The day Jesus rose, he planted an invincible, unshakable flag of hope over the grave. How could anything ever surpass his victory? Only he could author a more glorious day, and he has, a day that is coming soon. “The trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Death was defeated when the stone was rolled away, though it still harasses and plagues the earth — for now. But when Christ returns, we will sing, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27–28)
The day Jesus was born in Bethlehem was, to that point, the greatest day in history for God’s people — greater than the day Israel walked through the Red Sea, greater than the day the temple was dedicated, greater even than the day God formed the earth and filled its oceans. As glorious as it was for God to mold the mountains and carve out each valley, it was all the more glorious for him to step onto those mountains and into those valleys.
The infant cries of Bethlehem sounded like any other child’s, and yet the armies of darkness quivered before them. The day he was laid in the manger was the day the sun finally began to rise for our salvation — “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” in a body, from a womb, on a great and glorious day (Hebrews 1:3).