By all accounts Jesus should not have even been born! Let me clarify by all human accounts Jesus should not have been born. First, in a highly religious community a young teenage girl who was engaged and practically married is found out to be pregnant. Second her husband, or future husband finds out. No this isn't an episode of 'teen mom' on MTV it's the story of Jesus becoming a baby. We know that Jesus was even considered illegitimate by the community in which he lived and ministered because they said about him, "isn't this Mary's son?"(Mark 6:3) Third in that seriously religious community the penalty for fornication or adultery was death by stoning (Deuteronomy 22:22). Mary should have and would have been stoned typically in that day and age. In this 'legal system' a woman found to be with child would be stoned, and baby, and mother killed. In our modern day and age however a same scenario with a super religious family might just abort the baby. It happens more often than you might think (More than 7 in 10 U.S. women obtaining an abortion report a religious affiliation 37% protestant, 28% Catholic and 7% other Guttmacher Institute)
But for the purposes of this post I want to focus on Joseph the father, or the man rather, who married Mary, and took Jesus to be his own son. It says of Joseph that he was a just man, "And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1:19 ESV). Why was he just? Wouldn't it have been just according to the law of Moses given by God to put her away publicly (nice way of saying divorce) and even put her to death? No, Matthew notices a deeper justice, a Godly justice. Like Jesus said later, "Moses allowed divorce because of your hardness of heart." (Matthew 19:8) Wow! what if Joseph had not been just and done what the law allowed him to do? But Gods plans were deeper and richer and more total than we could have ever imagined. And how ironic that He decided to leave the fate of His abounding awesome redemption in the hands of a 'just man'. And that was the plan from the beginning to let justice reign on the first Christmas night in the deliverance of man through a baby. Yes the fate of justice in this world would lie on the shoulders of that baby boy one day on Calvary where he would drink the cup of the wrath of God for us.
Yes, Christmas is just. It is God's ultimate act of Justice. It is God weaving an incredible story to appease his own wrath in Jesus. Christmas is God fulfilling his demand for justice in Jesus' manger, righteous life, substitutionary cross, and victorious resurrection for you and me. This Christmas I rest in the justice of God, and that His righteous and just requirement is met in that little manger scene when God became man.