Tonight at about 10:00 p.m., the Northern Cross will be at the zenith point. So will the Star of Bethlehem.
The Northern Cross is a very distinctive cross which is contained in the constellation Cygnus (the swan). Cygnus is a picture of a swan that represents the first and Second Coming of Christ. The bright star Deneb, at the top of the cross, means "the Lord comes". Other stars, Azel, "who goes and returns quickly" and Sadar, "who returns in a circle" show the coming and returning of Christ.
The Northern Cross is home to an enigmatic object known as X-1 Cygnus. Astronomers studying X-1 Cygnus found that it was one of the strongest x-ray sources in the sky, but was also very small. Later researchers showed that the x-rays are generated by a stream of plasma drawn off of a nearby star (known as HDE 226868) near to the mysterious object. Finally astronomers identified X-1 Cygnus as a "black hole," or an object of such high density and gravitational pull that not even light can escape from it. Black holes are formed when a star at least 3.2 times larger than our own sun becomes a supernova and its gravitational pull causes a collapse into a black hole. If an object the size of Earth was collapsing into a black hole, it would be only one centimeter in diameter.
Ancient Chinese astronomers also studied X-1 Cygnus. In the Spring of 5 B.C., they recorded a "guest star", or nova, located in the longitude of the lunar mansion containing the bright star Altair, directly south of X-1 Cygnus. From another group of astronomers we know that the latitude of the nova was the same as that of X-1 Cygnus, about 32 degrees north. These two observations confirm that the nova observed in 5 B.C. was X-1 Cygnus. We call it the Star of Bethlehem.
The second group of astronomers was known as "Magi," or wise men, who journeyed to Israel to see Christ, the seed of woman (Gen 3:15), because they knew the signs of His advent in the sun, moon and stars. The cross, the only sign visible throughout the Earth in its northern and southern versions, was to be the instrument of the "bruising of the heel" of the Seed of Woman. And X-I Cygnus, the Star of Bethlehem, is located on the portion of the Northern Cross where the heel would have been nailed.
The Northern Cross is a beautiful binocular constellation, with many star clusters, although the companion Star to X-1 Cygnus is a 9th-magnitude telescope object. Is too small to be seen. Remember X-1 Cygnus, the Star of Bethlehem, and the most as significant celestial object you'll never see.
And remember that the other message of Cygnus is that Christ is coming back.
So be like the wise men and watch for the signs of His return in the sun, moon and stars.
Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.
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