“Away in a manger, a baby is born
The Sovereign of heaven whom angels adore
Is wrapped in the weakness of our mortal frame
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay”
The hope of the world in a manger. Imagine that. This year more than any other, I have been pondering Christ’s coming to the earth. His humble and ordinary birth was not by chance. Like everything, it was strategically and purposefully planned by God for the saving of His people and His glory on earth. We’ve seen the nativity scenes and heard all of the facts, but how often do we experience the beauty of the gospel that came in the form of a baby to serve, save, and reign forever.
It is staggering that He came at all! But He did. He willingly came to this earth He created. Emmanuel, God WITH us, as one of us. Not in the form of an angel or a magnificent creature. No, He came clothed in the weakness of flesh and bone. Jesus became human to endure with us and bear our grief and sin. And in that fullness of God and man, our Hope laid as a baby in a feeding trough.
I love the way the lyrics of this song from Sovereign Grace Music walk us through the wonders of Christ and why it is Great Hope for us that was laid in the manger.
“Away in a manger, a servant is born
Made nothing to raise up the hopeless and poor
With grace as His burden and love as His yoke
The gentle Lord Jesus will shepherd our souls”
In a manger laid a servant. Our glorious King Jesus did not just come to seek and save the lost. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
As Christ walked the earth and as He sits today at the right hand of the Father, He serves. God in all His deity was made low so that we could be raised up. Certainly not because we were deserving, quite the opposite. Jesus serves us weak individuals, unable to help ourselves. But what hope, He does not do this begrudgingly, this is the very heart of Christ. He is “pleased to dwell” (Colossians 2:9). I can hardly believe it.
“Away in a manger, a Savior is born
The crown He’ll be given will pierce Him with thorns
The King will be cursed with our sin and our shame
The blameless Lord Jesus will die in our place”
In a manger laid the Savior. The lowly birth of our Savior was only the beginning of the humility we see in the rest of His life and death. “Despised and rejected, a man of sorrow” carried our tears (Isaiah 53:3). Though He was blameless, the baby that laid in the manger, took on the sin and shame of you and me. The humble King did not wear a crown of gold and jewels but a crown of thorns upon His head.
That truth should send us running to Jesus! Because of this great exchange, righteousness for our sin, He is a Savior that sympathizes with us. He is not distant but acquainted with grief. That is hope!
“Away in a manger, a Lion is born
The darkness will tremble at His mighty roar
His mercy will triumph and death will be slain
The risen Lord Jesus forever will reign”
It is an overwhelming living Hope that laid in a manger because through the great power of Jesus, darkness has been conquered! There is victory over sin and death forever and “even when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ – by grace, you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5).
In His coming and in His dying He fulfills the law which we never could. He came, He serves, He saves, He reigns!
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”Luke 2:14
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