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 1:32-33)
So he (Simeon) came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. (Luke 2:27-33)
The Twelve Days of Christmas, why that number? The old familiar fun Christmas carol always comes to mind when you think of this phrase, and was no doubt based on Christmas advent traditions, usually starting actually on Christmas Day, counting forward to the Epiphany celebration. However it still makes you wonder, well it did me. The path that was followed was that of looking at the insight the Twelve tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles of Christ revealed. The tribes (Reuben through to Benjamin) a type of government defined by God as an inheritance to Jacob, his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham (the so called father of nation). The Twelve Apostles (Peter through to Judas Iscariot) chosen by Christ, the Creator of all things.
To them both names mattered, and had prophetic meaning. The Bible draws these two councils of twelve together in different ways, perhaps the most profound in its description of the New Jerusalem, created after Christ returns, where the apostles names are on its foundations, and the tribal names on its gates. As fitting for someone not bound by time, seeing the end from the beginning, and the beginning from the end, God turns things on their head to make His eternal city … and us.
In many ways the themes for the Twelve Days of Christ really provide insight to Christ and His character as He is the chosen One of God, His Son of the Right Hand (who carries His double portion blessing and authority), and the Seed of God, which was the promised inheritance of Abraham. In addition the Apostles forming the basis of His church, the Body of Christ on earth. So, also, in them we see insight to us not only in the revelation of who Christ is, but also in to the knowledge that we are to become more like Him. Perhaps twelves steps to maturing our life in Christ. And so this version of the Twelve Days of Christmas emerged, and in so doing praying that which is of God glorifies Him, and that which is not falls away.
And so when it comes to Day 12 of this series it was time to consider two amazing parts of who Christ is, the Son of the Right Hand of God, whose throne is found in Jerusalem (the City of David).
As the Son of God, Christ is also at His right hand, and so fully carrying His authority, and in the mystery of the trinity of God, Christ is the Son of God, completely the Lord, and the one through which all creation was and is created. Seated at the right hand of God, and indeed within His bosom, He also makes intercession for all His followers (children). Pleading our cause in the very presence of Almighty God, and from the place of His favour. Due to His manifestation on earth through Mary and Joseph, He is also seen as the descendant of Abraham and King David, and thus the Son who rules on the eternal throne. This Christ, is the One who sacrificed Himself for us that we may join Him in His family, and reign with Him in His kingdom.
Amazingly Jesus has taken all this to champion our cause before the courts of heaven. With the authority of God, and seated at His Righthand of His throne room, what greater advocate can we have. This One also championing us on from within, as by faith in Him he lives in us. Can we receive this, and accept such a prized One is championing us? As our hearts swings to Him, we discover His has always been for us. Our challenge is to accept that He is for us as an act of grace, and as we give in to this truth, letting go of false pride or shame, we are filled also with humility as these traits are also in us.
Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, “Do not fear; you will have this son also.” And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni (meaning son of my sorrow); but his father called him Benjamin (meaning son of the right hand). (Genesis 35:17-18)
The Bible states clearly that the Son of God is seated at God’s right hand, and thus calling to mind the the other key aspect of who He is, the redeemer and restorer. For another Son of the Righthand is mentioned in the His name is Benjamin, the youngest of the Jewish patriarch, Jacob, children. Born in to sorrow, with his birth leading to Jacob’s most loved wife’s death, His Father was not going to allow that to be His destiny or identity. rather proclaiming him to be the favoured son a wonderful act of redemption.
So to our Heavenly Father will not let past sorrows, pains, even family curses, become our identity if we pursue His plan for us, and Has sent Christ not just for our salvation, but also to impart to our heavenly identity which we are to walk out here on earth as it is in heaven. Key to the redemption of creation is His sons and daughters rising up to their God given purpose and identity.
The Nations Worship the King
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)
This identity includes being royal priests in the house and kingdom of God, and realising that in this we will be able to freely dwell with Him in His throne room when He returns to earth, this place found both in our hearts but also it seems in Jerusalem where His throne is found. A magical place, where there seems to be a great meeting point of the physical and spiritual worlds, a place selected by God from the beginning. It special nature perhaps revealed in the great contest,this place finds it in (beyond its natural size).. which basically all nations seeming to be involved in one way or the other over the centuries and even now. Here we are to be found,as well as to where we are sent, with crowns from heaven which we humbly submit to God, and given the roles of judging, intercessor, and ruler with Him. No wonder His has given us a training ground here in our life on earth, where He takes on a journey, characterised by these Twelve Days of Christmas, and one of suffering and sacrifice.
May the Lord reveal afresh this Christmas who we are in His eyes, and a double portion of His grace that enables us to walk in to who we are, and so be part of His preparation for the return of the King of kings, the Son of God, who comes to complete His work and ascend His earthly throne.