And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:35 KJV
The many questions and fears that come from Mary are met with graciousness, whilst Zacarias is rebuked. It seems that this can go unnoticed in the midst of all the Christmas narrative. And it is this very reason that every year we scan over the Christmas story with the sense of familiarity that fine details go missed. Every year since this site was formed, we have been alerted to important hidden truths which enrich the season. Yet the answer as to why Zacarias was rebuked was due to what he was and where he served. He was a priest of the Abijah line, burning the incense. He was well versed in Scripture yet in the moment he was not found to be in faith at the miracle announcement. Mary knew not the Scriptures in the same way as Zacarias did, but her Magnificat shows some knowledge, as it has common elements as the song of Hannah. There is a difference from knowing Scripture intimately and knowing Scripture academically and yet from a pure heart did her questions arise.
There are 3 Overshadowings in Scripture.
There are 3 occasions where “overshadowing” is encountered. It shows a special visitation of God for a very high purpose. The first “overshadowing” is found in Exodus 31, where Bezaleel is appointed to fashion the Tabernacle according to the pattern God shows Moses on Sinaii. The name ” Bezaleel” means shadow of the Lord. Interesting that as much as Bezaleel fashioned according to the Divine Pattern so the Glory came on the Tabernacle. So we surmise that the shadow prepared for the visitation and habitation of Glory.
The second “overshadowing ” is found in Psalm 91, speaking of the shadow of His Wings, and the covenantal depth of what was the Protection and what aspects of life would that protection be applied. I think it would be beneficial if we first see that once we understand that hiding in the Shadow of His Wings we will then walk in specific areas. This for our days is essential so that we do not fall into error seeing that this overshadowing is covenantal and must be understood on that basis.
So Mary is presented with this overshadowing because it is to cover her as what is formed within her is the Son of God. Mary became a “temporary tabernacle” as the “seed” conceives and becomes the Son of Man. Glory creates a space for God to execute His plan of redemption of man.
God’s shadow is a creative process that must be recognised and discerned
Jesus was 9 months in the womb. In that time the development was natural yet divine in its purpose, divine in its formation. From birth this baby 👶 would know God intimately. Even as a child his growth was a natural process with a divine objective. And His Messianic mission would be timed exactly in His life.
God desires us to understand that the Christmas message is about hidden things divinely conceived. God desires to do this in the midst of His Church, where we understand that Jesus coming to His Church needs people of faith to receive “godly seed” so that in simplicity and grace we can be vessels that birth His purposes. We can get so taken up with the festivities and family gatherings. We do not catch that in the quietness of a particular night a Virgin gave birth to the Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David. It is in the quietness we perceive the hidden things God does to prepare the situation for the work of Redemption be made plain to all.
There is a overshadowing to come
Just as God overshadowed Mary, and has overshadowed many people to bring about awakenings in many situations and many nations, it is imperative we understand that we often have to prepare years for God to bring Christ into our generation. Where in Western nations prayer has mostly been lost as a lifestyle so God desires to overshadow and bring upon us the Holy Spirit. This way the seed of His Mission in our time can be given to develop as our time in prayer develops. This overshadowing to come is not about another Nativity scene but a King who shall return to rule. We are in the season to prepare for that. The work of overshadowing is fashioning something to God’s pattern, like Bezaleel , who fashioned with Gold. Revelation 3:18, Jesus speaks of this gold refined in the fire. The faith, seed for this preparation is the gold, but our prayers must mould the gold in prayer according to God’s pattern. It is an urgent process, as another darkness, gross darkness covers the people. Isaiah 60:1&2 tells us about this darkness.
This darkness is total ignorance to the Word and the Ways of the Lord. It is covering so much that preaching and teaching is being reduced to traditions. So we have a choice to receive the “Shadow” or live in the “Darkness”. It is how we decide to live this life. May we receive His Shadow, His Seed, so that Glory may come to our generation.
The Ultimate Advent is the return of the Messiah to judge all and to give the righteous their eternal estate. May we pray and prepare for this.