Post Mortem

Immanuel (God with us)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/22/2020 1:05:04 PM IST

 Precisely 25th December is not the birth of Jesus although universally celebrated. The Bible has not mentioned about the date of the birth of Jesus. Whatever the date maybe it is not the subject but incarnation of God is accepted by all mankind since 2000 years ago.  It was announced by Prophet Isaiah 800 years before Jesus was born. “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name IMMANUEL”(Isaiah 7:14).

The most wondrous story of Human history is God becoming Man. It is amazing to imagine how our Heavenly Father, became a baby in the lap of a Virgin Mary who became speechless in the form of Human being. Biologically or scientifically it is unbelievable of a virgin to give birth without a husband. What a beautiful story it is that God became human, walked with human, talked as human, lived and suffered as human being. He became human like you and me so that we can believe how God fulfilled His promise from the creation.

As the time came, he had chosen before the foundation of the world, that in the dispensation of the fullness of time he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both in Heaven and here on earth.

Particular events became sacraments charged with the whole doctrine of God. Paul in his letter to Galations 4:4-5, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a Woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to Sonship.”

The promises and prophecies in the Old Testament look forward to this hour. The time had come toward which the history of Israel had been moving. At the time of our Lord’s coming, the religious life of the Jews centred upon the law and worship in the synagogues and Temple. The Scribes and Pharisees were occupied in the study of the law to fulfil all righteousness. The Sadducees were occupied in political intrigues and administration of temple worship with its large economic. The Zealots were determined to secure freedom from Roman empire. The mass of the people were chuffing under the Roman and Herodias rulers. 

God completely disarmed the universal history with baby’s phenomenal birth. The immortal put on mortality. In the fullness of time, the seed of God united with a Virgin woman and that which was born was called the Son of God, wonder of wonders.

Out of Nation, of the line of David was born in Bethlehem a child whose name was to be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, and the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace of whom Isaiah prophesied 800 years ago (Is.9: 6). The fullness time had come in the counsel of God, for the revelation to be made in Jesus Christ His son. 

The angels disclosed the miraculous birth and a new light was places in the heaven to mark the moment. Kings of the earth followed the Natal Star to bow before an infant and offer Him their gifts. Humble Shepherds knelt in awe before a wooden manger to Worship the Chief Shepherds of all the ages.

The multitude of heavenly beings sang, “ Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward man”( LK. 2: 14). This is the message of Christmas , how God fulfilled His promised in Genesis, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel” (Gen.3: 15).

The Jews were a people of God though whom the great revelation was to be made to mankind. The revelation came as a little Child born of a Jewish mother and brought up in a Jewish law. While in the fullness of time God’s revelation came through Jesus Christ, there were certain features which were useful in the proclamation of the revelation. The conditions existing in the Roman Empire under Emperor Augustus Caesar were helpful for spreading the Gospel by the early Christians. The barrier between Romans and Jews, Greeks and Barbarians were breaking under the Cosmopolitan policy of Rome for making a community of interest for all people. Rome citizenship with special privilege gave an understanding of a Christian citizenship in the Kingdom of God where there is no distinction but all are one in Christ (Gal.3: 28). In this way God had prepared Roman political power to spare the Gospel to all over the world. Above all, Hellenistic culture and descendants of pagan religions were the most fertile soils to accept the Gospel message of the revelation of the Son of God as Saviour of all Nation.

It is indeed to the cross that we call all humanity. Every Christmas should be a celebration of peace; it should be an occasion for seeking strength and power, and a day to be a peace maker. What good are all our celebrations or declarations if there is no prophet, no messenger of peace to carry it out? Let us not romanticize our Christmas with material gain or physical enjoyment or with fancy decorations.     

If Naga had the choice to be Hindu, Buddhism or Muslim then Naga would have been one of these major religion 2000 years ago. But, God has chosen Naga people on His own time to be Christian. I deeply believe that God has blessed Nagas immensely.  Hence, it is too dear to forsake God’s precious gift. Therefore, let us not worship the materialistic things but worship Him truly from our hearts. May God be with us as we prepare to celebrate the Birth of our Lord.

Rev. Dr. V. K. Nuh. Chairman, Naga Archives and Research Centre, Toulazouma, Dimapur

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