Away In The Manger

Push away

“Away in a manger”. This beloved Christmas carol begins with one of the saddest words in the English language – “away’. Before His birth, Jesus’ family was told to “go away” when there was no room for them in the inn. “Away” from the comforts of home, family, and friends, Mary and Joseph were dispatched to a forlorn cattle stall. There, they would experience the isolation and loneliness which would become no strangers to them and their Son.

Many of you feel the same way. You’ve been pushed away from the popular table, at school. You’ve remained uninvited into the circles of influence, at work and play. Cliques have kicked you to the curb because your socioeconomic status. Perhaps you have been left out in the cold because of color barriers. Unwanted and unaccepted, you have felt the painful sting of hatred.

Some of you have been moved miles away from your support system. You’ve been cut off, thrown away, or put away by those you thought would take you in and help you. Even sitting in a crowded church building, where you are physically not alone, you can feel “far away” from anyone who really cares. Like the annoyance of common trash, you feel you have been discarded to a place where you will remain unseen and unheard.

Jesus knows how you feel. Isaiah 53:3 says He was “despised” and “rejected, and that we turned our faces “away” from Him. He was “cast away” not only by us, but also by His heavenly Father. When Jesus hung on the cross, He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Matthew 27:46 emphasis added). On that day, Jesus became sin for you and me, His Father turned His back on Him. In that moment, Christ hung between heaven and earth, rejected by both.

Jesus Died

Christ died alone for you and me. That separation was foreshadowed during the Old Testament Day of Atonement when the priest symbolically placed the sins of the people on the head of a scapegoat to be “sent away into the wilderness” (Leviticus 16:10 ESV emphasis added). In the same way, our sins were placed on Jesus, and He took them “away”, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12 emphasis added).

Jesus was born to die. Scorned and maligned, He suffered and bled on the cross to purchase your forgiveness of sins. Scripture states, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13 emphasis added). Jesus experienced the pain of abandonment so that you could be included in His family. Don’t leave Him outside your life.

Receive Him in your heart, today.



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