One of the big films of 2010 was 2012. It was a disaster movie that explored the idea that in 2012 the world ends in a whole series of cataclysmic events which destroy mankind. It is based on a series of prophecies some of which are being picked up in the media at the moment, as usually happens remember the fuss about the millennium and various other end of the world moments.
One of the big questions the film 2012 asks is this: ‘How would the governments of our planet prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world?’ It’s a great question, which the film explores as disaster after disaster hits the earth, Tsunami’s, earthquakes, meteor showers just keep on coming one after another. The question remains how would you save so many people? How could they be got ready for the end of the world?
Unsurprisingly as the film explores this idea we see society’s cynicism about governments is shared by the script writers and production team. Because their conclusion is very simple ‘How would the governments of our planet prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world?’ ‘They wouldn’t’
The Bible is concerned with answering a similar question but with some important differences: God is very different from the governments, and the problem is more immediate than in 2012. In 2012 it is imminent global catastrophe, and the Bible does says that one day the world will end, but it also says that more immediately we each face death as a consequence of leaving God out of our lives.
Luke 2v10-11 shows how God prepares everyone not just for the end of the world but for death. So that rather than dying facing God as someone we rejected we can face God as a child being welcomed home by our Father.
The answer is that he sends ‘a Saviour’ - a rescuer, someone who comes to deliver people from the greatest danger they face. But this isn’t just any rescuer, two other words are used to describe him and they mark Jesus out as a unique rescuer; “Christ” and “Lord”. Christ means anointed one – he is God’s chosen and appointed kingly rescuer, but he is also “Lord” – the sovereign ruler a title applied to God – this is the divine royal rescuer, God made man to save man.
In the film 2012 the governments of the world prepare arks for a select few to preserve the species, but everyone else is left unaware, and unprepared to die. God by contrast does everything he can to effect a rescue, in 2012 the government see people as faceless numbers who cannot be saved, by contrast Christmas tells us God is mindful of us, loves us, and will save us.
Jesus as he lies in the manger is God become human to represent us, to warn us and to secure our rescue, he does so by living a perfect life and please don’t take my word for that – Luke’s gospel is the result of years of interviewing eyewitnesses to Jesus life take this home and read it. And then despite his innocence he dies as someone who is guilty, judged not just by Pilate but by God and punished. But he is raised to life again by God so that we can be credited with, given, his perfect record if we trust him and accept him as Saviour, Christ and Lord.
How would you prepare yourself for the end of the world? It may not come in 2012 as the film portrays or as the prophecy predicts, but one thing is certain there will be an end of the world for each of us. 100% of the population dies and the question is are we ready for that be it because of a global catastrophe or because of old age and a wearing out of our bodies?
God in love sends his son to be the divine royal ruler, to be the kingly rescuer who prepares us to meet God and who restores our relationship with him, who comes to tell us how to be ready for the end of the world.