by Barbara Latta
The Manger and the Mercy Seat - The Heartbeat of Christmas Part 3
Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9: 12-14).
Hay crunched in the donkey’s mouth as she partook of the offering in the manger. A young
kid pushed his way into the feeding area and
began to share the meal. Moans were coming from the woman lying nearby, but the
animals continued their feast. A cry echoed throughout the stable and the
four-legged creatures turned to see what disturbed their munching.
|The manger brings us the mercy seat.|
Fresh straw was laid inside the stone trough they were eating from. A small bundle wrapped in strips of cloth was laid within their banquet area. A donkey gently nosed the tiny head and her nostrils were filled with the hint of salt rubbed on the baby to cleanse Him from the birth.
Not far away, the night sky was full of light and angels sang praise to God.
Thirty-three years later, blood flowed down a rough, wooden cross and soaked the ground below. Joseph of Arimathea took the mangled flesh that now hung suspended between heaven and earth and anointed the body with about one hundred pounds of spices, wrapped a linen cloth around the bloody sacrifice, and laid the precious gift to man on a stone slab in a tomb. On Sunday morning the earth trembled, soldiers fled and two angels sat where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
When the Hebrews were in the wilderness, the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle echoed throughout the camp as a perfect young goat was brought before Aaron, the priest. The animal’s blood was shed and then sprinkled on the Mercy Seat—the slab on top of the Ark of the Covenant fashioned with two angels, one on each end.
|Jesus shed His blood to atone for our sins forever.|
The Mercy Seat painted a picture of the future of the Son of God. Laid on stone and wrapped in linen at birth and laid on stone and wrapped in linen at death. Jesus is the only baby ever born whose destiny was to die.
The blood shed during birth showed us He was the Son of Man; the blood shed at His death was as the Son of God who entered heaven and sprinkled His blood on the Mercy Seat to atone for our sins forever.
The heartbeat of Christmas is… the blood on the Mercy Seat.
Without the manger we would not have a resurrection. Without the resurrection, we would not have life. Each time we partake of Communion, we can meditate on the price paid for our redemption. Jesus sprinkled His own blood on the Mercy Seat of heaven and never more does God see our sin. Christmas is a time to thank Him for the resurrection because that is why Jesus was born. When we partake of the bread and fruit of the vine we can thank God for his unspeakable gift.
Share your thoughts about this wonderful gift.
|May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!|