but incarnation. The person—not the body, but the essential personhood of Jesus—existed before he was born as man. His birth was not a coming into being of a new person, but a coming into the world of an infinitely old person. Micah 5:2 puts it like this, 700 years before Jesus was born: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. The mystery of the birth of Jesus is not merely that he was born of a virgin. That miracle was intended by God to witness to an even greater one—namely, that the child born at Christmas was a person who existed “from of old, from ancient days.”
I love this particular Advent devotional because it reminds us that Jesus stepped down from heaven into Mary’s womb. When I really think about this, it is preposterous to think that the Son of heaven would clothe Himself in human flesh. It is ridiculous to think that Jesus Who “is from old, from ancient days,” would encapsulate Himself in a mortal human body. It is mind-bending to think that the powerful King of heaven would introduce Himself to the world as an infant baby. Jesus came down to Earth with a very specific purpose, and suffered in the world as we all do, and that is what is so amazing about the gospel.
One version of the song, ‘This Is Amazing Grace’ is as follows: “What other king leaves a throne? / What other king leaves his throne? / What other king leaves his glory? / What other king leaves his glory to die?” These particular lyrics always hit me whenever I sing them, because it awes me that Jesus is a king who did a very un-kingly thing by leaving his glory to die for his people.
And this prophecy from the Book of Micah tops it all off by reminding us that all of history points to the Savior Jesus. It so cool to see that Jesus fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament because He is the Messiah that the world was waiting for. I encourage all church members reading this to remember today that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a king who left the glory of heaven to die for your salvation, and He is also the fulfillment of prophecies of old.