Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Christmas Story: The Great Escape

Did you know there was a great escape involved in The Christmas Story?

After the Magi visit baby Jesus, the Great Escape is written in Matthew 2:13-16:
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 

This is a sad and dark part of the Christmas Story. God knows King Herod's heart and the evil that he is plotting. God wakes Joseph and instructs him to escape with Mary and Jesus before King Herod's men can find them.

Joseph has complete trust in God and obeys immediately. He doesn't even wait until morning. He bundles up Mary and baby Jesus, and they head off to the safety of Egypt. Because Joseph obeyed without question, Jesus is spared from King Herod's horrible decree to murder all the little baby boys in the area.

Joseph's obedience also fulfilled a prophecy written in Hosea 11, "Out of Egypt I called my son."

While this part of the story truly is sad and filled with the dark self-focus of King Herod, it is also a reminder that God is our Protector...and He always has a plan. A very good plan. God knew the evil lurking in King Herod...He knew all about his plot to kill Jesus...so God put together an Escape Plan to protect Jesus.

Thankfully, Joseph obeyed God and our Savior was safe to grow up... love...teach...preach...and perform miracles before fulfilling His purpose on earth: to die on the cross for each and every one of us...for our sins...to give us the gift of salvation.

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