Christmas Revealed in Christ
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
A great change took place when God decided to speak ‘to us by His Son’ on Christmas Day. From having a name that is unpronounceable, God took a name that was very common, the name “Jesus”. From having a presence so pure and powerful no man could be in His presence and live, God came as a baby in a manger. Becoming a helpless baby born in a manger allowed all, both rich and poor (Wise Men and Shepherds) to come and see. The Bible says God gave himself an ordinary look as he grew to manhood to which the prophet Isaiah declared, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2). There was nothing about his appearance that would stand out as special for Jesus wanted no one to be intimidated or afraid to approach Him. Instead of making people shake in their boots in His presence calling out “Woe is me … I am ruined.” (Isaiah 6:5) God called people to Himself saying, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
How the people came to Jesus! People to Jesus came at night or followed Him around in boats. Some invited Jesus into their homes. Others laid their children in His arms or touched him as he walked down the street. Many called out his name from afar. Thousands at a time sat for hours listening to His words. People were after Jesus so much, he had to occasionally sneak away for prayer and rest. As Jesus walked on earth, no one was reluctant to approach Jesus for fear of rejection. God had simply become “Jesus” to the people. Their friend.
Yet, remember how different this presentation of God was. The writer to the Hebrews describes God “is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). The God of consuming fire, forever in eternity, Creator of all things, almighty, majestic and glorious, pure and holy was willing to shrink down and becoming little baby. Amazing!
We’re told in the book of 2 Corinthians the reason God was willing to do this was to “reconcile the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). God knew His holiness and our sinfulness made him unapproachable and a relationship with Him impossible. Yet, as God looked down upon our puny galaxy and our tiny planet and even down closer to the broken people who populated this planet, God’s heart burst in love. He couldn’t live without us and knew we couldn’t live without Him. So God decided to close this gulf, this gap between us. He emptied Himself of His Divine glory (Philippians 2:7) coming to our planet to show us the way and even more, become the way (John 14:6).
Remember the story and message of Christmas goes far beyond Mary, Joseph, and a baby in a manger. The story of Christmas goes beyond our nice and tidy concepts and takes us up to Heaven and a Holy God. It’s a story that takes us down to hell and the defeat of evil. It’s a story that takes us to the cross and the payment of our sin. It’s a story that takes Jesus to a grave and finally to an empty tomb. Basically, Christmas is a story of our salvation. Even more simply, Christmas is the story of God’s love!