“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
– Matthew 1: 18-21 (NASB)
When average dullard reads the aforementioned they think, ‘Awww. Isn’t that a sweet Christmas story?’ In today’s parlance it would be akin to a formal, ‘We’re pregnant’, cutesy meme on Facebook and/or Instagram.
What’s missed on some, from a masculine standpoint, is that little baby boy was born to be a Hero Savior. Yep, his mission is heroic and sacrificial. It’s not a job for the squeamish 21st-century hipster dandy.
This is the ‘stuff’ of real men. Yay, The Ultimate Man. Indeed, forget trying to replicate the macho dudes on IG and instead set your sights to follow Jesus’ lead if you really ‘wanna be a man.’
Jesus’ task was a sacrificial salvaging of us sin-laden dunderheads that entailed an epic confrontation of sin in sinners, a sacrificial payment of our sin debt before a thrice holy God and an eternal crushing of the malevolent one, the devil.
Again, this is not a task for a guy trying to get in touch with his ‘feminine side’, who’s afraid of confrontation and paying the ultimate price for someone else’s success.
Please note, that the glide path The Son of God was born to take, wasn’t to tell quaint, moralistic, stories in Elizabethan English.
It wasn’t to be an exemplary nice boy for all the untoward ruffians to emulate.
Oh, no senorita.
His task was to rescue the damned from damnation.
By the way, you don’t hear much about damnation anymore in churches now, do you? No one goes to hell anymore if you listen to and are to believe most ministers who drone on during their heretical eulogies at funerals.
Jesus’s goal: Save His people from their sins.
Sin. There’s another word that’s currently being avoided and/or defined down in our ecclesiastical hovels that are taking their cue from the therapeutic community verses the Verbum Dei.
My former seminary professor, Dr. R.C. Sproul, spawned an apt definition of sin that I believe succinctly sums up our harmitialogical mess in a nutshell. Sproul said, ‘Sin is not simply making bad choices or mistakes. Sin is having the desire in our hearts to do the will of the enemy of God’.
To ‘save’ people from their sins (by the way, it says ‘from’ their sins and not ‘while they continue to impenitently wallow in their sins’) entailed a multi-pronged attack, for The Son of Man.
First off, for anyone who dares to give Matthew, Mark, Luke and John a legit and yet, mere cursory glance, you’ll notice that Jesus had no problemo whatsoever calling out people for their evil crap.
He would rebuke priests and politicians to their face and often times in public.
With His disciples, His ‘chosen ones’, He also had no problem at all letting them have it when they were acting the fool by following their foul flesh, their self-righteous spirit or the dictates of el Diablo himself, as in Peter’s case (Mt.16).
With the woman at the well, He exposed her wanton life before He liberated her with His promise of ‘living water’. And for the woman caught in adultery, we see Jesus not condemn her while at the same time tell her to ‘go and sin no more’.
Ergo, to make Jesus out to be a soft peddler of non-offensive positive religious sentiments is to bastardize the biblical record that ubiquitously spotlights him doing anything but that.
For Jesus to ‘save’ the sinner he had to confront their sin.
For those who already knew they were wretched He offered them mercy, grace and forgiveness. For those who thought, ‘eh, I’m not that bad’ He took it upon Himself to show them that He thought otherwise. And for those that thought their poop didn’t stink, He reserved His most scathing denunciations.
So, why did The Son of Man wield His incisive divine wit against the blissfully and sinfully ignorant of their true and dire condition? Well, he wanted to save them, truly, from their sins and sometimes, oft times, heaven’s bad news precedes heaven’s Good News.
This confrontational, politically-incorrect, course that Christ took is masculine to the core. Confronting sin in sinners is definitely not the soup de jour of the ‘seeker-friendly’ assemblies that populate our American evangelical horizon.
Why is the masculine task of rebuke and reproof avoided by pulpits today? Well, it’s because most male Christain ministers would rather be liked than to actually save people from their sins. Jesus, on the other hand, couldn’t care less if you liked Him or not and thus, He didn’t mind causing people intense and internal short-term pain for His and their temporal and eternal gains.
Secondly, not only did he confront sin in the sinner He also paid for their sin by taking their well deserved death penalty and suffer The Father’s wrath against their sin on the cross. That’s a task that’s not for the faint of heart. That too, is masculine to the core.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
— Romans 5:6-10