The greatest life
STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul C. Villarete (The Freeman) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

There is a quote attributed to Mark Twain which goes, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." We all celebrate our birthdays. But to know why we were born is a lifelong search, for which sometimes, we never find out. We continue to course through life searching for that answer.

Jesus was born a man 2,000 years ago, in that little town of Bethlehem. Though he is God, he “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). But as God, he knew why he was born, and as a man, he also knew why, for as an obedient Jew, he would have read everything prophesied about him in the Scriptures.

We can only imagine how he would have felt as a young boy, reading about himself, and his life and death, foretold by the prophet Isaiah: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem him. Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows he carried; yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:3-4). A life that would only end in the most painful death as a sacrifice for many. He would have read, even as we do, that he would be “pierced through for our transgressions,” … “crushed for our iniquities;” … and that “the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5-6). “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.”

“He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush him, putting him to grief; if he would render himself as a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, he will prolong his days. And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” (verses 7 and 10). Jesus knew all throughout his life why he was born. In the same chapter, God said, “the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as he will bear their iniquities.” And that reason is “because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”

Two most important days in man’s life. Our birthdays, and the day we know why we were born. My wish is for all of us to know why, by studying the life of Jesus and learning from him, especially during Christmas. But not just during Christmas. A blessed Christmas to you all.

MARK TWAIN
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