It is a wonderful thing, but an odd thing, that the Creator God would love His creatures so that He would choose to come and live among them on planet earth. I can’t imagine an earthly king who would one day say to himself “I think it would be good to go out of the palace, through the courts, and out the gate and go live with the commoners“. Such an idea flies in the face of reason. Why would royalty desire the humble means of those poor souls who are only a harvest away from starvation? How could the one whose servants stand at the ready to care for every detail of need want to come and make his abode with the lowly?
Ah, Christmas, the season when we remember the time when earth was interrupted by the birth of a baby boy. His first hours were lived in the most humble setting, a cattle stall with the smell of dung and odor of the animals near by. Yet this child was a King whose birth had been foretold by the prophets, long years ago. His mother was told He would save His people from their sins, and Matthew reminded the readers of his book that according to Isaiah his name would mean “God-with-us”.
The wonder of Christmas is that not only did a King come for a visit but He came on a mission. Men and women and boys and girls were groping along in the darkness of their sins with no hope of life after the earthly tent was finally folded. But He appeared…”To save His people from their sins”. His life would be short by today’s standards but it was one that perfectly met every holy demand of God the Father’s law. His ministry would be to the human trash of the day to heal brokenness, to give sight to the blind, to make cripples run, jump, and shout for joy. He would raise the dead, feed thousands with enough for only a few.
He would break all the rules of religion, he would squash racial divides, he would talk to the wind….and it would listen. He would round up some unlikely candidates to help Him with His mission. The twelve were truly a cross section of the lower rungs of society. He would laugh and love with them, eat with them, pray with them, minister with them, and then be abandoned by them and even denied and betrayed by them. But, oh how He loved them. But the wonder of this One is that He loved everyone intensely. And, He would die to prove it.
A child was born, a son given, a life lived, a live given. He defeated the forces of darkness by defeating death, by satisfying God’s demands about sin and its penalty, and offers to all who will accept the gift, eternal life. He is the only human who could have justly condemned, but He didn’t come for that. For you see, people were already condemned. No, He came to give life, and forgiveness, and peace.
There are still those who deny Him. Some even declare with their lips that He never even existed. But every one of them declares His life and death every time they write a date on a check, or a note to a friend. No other person in human history has been so opposed as this man. The ultimate oddity is that this man of all men who ever lived would have had opposition. He only gave, and gave, and then gave Himself as a complete payment for every man’s sins and today lives so we too can live.
God-with-us! Merry Christmas.