When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
– Matthew 2:13-18
This is probably the darkest moment in the Christmas story, but also a sober reminder that life does not come without opposition or even tragedy. While the coming of the Lord is to be celebrated, we must not forget that his coming was not the end of trials and tribulations. Christ’s coming freed us from the bondage of sin. We are living in the middle period where the old is fading a way and the new has come, and yet creation has not yet been fully renewed.
We will not see a world free of suffering, strife, conflict, and death until Christ returns and evil is finally defeated in the last days. Christ’s coming is the most significant moment in history, but even before Christ preached a single message or performed a single miracle the powers of this world tried to silence him. Fortunately for all of us God’s plan cannot be foiled by the likes of man. The Christ child was spared that night and would go on to be the savior of all mankind.
Take comfort in the knowledge that even Christ himself did not live a life free from opposition. No where in scripture are we guaranteed, in fact we have a promise from Christ himself that we will also face trials and tribulations if we follow him. Life is not an easy journey, but we can take comfort in knowing that God’s plan cannot be undone and that, though trials may come, he is in control.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33