Jesus’ birth fulfilled a promise. His death completed a covenant. His resurrection paved the way for our salvation.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”Luke 2: 11-12
The manner in which Jesus was born is as significant to the story of his life as the unassuming and humble way he lived. He was born poor, lived poor and died poor.
Jesus was born in the humblest of circumstances by design. Rather than fanfare, he was born in anonymity. Rather than comfort, he came into the world in a stable where his cradle was a feeding trough for animals and his first visitors were the poor shepherds keeping watch over their sheep in the fields near Bethlehem.
So, why such a modest entry into the world for the Son of God? Through his birth, Jesus not only embraced poverty, but also humility, demonstrating from the very beginning, that he left the riches of Heaven not to walk with kings, but to live and walk among the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich,” 2 Corinthians 7:8-9.
Though quiet and modest, Jesus’ humble beginnings fulfilled a prophecy. God sent His only Son as a sacrifice for the salvation of humanity. In order to save humanity, Christ had to humble himself before humanity. According to God’s plan, it wasn’t through pomp and circumstance, but through meekness and compassion that Jesus saved the world.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”Matthew 11:28-29
Jesus’ humility was also exemplified in the manner in which he died.
Crucifixion was a shameful and excruciating way to die and in Jesus’ time was reserved for the lowest criminals in the Roman Empire. That the Son of God would suffer and die in this manner was foretold in the Old Testament and in keeping with the humble manner in which he had lived and preached.
More importantly, his crucifixion signifies his obedience to his Father and also his humanness. In the midst of his suffering, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” In that moment, a sinless and perfect Jesus acknowledged that the full and complete darkness of the sins of mankind he bore had separated him from his Father. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5.
Jesus’ suffered and died on the cross for one, and only one purpose, so that we might experience the fullness of salvation and the gift of everlasting life.