Happy Birthday? You left Heaven for this dump? Look around, this is a stable; the other babies in this nursery are barn-yard animals.
Your parents are poor and powerless. Everyone thinks your mom lacks virtue and your dad is a sap.
For the short lifetime you will live on earth, you will be un-worshipped, and unappreciated. You will be resisted, resented, and refuted at every turn.
No one who is anybody will recognize you. Only a few blue collar folks from flyover country will have the slightest inkling of your true identity — and, then, only with divine aid. With overpowering signs will they see… But they will believe so slowly… Their faith will be so fragile…
There are some who will try to trap you with trick questions. One will try to evade you by entrusting your fate to the vote of a mob.
Satan will… recognize you… And at every opportune moment he will come to you… and with his fullest power tempt you. Finally, he will enter human hearts to kill you.
It was in your holiness You came to a place of sinfulness… dirty, smelly, unclean. You came from a place of beauty to one twisted into ugliness. You came as love and life to death and decay… for the very purpose of dying.
What kind of happiness can be found in being born into a world like this? To a life like that? A party? A happy birthday?
And, yet, that is exactly what the angel said… Good news of great joy.
Only later would they understand… And Scripture explain… that it was “for the joy set before Him” that He “endured the cross.” Because it was so distasteful and painful, He lived His life and died His death “despising the shame.”
The ultimate cost-benefit analysis… Weighing the cost… Foreseeing the return on his investment… It was for “The joy set before him…”
And for us… “Good news of great joy”
So, yeah… Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus!