~posted by Donna
A series entitled “His Indescribable Gift” was first published a year and a half ago, just before Easter. There were at least 4 of them and one heretofore unpublished was subtitled “Born to Buried.” I used a “compare and contrast” method of reviewing both the Christmas and Easter stories. As I spent time reading and enjoying the Christmas story
yet again last week,
some new (for me and perhaps new for you as well) details jumped out at me. So here goes…. I noticed that Jesus, following His birth, was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Only Luke describes this for us: “Then she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth” and he reported what the angels told the shepherds this way: “This will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger.” And it wasn’t long before I then noticed that Jesus, at His burial, was also wrapped, only this time, in burial linens. “Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews.” Luke called it “fine linen.” Mark reported, “After he (Joseph of Arimathea) bought some fine linen, he took Him down and wrapped Him in the linen.” Matthew called it “clean, fine linen.” God saw to it that His only begotten Son, in spite of His pitiable circumstances, had what He needed. I do think it’s worth noting at this time that Mary and Joseph were, of course, there when Jesus was born AND Mary and Joseph, different Joseph, were there when He died. And what also jumped out at me is that Joseph was warned in a dream by an angel and Mary was spoken to in person by an angel. Both methods seemed to have been very effective for each of these two individuals. We’re told from way back in the beginning (Genesis 3:15) that God, speaking to satan,
would put hostility between him and the woman (Jesus’ mother, Mary) and between his seed
and HER seed. That term is only used ONCE in the whole Bible. Every other time the term is used, it always means the male sperm or seed. Well, the virgin birth and the empty tomb, Christmas and Easter, are at the heart of our faith. They prove His deity. They substantiate His claims to be the Son of God. Let’s celebrate right on through Sunday, March 27, 2106!