Merry Christmas, everyone! I’ll be enjoying my Christmas in Barrie this year, so no more blog posts until the year after Christmas. But there’s one more thing I wanted to share with you.
During the last season I read this great book called God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas Is the Foundation for Everything, Doug Wilson. I was struck by the contrast between Caesar’s pretend power and God’s true power.
The Caesar who ruled when Christ was born had the birthname of Octavius. After he became the first Roman emperor, he adopted the title of Augustus, which means “worthy of reverence and worship” (God Rest Ye Merry, Kindle ed., loc. 1396). He was claiming to be a god!
But there’s more!
“[Before Christ’s birth] a blasphemous coin was struck in Gaul which showed the two-headed god Janus, with Julius on one side and Octavius on the other. The inscription said, ‘The divine Caesar and the Son of God.’ There was an Egyptian inscription that said that Octavius was a marvelous star, ‘shining with the brilliance of the great heavenly Savior.’ Then, in 17 B.C., a strange star appeared in the heavens, and Augustus commanded a twelve day Advent celebration, a ceremonial embrace of Virgil’s statement: ‘The turning point of the ages has come!’” (ibid.)
But Jesus was the true Son of God; the true heavenly Saviour; His birth was the true “turning point of the ages”! Christ would have the victory over Caesar!
Even in Christ’s birth this future victory was clear. Caesar Augustus who sent “out a decree … that all the world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1). But this only happened because there went out a decree from the King of the Universe that the world might be saved!
Caesar thought he was in charge, but he would have been wiser to say with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, that God’s “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:34b-35).
No matter what society says, no matter what rulers say, no matter what anyone says, Jesus is Lord. He rules all kingdoms, all events, and even all your circumstances. And one day He will return; one day He will make all things right; and one day He will rule the earth as His kingdom.
“Saints before the altar bending, / Watching long in hope and fear, /Suddenly the Lord, descending, / In His temple shall appear: / Come and worship, / Come and worship, / Worship Christ, the newborn King!”