At the center of everything: a tiny, baby boy. On His small shoulders, rests the assignment of the greatest mission ever known: the destruction of evil and the creation of world peace, with brotherhood, and goodwill toward men. Born as no one the world recognizes as having any power, this small baby is destined to turn the world upside down. This little conqueror is vested by God to establish a new Kingdom but He won’t conquer the world by violence, sacrificing the blood of many as all other men deem necessary to establish a new Kingdom, instead He came to sacrifice His own blood and purchase forgiveness for blood-thirsty men from God. All hope for sinful men destined to destroy one another due to the blindness of unforgiving hearts and the practice of an eye for an eye lies in a manager, in a cave with a floor of hard packed manure, used to shelter farm animals. This poor baby, who poses a threat to no one, is hated by the world; despised by the people He came to save. Jesus (God’s Son in the form of a human baby) is the Center-Piece of God’s plan to save and reclaim mankind and His creation.
History divides here in Bethlehem, where this Holy baby lays. This is the focal point of God’s plan, the beginning of His divine intervention that is destined to change the course of a world ruled by unrighteousness and brute control. This child’s Kingdom will be like no other earthly kingdom and will not be established as all other kingdoms, ever known to mankind. It will not be established by war but by the Holy Spirit, in the hearts of those who by faith accept the gift of Jesus and apply the blood He will shed, to their own sins. This act of faith, this simplicity of believing, will open the door for many and restore them to a spiritual relationship with God. Even if they are old, in spirit they will be born-again, and become spiritual persons living in physical form. They will be known as the church, a called out company of believers, sinners purchased by the blood of Jesus that He will shed in sacrifice on the cross. This called out company will live according to faith and not according to what they see, feel, or touch. They will be spiritual bricks in the invisible Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus will be the cornerstone.
The forgiveness Jesus will buy, with His body and blood, is for believers to receive and then give freely, in the same manner it is given to them. It is to be done in preparation of the invisible Kingdom of God being made a visible reality, in God’s timing. There will be no room in that Kingdom for people with hearts blinded and hard with un-forgiveness. All the sins that pour from the sin of un-forgiveness will be unknown when Jesus Christ rules the world and the kingdom of darkness is past. Everyone in that Righteous system will love God and also, love their brothers and sisters. Those who profess Jesus before the Kingdom is made visible will be marked by the love they have for one another, and the loving manner in which they treat others. Though still living in physical form and imperfect, they will be recognizable as subjects of the Kingdom by the spiritual fruits that can only be obtained by faith in God. As by the Spirit they will be transformed so, will this mortal world be transformed, in like manner; by God and in His perfect time.
This small baby in Bethlehem is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. No human being can supplant the work He will accomplish. No human being is able to live without succumbing to the violence, the blood-shed, and other hateful abuses that characterize this present world, without developing a heart hardened by un-forgiveness, as a form of protection from future hurt. No person is able to stop the flood of sin that flows from a heart filled with hate and no hearts of hate will ever be able to accomplish world peace or produce common good-will. All hope rests in this manger, in Jesus, the Center-Piece of Salvation. There is no hope for life, love, peace, and joy in anyone but Jesus. There is no program, no religious philosophy, no earthly affiliation, and no doctrine or theology that is able to change the human heart. Jesus is the only, One. Without Him, the rest is mere foolishness. From every point in history, Jesus is the Source of eternal life. The forgiveness He will buy for us to apply and give is the only, true foundation for peace and good-will toward all men.
Forgiveness isn’t cheap and it doesn’t come easy. Though it begins with a choice (first to receive), it is a process that transforms a lost sinner into a born-again saint. The choice to respond by forgiving others is the continued process that takes a believer from the condition of sinner/saint, on to the glory of perfection. No one can accomplish true forgiveness without the Holy Spirit; even in perfection in that future Kingdom, we won’t be God but still entirely, dependent on Him for anything good.
It is true that Jesus is the Center-Piece of this season, not because the day of His birth is known, but because Jesus is the center of all things, the One through whom God accomplishes His good works. The only way to be a part of those good works is to make Jesus the Center-Piece of your life; accept the forgiveness He paid so dearly to win for us, then turn around and do the same. With Jesus at the center even the most ardent hater can become an ambassador for Christ and a promoter of peace.
Luke 2: 8-14 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Romans 10:8-12 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord who is over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”