December 22: You Were Born to Die
Today, we come to the seventh track of our new Advent/Christmas album, which is another original song written by Jordan …
Wise men found the wisdom of God in the town of David
The promised Son of David
Long-awaited, You arrived, to a virgin, born a child
Born to reign and reconcile, You were born to die
You were born to die, Jesus Christ
Rulers feared the ruler of all, Your birth, their pow’r endangered
Israel spurned the sent one of God, their one and only Savior
Could this be the Savior?
Good news of greatest joy, our cosmic God, a baby boy
The Angel host announce, “Thy Kingdom come, upside down”
Born to give us life, You were born to die
Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Devotional: Rachel Paxton
About 10 years ago, in the panicked moments of being a brand-new mother of a colicky infant who was in threat of being officially labeled “failure to thrive,” I heard two voices cut through the sleep-deprived haze. The first, a family friend, simply said, “I’m asking Jesus to help you know what your baby needs. He was, after all, a baby himself.” And the second, a voice almost three millennia old, whispered to me from the pages of Isaiah, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (40:11). I remember sobbing in the desperate hope found only in this baby/shepherd/king. This God-man, baby-leader, who was “born to die.”
Many years, it feels like Christmas is the one time that everyone kind of gets on board with religious-ish things. There are a handful of people who make their only annual visit to church on Christmas Eve (2020 excluded, of course). There are more “peace, joy, and love” references this time of year than any other. But with all that has happened these past ten months, I think many of us can feel more of the true tension of Advent: the joy in the pain, the yearning for the “long-awaited” return of Jesus. The gospel resides in this paradoxical nature of punishment and mercy. Of foolish wisdom. Of creator being born. As the song says, a truly “upside down” kingdom.
Isaiah points out to us the scandalous nature of this reversal of positions: “the righteous one, my servant, [shall] make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities” (53:11). The nerd in me loves a good paradox, but the paradox highlighted by Advent (and the closing lines of this song) is so much more than an intellectual intrigue. It’s the answer to our greatest need. We can hope because the only sinless one became “sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The divine became human; the creator became a baby. He was born to die that we might have life. Thanks be to God!
Coloring Sheet: Ashley Haug
Members in our church have created coloring pages, which are designed for all ages and artistic ability, as a way to help you further engage with the lyrics and music. We invite you to slow down and meditate on the beauty and depth of this Advent season.Download PDF