WHO WAS IT THAT THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR. . . that first Christmas morning? Was it just another baby? Just another child?
Matthew identifies this newly born child as "Immanuel - which means, 'God with us' " (Mat.1:23). Strange isn't it? God comes to earth, the earth that He created, and there's no room for Him.
The closed door at the inn that first Christmas reminds us so much of the world surrounding that little inn. The gospel of John tells us that the Lord "came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him" (Jn.1:11). The Judeo-society in which Jesus grew up, by-and-large rejected the Messiah, just as many people reject him today. There is no room for him in their hearts.
Incarnate deity . . . God veiled in human flesh . . . but the hotel management couldn't find one tiny space for him. Apparently the attendant didn't know who was coming into the world.
As the young child grew up, it became more and more evident who this new arrival was. His character would stand out, head and shoulders above everyone else. He would grow up to be a man of ethics and principle . . . a man in whom there was no deceit. How many men do you know like that . . . men of character and integrity? The Ancient Book says, even "When they hurled insults at him he did not retaliate. When he underwent suffering he made no threats. He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth" (I Pet. 2:23, 22). It's no wonder Malachi, the prophet, called him "The sun of righteousness" (Mal.4:2). For the impeccable character of Jesus would shine forth like the sun, and like no other human ever before.
You and I cannot meet up to God's standards, but Jesus can. The expectations that God has of you and me can only be fulfilled by Christ. Our best efforts can never fully satisfy God's requirements. The Christ child is our only hope of God ever accepting us. And fortunately, he was born for us. For his perfect "life-record" is credited to our account when we trust in him.
Moreover, through his substitute death we find peace with God. Isaiah calls him "The Prince of Peace" (Isa.9:6). The anger of God that rightfully should be poured out upon us, was redirected and poured out upon this child. As Isaiah has also said, "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him . . . (Isa.53:5).
Strange isn't it? God comes to bring "peace on earth" (Lk.2:14) that first Christmas, but there was no room for Him to dwell.
And what about this Christmas? Is there still no room for Him? Or is there a place in your heart?
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room