Waiting on Hope – Day 4
When most Australians think of Christmas, they’re not thinking of the dust and rocks of ancient Israel. They’re thinking of time with family .
Back in ancient Judea, the Jewish people had a hope for relief from the troubles of their day. Rome was dominating and taxation was severe. But the Bible tells us where to start looking for help. It identifies the birthplace of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world! He was to be born in Bethlehem, a small village eight kilometres south of Jerusalem. But why Bethlehem? The answer is that King David was born there about a thousand years before. The coming Messiah was prophesied to be the Son of David. Not only was the Messiah going to be a physical descendant of King David, but the life and mission of the Messiah would look very much like that of King David.
It’s true that Joseph and Mary, were direct descendant’s from King David. But they lived north of Bethlehem. So how could the Messiah that Mary carried end up being born almost 200 kilometres south? It was an unusual census that was mandated that caused this to happen. The Roman Emperor at the time, Caesar Augustus, ordered a census be taken throughout the entire Roman Empire. This meant that all families had to return to ancient, ancestral homelands.
The extraordinary circumstances under which Jesus was born in Bethlehem should fill us with confident hope that He truly is the Messiah who was promised as the Saviour to the world. And that through His death and resurrection we can live in confident hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.
Written by Bob Mendelsohn
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