Jesus and September 11Commentary for September 11, 2006 — What Was More Important?
September 11, 2001 was a very important event in world affairs. It marked a change in American attitude toward danger of terrorism for residents of the United States and particularly in its largest metropolitan area, New York City, and the entire east coast. Memorials are being conducted across the United States to commemorate the 5-year anniversary since that horrible event in which over 3,000 people from around the world lost their lives in the attack and destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of an airliner in Pennsylvania.
However, as coincidence (if it was one, who knows?) would have it, a more important event in world history than the horrible attack occurred on a September 11 in 3 B.C.E., so far as our calendar system is concerned. That event was so important as to pale to insignificance the tragic events of September 11, 2001. That extraordinary event was the birth of Jesus the Messiah, the Christ. The world will not commemorate that event. If they would do so they would likely mourn that event also, and not celebrate it, just as they will do at His return:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”Note that just as there was a sign in heaven for His birth (Revelation 12:1–2), there will be “the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” before His second coming. The world largely ignored the sign of His first coming; it will not ignore His return. They shall fear that sign.
(see also Mark 13:26 and Luke 21:26)
I would wish, however, that the world might realize the true date of His birth, both for the true historicity of the event and to recognize the importance of God’s timing. Such timing will be as significant in His second advent as it was with His first advent. The full story of His birth is explained in Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s work, The Star That Astonished the World (Portland, OR: ASK Publications, 1996), which, in addition to being available in printed book form, is also available for free in its entirety online at http://www.askelm.com/star/index.asp.
The birth of Christ was the incarnation of Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), initiating a highly significant step in God’s process of salvation for mankind: “… this is indeed the Christ [the Messiah], the Savior of the world” (John 4:42; cf. 1 Timothy 4:10).
“God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”That salvation will also include the perpetrators of September 11, 2001. It will even include sinful people like you and me (and the apostle Paul):
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”
1 John 4:14
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”This is truly the important message of any commemoration of September 11. The most important occurrence of ANY year containing a September 11 is the birth of Jesus Christ your Savior. In actual fact, the birth of Jesus occurred in 3 B.C.E. without any reference to a significant date according to the Gregorian calendar that we use today, itself a modification of the Julian calendar dating from the time of Julius Caesar.
1 Timothy 1:14–15
However, the date of Jesus’ birth had tremendous significance within the Jewish calendar of Judea. As Dr. Martin relates, it took place on the Day of Trumpets, a day of tremendous meaning within the Jewish framework of symbolism contained in the Feasts of the Old Testament. It was the day when the Messiah was expected to come to the people of Israel. And He came indeed with a glorious heavenly display beforehand!
The fact that the date of Christ’s birth in 3 B.C.E. happens to fall on a September 11 is really not significant according to our calendar, but the fact that it occurred on the Day of Trumpets holds great significance. Although I want to encourage all of you to read (or reread) the entire book The Star That Astonished the World, if you must read the short version of the significance of this Day of Trumpets, you might want to read from Dr. Martin’s book Chapter 6: “The Birth of Jesus and the Day of Trumpets.”
Your Savior came in the flesh on that Day of Trumpets so that after He grew to manhood and taught the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the people of Israel, to a group of disciples, and to His close group of apostles, He then was condemned in sin — your sin — and crucified. This was done so that you are now made clean from sin. After His resurrection from the dead, His righteousness was also applied so that you are now made righteous.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”Christ’s flesh was true human flesh (Acts 2:30–31; Romans 1:3, 9:3; 1 Peter 3:18, 4:1; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7), yet His flesh had “the likeness of sinful flesh,” even though throughout His entire life He remained sinless. That “likeness” was because the sins of the world were placed upon Him (Galatians 1:4; 1 John 2:2). Jesus’ incarnation, His “enfleshment” was a essential part of His being “Immanuel” so that He — the creator of all (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16) — might die for our sins and be resurrected as the firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23) of all mankind.
As appropriate we should commemorate tragedy and death (Ecclesiastes 7:2–4), but in the recesses of your mind keep note of the memory and significance of the far more important event for glory and life that happened on the day of the birth of Jesus Christ in September, 2,008 years ago. The effect of THAT day is active within you at this present moment through God’s Holy Spirit with a promise:
“… if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.”
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