Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Sermon - "...they took off the purple..."


Theme: Reflections on the Incarnation and the Passion
Title:  "...they took off the purple..."
Text: Mark 15:16-20, Philippians 2:5-11, 2 Corinthians 8:9
Author:  O. Kris Widmer

First Preached:  December 14, 2013
Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church
O. Kris Widmer

1.    Introduction:  Christmas Questions...
a.    I hear more questions about Christmas these days....
b.    Should we observe Christmas at all?
c.     Should we do it on December 25?
d.    How should we observe it...what symbols/rituals?
                                              i.     There is the Jesus Christmas
                                            ii.     There is the Santa Christmas
                                          iii.     There is the Winter Christmas
e.    My Background...
                                              i.     Christmas in my home.
                                            ii.     Christmas in my community.
                                          iii.     Narration of the Angel Voice back stage.
                                           iv.     Christmas Play at Corona
                                             v.     The Messiah (Christmas Passages) in Church Choir.
1.    La Sierra Academy
2.    Corona
3.    Ukiah
4.    Hayfork
5.    Redding
                                           vi.     Christmas Programs at School
f.      Conclusions
                                              i.     Yes...We shall observe Christmas.
                                            ii.     Ellen White has good balanced counsel....
                                          iii.     It gives us opportunity to be selfless...rather than self-centered and selfish.
                                           iv.     Children and Youth need something meaningful...and to feel them away from self.
                                             v.     Give realistic gifts (usually hand made back in the 1800's)...that's fine.
                                           vi.     And....give to God's work in the world.
                                         vii.     We celebrate Christmas....but not as those who only know Santa!   We know Jesus.
                                       viii.     We don't judge those who do and we don't judge those who don't.   Romans 14.
2.    The Bible Tells Many Christmas Stories…an Ongoing Project.
a.     The Normal Christmas Passages.
                                              i.     Matthew - Wisemen, Herod, Joseph
                                            ii.     Luke - Shepherds, Mary and Joseph
                                          iii.     John - Word Made Flesh
b.    Other Non-Obvious Christmas Passages.
c.     Exodus 3:8 – I have come down to deliver them –
                                                       i.     The Moses Jesus Typology.
d.    Psalm 113:5, 6
                                                       i.     Who humbles himself to behold the things in heaven and earth.
e.    Psalm 136:23
                                                       i.     Who remembered us in our low estate – born in a barn.
f.      Isaiah 57:15
                                                       i.     I dwell in the high and holy place, and with the contrite and lowly of spirit.
g.    Daniel 9:24-27
                                                       i.     Find a decree…do the math!
                                                     ii.     457 to 27, 31, 34 – Jesus the Messiah
h.    John 1:1,3, 9, 14
                                                       i.     The word is from forever past with God.
                                                     ii.     The word lights every man.
                                                   iii.     The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  We beheld his Glory.
i.      John 18:37
                                                       i.     Jesus to Pilate:  For this cause I was born.
j.      Romans 1:3
                                                       i.     Made of the seed of David...according to the flesh.
                                                     ii.     Declared song of the resurrection of the dead.
k.    Romans 8:3
                                                       i.     What the law couldn’t do…God did, by sending his son in the likeness of sinful flesh, an offering for sin.
l.      2 Corinthians 8:9
                                                       i.     Though he was rich
                                                     ii.     Yet for your sakes he became poor (manger)
                                                   iii.     So…that you might become rich.
m.  Galatians 4:4-8
                                                       i.     When the fullness of time was come…God sent forth his son, born of a woman.
n.    Galatians 4:19
                                                       i.     I’m like a laboring women…
                                                     ii.     Until Christ is formed in you.
o.    Philippians 2:5-7
                                                       i.     Equal with God…
                                                     ii.     But emptied himself into the form of a man.
                                                   iii.     Death
                                                    iv.     A Cross Death.
                                                      v.     Now Highly Exalted!
p.    Hebrews 1:2,3
q.    Hebrews 2:14
r.     1 Timothy 3:16 – Common Confession of Faith
                                                       i.     Jesus revealed in the flesh
                                                     ii.     Vindicated in the Spirit
                                                   iii.     Beheld by Angles
                                                    iv.     Proclaimed among the nations
                                                      v.     Believed on in the world
                                                    vi.     Taken up in Glory.
s.     1 John 1:1,2
t.     1 John 4:2
u.    Revelation 12:1-5
                                                       i.     A woman is pregnant
                                                     ii.     She has the baby.
                                                   iii.     Baby is attacked by “The Dragon”
                                                    iv.     Baby is caught up to God’s Throne! Vs 5

Comparison of Today's Preaching Passage (Mark 15).....
Synoptic Sections

Matthew 27:27-31
            Soldiers of the Governor in the Common Hall
            Stripped Him
            Mock King Cape... scarlet robe
            Mocking Crown...or Thorns
            Mock Scepter....reed.
            Mock Bowing....jest
            Mock Verbal Tribute..."Hail...."
            Mock acknowledgement....Spit
            Mock ....strike with reed.
            Took off that robe
            Put on his own clothes...again.
            Led him away to crucify...with glee and laughter.

Mark 15:16-20
            Soldiers to the Pretorium...
            Clothed Him in Purple
            Mocking Crown...of thorns.
            Mock Salute...Satire
            Mock Bowing....jest.
            They took off the purple.
            Let him away to crucify him...with glee and laughter.

Luke 22:63-65 - The Temple Guards
            The men that held Jesus mocked him.
            Smote Him.
            Blindfolded him.
            "Prophecy, who it is that hit you."  Seer!
            Many other things they irreverently spake against him.

Luke 23:11 - Herod and Company (Soldiers)
            "set him at naught." - treated him as a nothing -
            a thing and not a person.
            Mocked Him.
            Arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe...
            and sent him back to Pilate.

            Luke Does Not Record the Roman Guards in the Praetorium
            vs 25 - merely mentioning
            "He delivered Jesus to their will (crucifixion.)"

John 19:1
            Scourged by Pilate
            Crown of Thorns
            Purple robe
            Mock Tribute "Hail..."
            Hand Abuse  - smote him....
            vs 5 - Behold the Man!

            vs 14 - Behold Your King! (Pilate's Mockery)

Heavenly Ceremonies...

We have meditations on the ceremony of arrival in cross.
            The Ascension Passage...with angels remaining by.
            Psalm 24 - Lift Up Your Heads....the King is Coming!
            DA Chapter 87 "To My Father and Your Father"
                        pg 832

            DA 833 - 835
We have hints of the grand ceremony of the heavenly pre-advent judgment
            Daniel 7
            Day of Atonement - Lev 16
            When the Son came to the a heavenly transition of ministry.

What about a pre-incarnation ceremony?
            Christmas is a time to think about the incarnation?

            2 Corinthians 8:9

            Philippians 2:5-11

            The Incarnation an Unfathomable Mystery—In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race.

Jesus was the Commander of heaven, one equal with God, and yet He condescended to lay aside His kingly crown, His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity. The incarnation of Christ in human flesh is a mystery.

5 Vol BC...commentary on John 1.

This world has been visited by the Majesty of heaven, the Son of God. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Christ came to this world as the expression of the very heart and mind and nature and character of God. He was the brightness of the Father’s glory, the express image of His person. But He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and stepped down from His high command to take the place of a servant. He was rich, but for our sake, that we might have eternal riches, He became poor.    Ellen G. White

Q - Why is the Birth of Jesus worth celebrating?
A - It is the tangible visible beginning of the plan of salvation...for us.

We can't see the incarnation.
     No human action began the life of Christ.
We can't see the pregnancy.
     A child is formed in secret in the wormb.

But then....
Birth  (We can relate to a baby in a mother's arms.)

Christ's birth is the tangible visible and earthly start of the plan.
Let the salvation begin.

Let your imagination join mine for these few moments
in the Christmas season...

(We are told to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Jesus.
especially the closing scenes.)

It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. {1TT 515.3}

....He consented to have scorn, mockery, and abuse fall upon Him in order to shield us. It was our transgression that gathered the veil of darkness about His divine soul and extorted the cry from Him, as of one smitten and forsaken of God. He bore our sorrows; He was put to grief for our sins. He made Himself an offering for sin, that we might be justified before God through Him. Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.

So....pull up a chair today....I'd like to read you a Christmas story.
A Christmas story we have known about....
But we've never heard in quite this way before.

A Christmas Story begun in my devotional journal...
And completed in this sermon outline.

A thought that has been bouncing in my brain since July.

Ponder the moment just before the incarnation.
Just before the Holy Spirit came upon Mary...and she was "with child."
Ponder a moment just before the crucifixion....
the moment the incarnation was for!

The Cradle....leads to the The cross....
Remarkable Parallels.

Ponder the contrast and parallels between

the soldiers of heaven (Angels)
            at the departure of Jesus from heaven, prior to the incarnation.

and the soldiers of earth. (Romans)
            and the abuse of Jesus in the Pratorium, prior to the cross.
            the departure of the cross.

Jesus' final moments in heaven....and his final moments before the cross...
In this meditation entitled...

"...they took off the purple..."

From Luke 23:24  "Pilate pronounced sentence
that their demand should be granted." 
"Take Him....and crucify Him.

The Passion:   Consider this act of ridicule
Pilate was unwilling to grant the death of Jesus...but did it anyway.
He had tried every trick and loophole...but had succumbed to political pressure. was done.
"Take Him...Crucify Him."
"Wash My hands."
Then Pilate went in for a Friday morning brunch.
While Jesus was taken away...

The Incarnation:   Consider this act of Reverence:
But long ago....
In the Heavens Above....The Ruler of the Universe (God) pronounced
"The fullness of time has come."
"Let us go and redeem the people created in our image.  
Let the Son of God go....and fulfill the plan of salvation. 
Let the Sacrifice of the Lamb...begin.

The Son of God...from the foundation of the world.. said -
"Take me, should the need arise...
....and crucify me.
I will die for anyone, anywhere, anytime."

vs 16 - The soldiers took him away (Force)...

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule.
Jesus has been passed from hand to hand and jurisdiction to jurisdiction all night.
Arrested by temple guards and the night rabble...
Caiaphas, Annas, Caiaphas
Pilate, Herod, Pilate...
6 portions of one trial.

He is taken away....
but we are reminded that
"He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world...
and set him free."

He could have....
They were standing by...unseen.
But he didn't.
But he died alone...for you and me.

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence....
A day came in heaven when it was time for Jesus to depart the heavenly realms and experience a forever change - from eternal God to the additional nature of the eternal merger of the nature of man. 

No one had to "take" him anywhere.
No one had to force him.....
He did it willingly...and voluntarily....

The angels of God accompanied Jesus from the throne of the father...
He who eternally had been equal with God....
eternally facing outward -
now stepped forward and a middle platform of the throne of God....
and turned and faced the father in a position of subservience.
He lowered his gaze from the eyes of the Father...

His taking the form of a servant...had begun.

He thought equality with God not to be a thing to be held onto at all costs.
He emptied himself.

Philippians 2 - Paraphrased.

vs 16 - into the palace (that is the Praetorium)
            The Palace of Pilate vs the Palace of Heaven. 

How different these two residences.  
One is the residence of a man appointed by a higher up...a Caesar. 
One is the residence of the ones in whom there is life: un-borrowed and un-derived.           There is no one higher up that God

Both apparently have a place where the guardians hang out.   
This is where they pass the time while they are on duty...but not on assignment.  
            Like a Heavenly Fire House....
            Waiting for the Alarm to Sound.
            A Place with Couches and Kitchen
            A TV and a checker board and other games to pass the time.

The Passion:    Behold this act of ridicule:  
For the earthly guards - the roman guards - , it appears to be a place of bawdy laughter and have ready implements for inflicting pain.  Whips.  Whipping Post.  Spears.  Prods.  Blindfolds.  Chains.  Shackles.  It is a place prisoners fear to be led...and sigh as they enter.
            The last stop in their life as a living person.
            The first stop on their journeys as "dead men walking."  

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence:
In the heavenly praetorium, it is a place of joyful laughter, with implements for intervening, preventing danger.  Think of that fire house...where the celestial vehicles stand polished at the ready and every bin has something in it that has proved useful in helping mankind. 

There are "jaws of eternal life" and "nozzles to extinguish hellish fires.". 
There are scripts for birth announcements
and an entire room devoted to weights;
            a work out room for the angels that excel in strength.

The heavenly angel dispatch center....
            Like a Marine Barracks....
            Gear at the Ready
            To Do the Bidding of the Commander in Chief.

vs 16 - The called together the whole (roman) cohort.

The Passion - Behold this act of ridicule: 

"Hey, Marcellus.  Come'll want to see this one.  No...he's not a rebel.  He's a king.  And His people have kicked him out...and they want us to kill him for them!"  

The word spread quickly through the barracks...Even soldiers who were off duty, pulled on their boxers and tee-shirts, threw on a pair of sandals and hustled off to stand in the back and watch.  This one was going to be different.  It could be fun.

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence:

"Yes, Gabriel, We will be there.   We knew the time was getting close, we just didn't know the day or the hour.   Full Dress, Class A, Uniform.   We will be there."  

They called together every angel of heaven.  And none, save those on assignment to the farthest reaches of the Universe, failed to show up.  There were thousands of them...and tens of thousand.  Myriads of them streamed in, as shooting stars over the course of a couple weeks to be present and accounted for at the roll call of the ministering spirits of God.

vs 17 - And they dressed him in purple.

The Passion: Behold this act of shame: 

To take an ordinary looking man.  Just a common man, now in a robe that is flecked and drizzled in bloody sweat from his ordeal in Gethsemane. 

First they strip him down.  Naked.  They take off his clothes...and he stands before all His circumcised glory.  "He doesn't look like a god now, does he." one remarks.  "Well," one snickers, "He's obviously a Jew."  With his hands tied behind his back, he cannot cover his front.

Then, they cover purple, the color of royalty.  It is a costume of contempt. 

He wears it well.  It is from the Praetorium rag box; perhaps left over from the recent execution of a well-to-do person or perhaps the crimson cape of one of the soldiers.  Their spur-of-the-moment goal is to make him look like the artist's rendition of their Caesar that hangs in the hall just outside these chambers.  Or perhaps to appear like the man who had just washed his hands of these matters, Pontius Pilate.    Anyone who is in authority will do. 

"Hah," someone in the back sneers. "Finally! He is dressed for this occasion."

The Incarnation: Behold this act of respect: 

Jesus, who is very God and eternal God, stands before the Father in his ordinary dress of a working God.  But now, there is a ceremony of honor. 

He who spends his days looking like an ordinary angel, albeit the Arch angel, shall be elevated, as if to remind the thousands watching who He really is.  He is the first born of creation.  He is the bright and morning star.  He is the fairest of 10,000.  He is the Desire of all nations.  He is the Desire of Ages!  He is the only begotten of the Father.  He is the seed of the woman, the one who shall crush the rebellion...with love. 

And so of the actual covering cherubs of the actual mercy seat of the throne...slips over to a golden chest and lifts it's gilded lid.   She reaches in and with great love and ceremony lifts from its usual resting place the purple robe of regal royalty. 

She takes hold of the edges of the collar and lets it unfurl to its full beauty, with the insignia of the Three-In-One.  She comes up behind her friend, her Master, her God and places it tenderly around the shoulders of Him to whom it belongs. 

Now He is finally dressed for this occasion.
vs 17 - and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him.

The Passion:  Behold this act of mockery: 

"Wait..I have another idea," a soldier calls out.  He dashes from the Praetorium and is gone a few moments, while the other soldiers inside check to make sure their victim's hands are tied good and tight and then adjust the purple cloth about his shoulders. 

Shortly after that, the erranding soldier returns with three long, green tendrils of the thorn bush that grows in the court yard.  After taking a measurement of the condemned's head, with gloved hands, he twists together a circle of brambles. "Every King needs a crown!" 

He is proud of himself, having been able to add such a twisted element to their twisted festivities.    He takes his finished product and places it roughly on Jesus' head, and then snatches up a table tray and uses it to protect his own hands as he makes sure every barb in contact with Jesus' scalp has punctured skin and drawn blood.  "There you go, You Majesty."

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence.
The other covering cherub now slips over to that same golden chest and reaches into the bottom.  The Son of God does not often wear the symbols of His rightful place, the one in whom rests all authority in heaven and earth and under the earth.  The one who has created the numberless galaxies that swirl out in the farthest reaches of dark space.  But this day He shall wear them. 

The cherub slowly brings from the chest a purple slip cover and then folds back the fabric flap.  As he does so, glorious light pours forth from this practical pouch.  He reaches inside and withdraws the crown of the Son of God.  All burnished gold pales in comparison to this circle of celestial brightness, that throws off bolts of musical lightening in all directions. 

To ordinary mankind, it would appear hot, but the cherub holds it regally in his bare hands; then he turns and with great ceremony and dignified gate, he strides to the Son of God and places it softly upon his holy head.  It fits perfectly as it always had. and seems to glow even brighter for it is now where it rightly belongs. 

"There you go, Your Majesty."

vs 18 - "and they began to acclaim Him. "Hail, King of the Jews."

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule. 

The roman grunts didn't know who they had there before them and at their mercy.  His paper work said "Occupation:  Carpenter"...and that was crossed out.
An addendum on form E-3114 said "Teacher/Healer"...and someone had written in front of Hebrew...."False!" 

"King of the Jews" their paper work read. 

But they all knew the party line too: "We have no king but Caesar." and "Herod is our King." 

So...out of their mouths those sarcastic words. 
Words on the surface that sound respectful.
"Hail!" and "Long Live the King."
                        ...knowing full well that this king didn't have long to live at all.

The Incarnation:   Behold this act of reverence: 

As Jesus is now dressed in his rightful and regal robe and crown, thousands of thousands kneel before him.  "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and who is to come.  (Revelation 4:8)  Worthy are you, Our Lord...for You have created all things and because of Your will they exist and were made to be.  (Revelation 4:11) 

"Worthy are you to save the human race...for only you can be slain and live again.  On this mission, you shall purchase with your own blood men from every tribe, tongue, race and nation.  Together, they shall be your priesthood....and ultimately reign again on the earth.  Worthy are you...who shall be slain.  You shall receive all power, riches, wisdom, power and honor and glory and blessing.  (Revelation 5:10,11,12, 13)  "The kingdom of the world will now become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ;  He will reign forever and forever."  (Revelation 11:15, 16 and 17)...

"We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who is and was and is to come; because You have taken Your great power and now will begin to reign!"  (Revelation 11:17)  "The nations are in an uproar...and it is not time for the judgment.  It is time for Your servants - prophets and saints - to receive their long over-due rewards.  Those who fear Your name...small and great will get their forever rewards...and those who destroy the earth will be destroyed."  Revelation 11:18  "Hallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to you Our God.  (Revelation 19:1)" 

"Hallelujah!   For the Lord Our God, The Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him.  

"We are finally done with the's time for the fulfillment. 
We are finally done with the long's finally time for the marriage.   God is going to say His vows to his people....on a cross...
         and sign the certificate in his own blood.  (Revelation 19:9)

vs 19 - and they kept beating His head with a reed.

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule
The mockery of the "King of the Jews" has now taken on a life of it's own.  Others join in with new sadistic ideas.  We are told in the gospel of Matthew that someone had the idea of giving this king a scepter -

So...a reed...a stick was snatched up from somewhere.  Perhaps it was an old broom handle or a wooden scrub brush from the latrine.   The filthier the better.

It was placed in Jesus' hands, still bound together by rope or chain at an uncomfortable angle.  There are raw marks on his wrists.

Robe - Check
Crown - Check
Words of Allegiance and Respect spoken in Jest - Check
Scepter - Check

And then that sadistic scepter became a club.
It was snatched - more than once from his quivering hands -
and used to smash the thorny crown just a little deeper into his head.

The Incarnation: Behold this act of reverence

The covering cherubs move together now....back to that golden box and together reach in and pull another item from it's purple case.   It requires four angelic arms to carry it for it is quite heavy - being solid gold; though when the Son of God holds it, it appears light and weightless.   

They bring it to the Word...and kneel before him and present it to him handle first.   It is the scepter of the King of Kings.
            Robe - Check
            Crown - Check
            Words of Allegiance and Respect...spoken in Truth - Check
            Scepter - Check
vs 19 - "and spitting at Him."

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule
It still means the same, doesn't it.   In 2000 years it still means the same.   No way to change the meaning of clearing your throat of phlem, gathering the saliva found in the mouth...and expelling it forcefully towards the face of another.  

In any language and in any culture...we know what it means.
You are nothing to me!

First one...then another...then more....spits at and spits on Him.
It lands on his "robe", "crown", "scepter".....
chest, shoulders, neck
and face.

   warm and wet....
   some stained with the ancient equivalent of chewing tobacco...
   some with food particles of a snack being chewed

dribbles down the face of one who had also spit....
into a little pile of dirt...
and used that clay to heal a blind man.


He cannot lift his hands to wipe it away.
   They are bound together and also held tight to a rope around his waist.
So he stands there
as it dribbles down
his cheeks
his nose
his chin
his beard

until it drops off
and splats at his feet.

Such is the wicked way that the soldiers "anointed" the King of the Jews.

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence.
As the scepter was being placed in the hands of the Christ...
Other angels came forward with a golden bowl...from the throne of God.
The Son of to be the Christ....the anointed of God
And so they anoint him.

The two covering cherubs dip their hands in the bowl.
Cupping golden fluid.
and then drizzle it over the crown, the robe, the scepter
It pools in his hair,
It runs in rivulets down his forehead, cheek, nose and chin...
Until it falls
dripping off
and forming golden puddles at his feet.

How beautiful are the feet of him who is
...about to bring good news
and proclaiming peace and proclaiming word of happiness.

Such is the way the soldiers of heaven anointed the King of Heaven.

vs 19 - "...and kneeling and bowing before Him."

The Passion:   Behold this act of ridicule
            Robe:  Check
            Crown: Check
            Words of "Aclaim" - Check
            Scepter - Check
            Anointing - Check

            There is one thing left to do.....
            Bow the knee!         Bow the knee before the king!     Let us do homage!

            We hear the clatter of swords and metal grieves on the hard pavement.
            We see soldiers prostrate themselves...then peek up...and laugh
            At the supposed "King of the Jews."

The Incarnation:   Behold this act of reverence
In that moment in time.
Perhaps the day after the Angel has appeared to Mary.
We hear a rustle of angelic garments...

All of the gathered heavenly angels....
First fall to their knees
Then lay down prostate.

"At His feet they humbly bow.   Crown Him...Crown Him...   Lord of All."

Why do they do this?
Because this one...who is fully God...Is becoming fully man....

He is leaving the courts of heaven.
And it is not a done deal.
It is no we say.
It is not certain what the outcome of this mercy mission will be.

There will be much danger ahead.
They know that down in the dark world.... A Dragon is waiting.
A Dragon...empowering a destroy babies.
A Devil Dragon...that will do what every takes to destroy the Son Savior.

And so they have gathered to say "Good bye."
And for this moment...  Give The Second Person of God....a proper, heavenly send-off.

They lay prostrate before their rightful King.
vs 20 "and after mocking him, they took the purple off Him."

The Passion:   Behold this act of ridicule.
            They stand to their feet.
            Their shouts die down.
            They take out the reed.
            Perhaps they even wipe off their spit.

            ....they took off the purple....

            But...they leave the crown of thorns where it is.

            It is time....
            For this supposed king to greet his subjects....from the throne of a cross.

The Incarnation:   Behold this act of reverence
            And in heaven too...
            The angels finally stood back up or took wing...
            Their murmured praise is hushed
            Heavens Ultimate Word.....
                        Removes the crown....hands it back.
                        Removes the purple robe...hands it back.
                        He hands back the scepter to the Father.

            "This is a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father’s side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father’s hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing."  Desire of Ages pg 22

            ...He off the purple...too
            That day before the incarnation.

vs 20- "put his garments on him."

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule
            Once again...
            Having beheld him naked for a moment.
            they put over him again his own robe.
            A nice robe.
            A robe that in a moment of hours will be won in a soldiers gamble game.

The Incarnation:   Behold this act of reverence
The Son of God is standing there now....
He is to be re-clothed.
But not in the robe of divinity...

He will be clothed in a different robe....
in flesh.
By the Holy Spirit

vs 20  "They led Him out to crucify Him."

The Passion:  Behold this act of ridicule.
            Weakened by the scourging
            Weary by the mocking
            Jesus now staggers out.....
            Only to have a heavy wooden beam lashed to his arms.
            He walks out of Jerusalem....
            Outside the camp.....
            To Calvary
            To Golgotha
            To Skull Kill

            In jealousy and rage...the sanhedrien led him...
            In great indifference and lack of care... the roman's led him.
            They led him out
            out to crucify him.

The Incarnation:  Behold this act of reverence.
The Spirit of God...hovers over the Son...and he walks down the
the golden stairs
to the golden streets
to the pearl gate....  Maybe Judah's gate.  (Lion from Judah's tribe.)

And then that Spirit cloud.....carries the Son...away...towards
a little dark, cold, planet....

And they fade off...beyond the reach of any angel's sight.

They led him the edge of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
In love and sorrow...
They led him begin the process of crucifixion.

And they led him be

To know

Divinity transformed into a seed...a sperma....
Human Egg
Divine Seed

Divinity Merged With Humanity
Fully God
Fully Man

They took off the purple robe of glory...
so that he could come down here.
Be wrapped in swaddling clothes.
To be draped in a different purple robe....of mockery
To be wrapped in burial clothes
....only to wear them for 2 nights and a day.

That's a nice Christmas you agree?

It's a great Christmas story.
The Best Ever
It links the Heavens to the Earth
It shows the respect of angels.....verses the ridicule of man. about the cradle....and the cross...and the crown!

Two Amazing Paragraphs....From A Modern Prophet....Ellen White.
"Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” {DA 25.2}

By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16.

He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder.”

God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the “Son of man” who shares the throne of the universe. It is the “Son of man” whose name shall be called, “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. The I AM is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 7:26; 2:11. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.

So...Merry Christmas Indeed!

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