In this season of Christmas I want to go through some of the Christmas story.
The first thing I would like to cover is from the book of Daniel. In chapter two, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. Daniel tells the king of his dream and interprets it. The dream is of a statue that is quite majestic. The head is made of gold; the arms and chest are made of silver; the abdomen and hips are made of brass; and the legs and feet are made of iron. The feet are made of a mixture of iron and clay.
A rock cut out from a mountain “without human hands” is then thrown at the statue. An emphasis is made that the rock is small (like a pebble). The rock hits the statue at its feet and the whole thing crumbles.
The interpretation of the dream is given. These different elements that make up the statue are different kingdoms. Babylon will be taken over by the less glorious Medo-Persia, which will be taken over by the less glorious Greece, which will be taken over by the less glorious Rome. The feet being of iron and clay is a puzzle. There is a truth in saying that the feet are the Roman Empire instead of the Roman Kingdom.
The Roman Kingdom was ruled by the consul. The Roman Empire was ruled by the Caesar. When the Caesars took over (starting with Augustus), the Roman Kingdom was divided. The Caesars conquered power by manipulation and fear. They ruled by oppression. In the time of Jesus, most of the Jews were being taxed about 80-90% of their income.
The stone cut out of the mountain is a reference to Jesus. He is the stone that smashed into the feet and established the Kingdom of God. Yet, this isn’t a complete fulfillment either. There is a second coming in which Christ will truly establish His Kingdom by breaking down all of the other kingdoms of the world.
What the dream in Daniel chapter two does is set the stage for us to view the time in which Jesus lived and get a perception of what the Kingdom of God actually looks like. The Christmas story is about this child that was born to free the captives and bring peace to the world. Lets not forget that Jesus has a second coming in which this will be ultimately fulfilled as we continue to pursue the meaning of Christmas.