Silent Night – Part 2

Part 1 explored the origin of Silent Night, the hymn written by the Catholic priest named Joseph Mohr.  Catholic doctrine is clear regarding Mary, the mother of Jesus the Nazarene.  There are four contradictions to the Word of God regarding Mary in Catholic doctrine:

  1.  She was perpetually a virgin.
  2.  She was sinless.
  3.  She ascended into Heaven and did not die.
  4.  She is deity as the mother of God.

Mary had other children, needed a Savior, died as any sinner ever has, and is merely a handmaid of the Lord.  However, the virgin birth is an important doctrine.  The virgin birth serves as a sign of the uniqueness of the birth of Jesus Christ.  It exalts Christ not Mary.  But why did God send Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh?

Jesus is the revelation of God.  

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (John 1:18)

““If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” (John 14:7–11)

You cannot see the Father apart from knowing the Son.  You can only know the Son through the Scripture not tradition.  We have a personal revelation of God that is completely truthful.

Jesus is the example for our lives.

Jesus lived on this earth not only to reveal the Father but also to become a pattern for our own lives.  “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” (1 Peter 2:21)

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6)

As man, Jesus experienced suffering, trials, joys, etc.  As God, He provides the power we need to follow in His steps.

Jesus is the only sacrifice for sin.

Sin requires death for payment.  God doesn’t die.  The Savior of mankind must Himself be human in order to be able to die.  The death of an ordinary man cannot pay for sin eternally, so the Savior must also be God.  Jesus is both God and man.  He is the only effective sacrifice for sin.

“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:1–10)

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”” (Luke 1:31–33)

While it is true that God reigns even now, He shall also reign upon David’s throne in the future.  Jesus, the God-man, will become the occupant of David’s throne.  In order for this to happen, the Messiah had to be a man and a descendant of David.  God alone qualifies in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus destroys the works of the devil.

“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)

The devil was destroyed by the incarnation of Christ.  Satan is defeated in the area he dominates, namely the world.  Jesus was sent into the world for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil.

Jesus is a sympathetic high priest.

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16)

Jesus felt our weaknesses because He was tempted as we are tempted.  God is not tempted with sin nor can He be.  So God became a man so He could be tempted in order to be our sympathetic high priest.

Jesus is a qualified Judge.

Finally, Jesus will judge.  “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” (John 5:22, 27)  Why will Jesus execute all judgement?  It is because He is the Son of Man.  Why must it be necessary for the Judge to be man and to have lived on the earth?  It is so He may put down all excuses men make.  Why must the Judge be God?  So that His judgement is true and just.

Silent night holy night 
All is calm, all is bright 
Round yon virgin mother and child. 
Holy infant so tender and mild, 
Sleep in heavenly peace. 
Sleep in heavenly peace.

All is calm and bright around the virgin mother and child.  This hymn is a part of the fabric of my life.  It represents a time when I did not understand who the virgin mother or the Child was.  It inspires me as I continue to pursue the identity of my one and only Savior and Mediator.

What do I now think when I sing this hymn?  First, I think of my heavenly peace purchased for me and the sweet rest that now belongs to me because of the work of Christ alone.  Second, I think of the radiant glory that lit the skies at the birth of Christ and how the afterglow of His Person and work still light the way for me.  Third, I think of the dawn of redeeming grace then and the dawn of the eternal day still to come.  All is indeed calm and bright.

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