September 29 – Jesus
There is one last story in the Bible of the birth of Christ, found in Revelation 12. This is not a birth story that makes sense in the eighty year life-span that we see; it comes from the larger view of eternity that God sees.
Great signs in heaven announced the birth of Jesus in the gospels. This is heaven’s view of Jesus’ birth. Yes, the child being born is Jesus, but the woman isn’t Mary. Three descriptions in this verse give us hints as to the identity of the woman. #1 – clothed with the sun, #2 – the moon under her feet, #3 – a crown of twelve stars on her head.
In Joseph’s dream about his family from Genesis 37:9-10, he had the sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. Jacob is the sun, Rachel is the moon and the twelve tribes of Israel are the stars.
This woman represents more than just a single individual. In Hosea 2:19-20, God tells Israel He will betroth her to Himself. In Isaiah 54:5, He tells Israel that their Creator (Maker) is her husband. In Isaiah 9:6, we read “For unto US a child is born, to US a son is given …” Mary was the vessel, but Israel is the mother of the Messiah.
Isaiah 66:7-11, in prophesying the Messiah’s verse says an entire nation would mother this child - the nation of Israel, the city of Jerusalem. God’s chosen people.
“Before she goes into labor she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. ‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.’”
In Rev. 12:4, we find the woman about to give birth and the dragon, Satan, is waiting to devour the child as soon as it is born. Rev. 12:5 tells us that she gave birth to a male child, who would rule all the nations with an iron scepter. The imagery of the iron scepter is taken from Psalm 2:9. Jesus is returning to rule and Satan has been attempting to thwart that action since the very beginning.
He tried once before to devour the child. In Jeremiah 51:34, we read that Nebuchadnezzar devoured Israel, throwing them into confusion. It also says “Like a serpent he has swallowed us.” In Ezekiel 29:3, we read about a great monster lying in Egypt’s streams. The King James version translates this as ‘the great dragon.’ Satan tried to stop Israel from forming into a nation. Pharaoh / Egypt wanted to kill the young children so Moses wouldn’t be born. Nebuchadnezzar tried to destroy the Hebrew nation, but he was stopped. King Herod tried to kill young children in Bethlehem to stop Jesus from achieving adulthood. Satan has attempted to interfere in God’s plan throughout time and always failed.
Rev. 12:5 tells us the child was snatched up to God and to His throne. We went straight from Jesus’ birth to the moment of His ascension. God’s idea of time is different than ours. In a few verses, we realize that heaven crammed those 33 years Jesus lived on earth into a breath between words. They were important to each of us, but in the overall picture of eternity, Jesus was born and then ascended into heaven.