Perhaps this very day, as you and I are going to a place named Christmas, miles from the town of Bethlehem, we might talk to each other about all these things that have happened along the way. While we talk and discuss together, we see the world’s distorted image of Jesus put before us and our eyes do not recognize him there. And we suddenly stand still, looking sad.

Have the shortened winter days merely triggered our seasonal affective disorder? Or do we suffer the common holiday malaise brought on by our unmet expectations of a romantic Hallmark Christmas?

More likely, as sincere believers, we are discouraged by the hype and idolatry that corrupts the very real and profound incarnation of our Lord and Savior and turns that joyous, historic event into the consumer-driven focus of tinseled pine, a jolly old elf, and a red-nosed reindeer. No wonder we sometimes speak to each other of spiritual weariness, melancholy, or confusion in the midst of this pretense. What happened to our Lord in all this?

It is here that I find great comfort in the story of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, who were confused and saddened by what had transpired in Jerusalem with the unexpected death of Jesus. How marvelous it would be if likewise the Lord would see us traveling along in a similar spiritual daze this time of year and graciously draw near to us to ask, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?”

Then I, like Cleopas, would answer him, “Do you not see what is happening in these days?” And he would say to us, “What things?” And I would say to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, who has been relegated to the icon of a plastic doll in a fictional nativity scene, surrounded by three kings of the orient, a drummer boy, and a talking ox; and how priests still deliver him up to crucify him again and again to no avail in their blasphemous ritual. How can we still see the Christ when the world has brought forth a Jesus of vain tradition?”

And Jesus might say to us, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounds to us in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. And again he says to us, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

And this is what he patiently and lovingly reminds us from the Scriptures:

Christ would be born of a woman: Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:20; Galatians 4:4


Christ would be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6


Christ would be born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:26-31


Christ would come from the line of Abraham: Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Romans 9:5


Christ would be a descendant of Isaac: Genesis 17:19; Genesis 21:12; Luke 3:34


Christ would be a descendant of Jacob: Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:2


Christ would come from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:33; Hebrews 7:14


Christ would be heir to King David’s throne: 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Romans 1:3


Christ’s throne will be anointed and eternal: Psalm 45:6-7; Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:8-12


Christ would be called Immanuel: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23


Christ would spend a season in Egypt: Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15


A massacre of children would happen at Christ’s birthplace: Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18


A messenger would prepare the way for Christ: Isaiah 40:3-5; Luke 3:3-6


Christ would be rejected by his own people: Psalm 69:8; Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11; John 7:5


Christ would be a prophet: Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:20-22


Christ would be preceded by Elijah: Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 11:13-14


Christ would be declared the Son of God: Psalm 2:7; Matthew 3:16-17


Christ would be called a Nazarene: Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 2:23


Christ would bring light to Galilee: Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:13-16


Christ would speak in parables: Psalm 78:2-4; Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:10-15, Matt. 13:34-35


Christ would be sent to heal the brokenhearted: Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:18-19


Christ would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek: Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:5-6


Christ would be called King: Psalm 2:6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 27:37; Mark 11:7-11


Christ would be praised by little children: Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:16


Christ would be betrayed: Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13; Luke 22:47-48; Matthew 26:14-16


Christ’s price money would be used to buy a potter’s field: Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10


Christ would be falsely accused: Psalm 35:11; Mark 14:57-58


Christ would be silent before his accusers: Isaiah 53:7; Mark 15:4-5


Christ would be spat upon and struck: Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67


Christ would be hated without cause: Psalm 35:19; Psalm 69:4; John 15:24-25


Christ would be crucified with criminals: Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:27-28


Christ would be given vinegar to drink: Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34; John 19:28-30


Christ’s hands and feet would be pierced: Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 20:25-27


Christ would be mocked and ridiculed: Psalm 22:7-8; Luke 23:35


Soldiers would gamble for Christ’s garments: Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34; Matthew 27:35-36


Christ’s bones would not be broken: Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20; John 19:33-36


Christ would be forsaken by God: Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46


Christ would pray for his enemies: Psalm 109:4; Luke 23:34


Soldiers would pierce Christ’s side: Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34


Christ would be buried with the rich: Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60


Christ would resurrect from the dead: Psalm 16:10; Psalm 49:15; Matthew 28:2-7; Acts 2:22-32


Christ would ascend to heaven: Psalm 24:7-10; Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51


Christ would be seated at God’s right hand: Psalm 68:18; Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19; Matthew 22:44


Christ would be a sacrifice for sin: Isaiah 53:5-12; Romans 5:6-8

Thus, Jesus opens our minds to understand the Scriptures, and says to us, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things, for I am the Christ.”

Hallelujah! What great joy immediately returns to us as we meditate on the glory of Jesus Christ found in God’s word! For our eyes are now opened, and we recognize him for who he truly is, and we see and worship the true Christ regardless of the world’s holiday distractions. Do we not say to each other, “Did our hearts not burn within us while he talked to us on this road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we walk down the road to Christmas, may we as happy, happy disciples draw alongside the true Jesus, our risen Lord and Savior, and learn from him as he tarries with us along the way. Yes, sometimes it is hard to see him with us, but as Peter so aptly and lovingly reminds us:

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:6-9


But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. – 1 Peter 5:10-11

May peace be with you all during this joyous season of hope in celebration of Jesus Christ come in the flesh, the true Light shining among mankind in this present world. Amen.


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