Sometimes it stresses Christians out when they realize that Astrology plays a big role in the Christmas story.
My friend – and my Senior Pastor – James Burn gave a fascinating talk recently on the Mazzaroth and how the Signs of the Zodiac originally pointed to God’s plans for the redemption of mankind before it got corrupted and twisted and was used to point to our own lives. You can find his excellent talk here:
The Magi…who said…
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,[b] and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2, NLT
…were astrologers from a Zoroastrian religious tradition. Why would Astrologers be numbered with the first people to meet the baby Jesus? Sounds a bit tricky for a buttoned up, Star Sign dismissing Christian believer to take!
Well – I’m not saying that we need to get into modern Astrology…and begin believing what Russell Grant tries to push on us. What I am saying…is that we have lost the original intended meaning of the Signs of the Zodiac. And the ancient literature gives us hints as to how it was originally intended to be used.
“Can you direct the movement of the stars— binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations (Mazzaroth) through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?” Job 38:31-33, NLT
The word Mazzaroth refers to the Signs of the Zodiac. It’s an ancient Hebrew word…going back to pre-Babylonian roots. The fact that it turns up in Job, the most ancient work of literature in the Bible, is significant.
What is interesting is that every culture has used the same 12 signs of the Zodiac…with the same stories behind them…the 12 signs of the Zodiac are thought to be over 4000 years old. In Greek, the word Zodiac is – Sodi. Which also means – THE WAY.
Are the Signs of the Zodiac the way to remember constellations of stars? That’s what we have often been told. I never understood that reasoning, myself. What if that’s not true? What if originally…the very opposite was true. That the reason the Signs of the Zodiac existed…had nothing to do with the specific constellations themselves…but everything to do with using the stars to help human beings to understand and be reminded of the most important story…THE WAY…God’s plan of redemption for all humanity?
The Bible points out that the stars are there to be signs.
Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Genesis 1:14, NLT
Could it be – that this points once again to God’s creativity, his timing and his passion for communicating with us?
Here’s an abridged version of the story that plays out across the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.
Virgo – in Latin, the Virgin. Central to the Christmas story.
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[f] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). Isaiah 7:14, NLT
Why is she carrying a branch in one hand and wheat in the other?
Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. Zechariah 3:8, NLT
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. John 12:24, NLT
Jesus is the one brought by the Virgin…the branch, and the kernel of wheat that dies but bears much fruit.
Libra – the scales. Humanity has been weighed, and has been found wanting.
Tekel means ‘weighed’—you have been weighed on the balances and have not measured up. Daniel 5:27, NLT
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23, NLT
How did we get into this mess?
Scorpio – warlike, representing Satan the enemy of our souls. Yet Jesus brings authority over him.
Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19, NLT
Victory belongs to the Lord, not Satan. And this is communicated by the next sign.
Sagittarius – half man, half horse carrying a bow and arrow.
I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory. Revelation 6:2, NLT
Christ the conqueror is returning in triumph, in victory.
What has modern Astrology got to do with Cosmology? Not a lot! But comparing modern Cosmology with ancient Astrology…things get much more interesting.
Cosmology is revealing just how wonderful our Universe is. Our planet spins thru a Universe which is constantly in motion…heavenly bodies that are rushing thru the cosmos at an incredible rate.
Light years…gravitational forces, dark matter, red shift galaxies, black holes, relativity, 70 thousand million million million stars ……mind blowing cosmological awesomeness!
And God has put a name to each one.
He counts the stars and calls them all by name. Psalm 147:4, NLT
Who could hope to know all those names!! Yet the names that he HAS revealed to us…explain a picture of his plan to rescue us.
Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius. A summary of God’s plans.
It is mind blowing to me that – God would place humanity on the surface of this planet at JUST THE RIGHT TIME in the history of the Universe to be able to view these particular Zodiac Constellations in our sky. That God would ensure our perception of our Universe …to have overlaid upon it a picture of his plans for humanity’s rescue. That sounds like the God of the Bible, to me!
Astrology – it’s not about my self-centered existence. But taken with our discoveries in Cosmology…it’s all about pointing to the staggering awesomeness of the God who writes his love for us across the sky.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.[a] Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. Psalm 19:1-4, NLT