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Matthew 2:2

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Matthew 2:2, ‘For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.’

John 12:12, ‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’

The coming of the magi to worship the newborn Jesus is the first fruits of the eschatological in-gathering of the nations anticipated throughout the prophets (for this piece, I was thinking especially of Is. 60:1-3 and Mic.4:1-2); an in-gathering that John presents as being decisively fulfilled when Jesus is ‘lifted up’ on the cross and so draws all people to Himself (Jn 12:12).

It is when Jesus is raised up on the cross—as that cross is illumined by the interpretive light of the resurrection—that the glory of God is seen upon Him so that the nations come to the radiance of His rising (Is.60:1-3, is spoken chiefly of God’s people, but true of them only as they are united to the Christ). So too, it is when Jesus is lifted up—both on the cross, and three days later, from the grave—that the True House of God is established on Zion (c.f., Jn 2:19-21), so that the nations stream uphill, drawn to the mountain of God by the gravity well of glory that dwells in the tabernacle of Christ’s anastasiform flesh (Mic.4:1-2).

And this gathering happens afresh whenever the slain and risen Jesus is lifted up in the proclamation of the gospel of the glory of God by the power of the Spirit…may it be so more and more.

So, in this image, the nations are drawn up to the summit of the mountain of God where the crucified Jesus is represented as the ‘star’ whose rising reaped the first fruits of the harvest of the nations in Matt.2:2. The star of Christ is ringed by five smaller stars (His glorified wounds) and rests above the crescent moon, whose shape alludes to the open tomb, since the cross gathers the nations only because the crucified one is risen. Finally, the outlines of the temple are visible since the True Temple and House of God is the Body of the slain and risen Lord.