KING DAVID SAID “THE STARS SPEAK.” The starry events you have seen match the 9-point account in The Book of Matthew. A reasonable person could conclude that we have found the Biblical Star. If we have, then you have heard the stars speak. You have heard the celestial fanfare for the birth of a King. The Messiah. You have heard the hushed celestial dirge played out in the sky at his crucifixion. But, what do these things mean?
The Fuller Message
The Bible says the stars can carry messages from God on high. If that is true, then behind any other message, the fundamental meaning of these events is that God is there. The stars were part of his communication to those living in the Magi’s day. Through our understanding of what happened in the sky, he continues to speak to us today.
When God called Moses into closer relationship with himself, he used a startling event in the natural world. A bush burned, but it was not consumed by the flames. The burning bush was God’s invitation to Moses, an invitation to draw near and to hear a fuller message. When the Magi saw signs in the heavens, they responded as did Moses. They drew near to learn more. The Star of Bethlehem is an invitation for people who see it today, including you. A natural response when you see a sign is to draw near. To want to know more. To seek the fuller message.
Most people believe there is a God. Christians, Jews, and those of countless other religious traditions believe that we were created for relationship with our Creator. That is probably why the idea of having a relationship with God sounds attractive to most of us. We’re simply built that way. As French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) wrote:
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.
This religious impulse is durable. History shows that even relentless brutal repression of religious expression cannot drive out human interest in The Existing One. Still, according to the Bible there is a disconnection between God and man. We are interested in God, yes, but we are much more interested in ourselves—this is the heart of what the Bible calls “sin.” The Jewish prophet Isaiah describes our sinful self-centeredness this way in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 53:
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…
The Bible says that spiritual death, separation from God, is the payment we receive for sin. The Apostle Paul says in the Book of Romans, Chapter 6:
23 For the wages of sin is death…
But if God did create us for relationship with himself, surely he would also provide a way to come into this relationship, to overcome the problem of sin and the spiritual death it brings. The fuller message of the Star of Bethlehem is that he has provided that way. He has provided the Messiah, the Christ. Both Old and New Testaments of the Bible say that this Messiah will willingly accept the punishment for sin in our place. This is God’s provision to heal our separation from him.
Both of the two verses above state our human spiritual problem—the bad news. But the quotations are incomplete. The verses continue and state the solution to the problem—the good news. They go on to say that the Messiah will bear the punishment for our sin, that we can have relationship with God because of what the Messiah did. Here are the complete verses, with both the bad news and the good. They say God has made a way:
Isaiah 53.6: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him [the Messiah] the iniquity of us all.
Romans 6.23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So the fuller message of the Star is good news. That Christ, the Messiah has come. The Messiah has paid the penalty for our sins. It is possible to have the relationship with God that so many desire. There have probably been times when you have thought about God and the possibility of knowing him. That is true of most of us.
A man found the girl of his dreams. She was intelligent, beautiful, and she loved him. He was convinced that she was the perfect mate. He wanted to marry her. But he never asked her. So, they were never married. Wanting to be married doesn’t make it so. You have to decide and then act.
Our situation with God is something like that. We feel the God-shaped vacuum. We desire relationship with him. We hear that Christ’s sacrifice makes that relationship possible by paying the price for our wrongdoing.
But the relationship will never happen unless we decide and then act.
Jesus said in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 3:
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Through Jesus the Christ, God is inviting you into relationship. But you must decide and act. If you accept the invitation, Jesus promises to come and be with you. If you feel God calling you into relationship, you need to decide and to act. You can do this by praying to God right now. Prayer is just talking to God. The exact words you use are not important. God looks at the heart.
You can begin your new relationship with God by praying a prayer like this one:
God, I want to come into relationship with you. I know that I am not perfect, that I’m a sinner in your eyes. Thank you that you sent Jesus to die in my place, to take the punishment for my sinfulness. Come into my life, Lord. Begin making me the person you designed me to be. Amen.
If you have just prayed this prayer, please visit the Faith Essentials website, so that you can better understand how to get the full experience of your new relationship with God.
A Clockwork Star
But the Star means yet more. Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 10:
30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Many have marveled at Jesus’ statement—that God’s “mind” is so great that it allows his complete familiarity with the creation in all of its detail. We can barely begin to contemplate it. But confronting the Star, we see the same message.
For if the Star wasn’t magic or a special miracle from outside of the natural order, then it was something even more startling. It was a Clockwork Star. And that is overwhelming. The movement of the heavenly bodies is regular, like a great clock.
The Clockwork Star finally means that from the very instant at which God flung the universe into existence, he also knew the moment he would enter human history in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He marked it in the stars. And from before the beginning of time as we experience it, God knew the very moment when Messiah would breath his last on the cross.
Revelation 13:8 Jesus is “the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”
Accept the invitation. Decide, and act.