Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that
look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
At the time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the
Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might have discerned
the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One.
The prophecy of Micah designated His birthplace; Daniel specified
the time of His advent. God committed these prophecies to the Jewish
leaders; they were without excuse if they did not know and declare
to the people that the Messiah's coming was at hand. Their ignorance
was the result of sinful neglect....
All the people should have been watching and waiting that they might
be among the first to welcome the world's Redeemer. But, lo, at Bethlehem
two weary travelers from the hills of Nazareth traverse the whole
length of the narrow street to the eastern extremity of the town,
vainly seeking a place of rest and shelter for the night. No doors
are open to receive them. In a wretched hovel prepared for cattle,
they at last find refuge, and there the Savior of the world is born....
There is no evidence that Christ is expected, and no preparation
for the Prince of life. In amazement the celestial messenger is about
to return to heaven with the shameful tidings, when he discovers a
group of shepherds who are watching their flocks by night, and as
they gaze into the starry heavens, are contemplating the prophecy
of a Messiah to come to earth, and longing for the advent of the world's
Redeemer. Here is a company that is prepared to receive the heavenly
message. And suddenly the angel of the Lord appears, declaring the
good tidings of great joy....
Oh, what a lesson is this wonderful story of Bethlehem! How it rebukes
our unbelief, our pride and self-sufficiency. How it warns us to beware,
lest by our criminal indifference we also fail to discern the signs
of the times, and therefore know not the day of our visitation.
From Maranatha - Page 10