Daily Spirit & Word; 653:
If You Want To Find Jesus This Christmas.
You’ll need to endure the stink and the stench outside.
Where can we find Jesus today?
Well my friends, you will not find Him in the Holiday Inn, no you’ll still only find Jesus outside in the Stables.
Jesus was always an OUTSIDER:
He wasn’t born in luxury.
Babies today, mostly, are born in the luxury of dedicated and professional care, either at home with trained midwives or in hospital with doctors and nurses, but Jesus was born in a Stable, with the dirt, grime and the filth of the animals in that stable. Have you ever stopped to think of how smelly that stable must have been? He came from the holy odours of Heaven into the stench of a stinky stable. I’ve worked as a stable-boy; cleaning out horses and ponies in Edinburgh for Mr McBride. Those horses really stank, sweeping up the straw was a messy smelly chore. I’ve worked on a pig farm as a young trainee in the Navy, those pigs, though they looked clean and pink, were really smelly. Jesus was born in a whiffy, pongy, minging, stinky stable.
He didn’t live in luxury.
Most people today have warm homes with light, but the Bible tells us that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head. He didn’t have a home that He could call His own (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58).
He didn’t die in luxury.
Most people today, when they die, they die with care and dignity, again with professionals looking after their every need. When painkillers are required, they’re available to make the passing bearable. But the Lord Jesus, when He died, He was taken outside of the city, to the rubbish dump (Golgotha was a place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, it was the place criminals were taken to be executed, but it was also the city rubbish dump. As a boy I used to play on one of the biggest rubbish dumps in Edinburgh, it was STINKY there. But where there’s muck there’s often treasure. We found many items that had been thrown upon the rubbish heap, that was very valuable indeed. My sister Doris once found a whole box full of silver, solid silver, watches. Jesus compared the fires of hell with the fires that continually burned at the rubbish heaps of Golgotha, burning the rubbish of the city.)
My friends, there is still treasure to be found on the OUTSIDE with Jesus.
Jesus was an outsider my friends, His life ended in the disgrace of a criminals death (the Jews knew that anyone who died upon a cross or tree was cursed by God). So even in His death, Jesus was an outsider.
He didn’t get buried in luxury.
Jesus was an outsider in the burial place too: He didn’t have a tomb of His own. He had to be laid to rest in a borrowed tomb, the tomb of a rich man.
If you want to find Jesus Christ this Christmas, then we must go outside too: Just like a SATNAV tells you where to go, so Hebrews 13 gives us the directions to Jesus.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Just as Jesus HOME was not of this Earth, so this stinky, stench filled Earth is NOT your home, if you are a Christian. You final dwelling place will be the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and New Earth: Jesus is getting your eternal dwelling place ready for you (John 14:1-6).
Just as Jesus SUFFERED outside the city walls of Jerusalem and from the beginning to end of His life, His was the life of an OUTSIDER, so we must take up our Cross daily and follow the Lord’s example, daring to be an OUTSIDER with Him. He’ll never leave you, but you are called to be different from the people of the Earth who don’t know Jesus as Lord.
How are you called to be different? How are you called to be an outsider?
- You are to LOVE your enemies. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-36.
- Do GOOD to those that hate you. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27.
- Be GENTLE and as we were reminded on Sunday in worship: “Let your gentleness be evident to all”. Philippians 4:5-7. Matt 10:16.
- Be FORGIVING: Jesus as Jesus has forgiven you, so you must also forgive those who’ve hurt you. Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32.
- Be JOYFUL Always: Psalm 35:9, Habakkuk 3:18, Philippians 4:4.
My friends, Jesus sent His Disciples to be OUTSIDERS in this world, so He’s sending you and me out to be outsiders too. We’re called to be different from everyone else in this world. He wants you to be full of love, gentleness, generosity, goodness, self-controlled, demonstrate kindness, be peaceful and peacekeeping, and be full of joy always.
Do you know why people flocked to Jesus? Because He was ALL of these things, the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit were evident to everyone around Jesus Christ and it was attractive. They were drawn to Him like iron filings to a magnet, like a moth to a flame, like a chocolate-treat to the mouth on Christmas Day. Oh my friends, He’s calling all of us to Be like Jesus, the world may not love you or welcome your King’s message. Just as they eventually rejected Jesus in favour of Barabbas, but don’t let that make you hard towards sinners, don’t let it take your love or kindness away from you towards them. You determine in your heart right now to be like Jesus was, always ready and willing to stretch-out his healing hands, always on the outside with those on the outside. He’s called you to be an outsider too.
Matthew 10:16 (AMP)
16 Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.
If you want to find Jesus this Christmas, you’ll have to join Him on the outside. “Let us therefore, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace that He bore” Hebrews 13:13. He was born with stinky animals, had no place to lay His holy head, borrowed a tomb and died at the rubbish dump. Will you join Jesus on the outside today?
Be blessed and be full of JOY in Jesus,