(THIS WEEK: 5-Part Series on The Stages of Christ)
One of the greatest portals to heaven is actually filled with literal portals.
The announcement to Mary that she would bear Jesus and the angels before-Handel-Hallelujah-Chorus-like “Glory in the Highest” to the shepherds opened wide portals from and to heaven.
But the actual life of Jesus is a portal of stages or phases of every Christian pilgrim. No one seems to get a pass on these gateways.
FIRST PORTAL: Jesus as a baby.
Being the next-to-youngest in a big family made me the perennial “little brother.” In High School, they would announce, “Here comes another ‘Little LaCosta.’” I was actually proud to have a long line of “big LaCosta’s” - sort of felt like a social welcome mat.
As I got a little older, I began to resent this junior-partner thing and wanted to be an adult. Later, when posed with the reality that Christ’s followers had to come as baby-Christians, I bucked and thought, “Well, I’m not going through another humiliation of being the youngest again.”
It actually held me back for many years of coming to Jesus as a child.
I wanted to be the instant-mature Christian. God help all of those who put up with that pretentious masquerading.
It would be a while before I realized that God came as a baby - not just because it had to be that way. From the cradle to the basin, Jesus was saying, “If I, being your Lord and Master, Bob, humble myself, you must do the same.”
Evidently, the disciples had my same problem at the Last Supper and when they tried to prevent the kiddos from coming to see Jesus.
The incarnation is the magnificent portal to the standard-procedure, “the humility of heaven,” or the “upside-down kingdom” as it is known.
And to think, I could have enjoyed being that “Little LaCosta.”
(To be continued.)
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: This first of five Jesus-portals-to-heaven-stages is why mothers ache and babies cry during birthing: it pains us so much to enter the kingdom as a child. How does this actually apply to every phase of our lives?
Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them
Matthew 19:13,14,15 (NKJV)
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