By Bill Brandstatter
Two places played an important part in Jesus’ life. The first was Bethlehem, the place of his birth. (Matt. 1:5-9) The second was Calvary, the place of His death. (Luke 23:33) Of these two, only one has affected mankind for all generations. That one is Calvary.
At Calvary, His birth in Bethlehem found its real meaning. Paul wrote “But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:7NKJV) Because Jesus came in the form of a baby, He entered the world like everyone else. He also died for every man on a cross on Calvary. He bore the sins of many. (Heb. 9:28) Without the events in Bethlehem, Calvary would not have been possible; but with the events of Bethlehem the events of Calvary affected all men of all generations.
At Calvary, the timing of His birth in Bethlehem was realized. Paul wrote about the time when Christ would be born in order to redeem others. In Ga. 4:4, we read, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law...” (NKJV) This happened in Bethlehem. Then Paul continues, “…To redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Ga. 4:5) According to Heb. 9:15, this happened at His death on Calvary.
At Calvary, the good news of Bethlehem became a reality. The angels’ announcement to the shepherds was “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Lu. 2:10, 11) The reference to “city of David” is another name for Bethlehem. (1 Sam. 16:18) The good news of universal salvation for all men came to fruition at the death of Christ. Jesus said, “This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:28)
Had it not been for Bethlehem, Calvary would not have happened; but because of Calvary, we all can rejoice in knowing we have a way to get to heaven one day. By coming in contact with his death on Calvary (Ro.6:3), we can have hope of everlasting life.
http://marionchurchofchrist.com/Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: