And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
Christmas. What comes to your mind when you think of this holy day? Maybe it is the colorful lights or decorations. Possibly Santa bringing gifts from the North Pole. Or maybe just spending time with your loved ones. Though many will likely be thinking of these things, I wonder how many will picture a virgin giving birth and placing her baby in a manger.
Though it may not seem as extravagant as all the commercialized Christmas festivities, the truth of Christmas is far more beautiful and wondrous than one could possibly imagine. For when we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the birth of God! That statement may initially seem nonsensical. For how could the infinite become finite or how could the uncreated Creator be born? It is a paradox to be sure. Nevertheless, that is exactly what Christians celebrate on Christmas. Matthew 1:23 states, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” When the virgin Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit it was said that her Son would be God with us. The baby in the manger was God dwelling physically on the earth. This Christian doctrine is known as the incarnation. The incarnation states that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Thus, the person of Jesus was both truly God and truly man. The incarnation does not teach that Jesus merely appeared to be human like Superman pretending to be Clark Kent, rather God truly became a man without ceasing to be God. Jesus possesses both a human and divine nature. In His human nature, Jesus was limited in knowledge, strength, and spatial location; however, in His divine nature He continued to possess the divine attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. When Jesus was an infant in the manger, He was also the sustainer of the universe. When Jesus was conceived by Mary, the eternal God entered human-history. But why? Why did God become a man?
Matthew 1:21 states, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus came to save us from our sins. Therefore, Christmas is all about salvation. God is on a rescue mission from heaven to save the earth. However, for God to redeem and represent sinful humanity, He had to first take upon Himself our likeness. Philippians 2:5-8 states, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus became a man so that He could live a perfect life and die on a cross in our place. Jesus came as a substitutionary sacrifice to offer us forgiveness and redemption. 2 Corinthians 8:9 states, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Though Jesus, being God, and having all the heavenly riches lacking nothing in Himself; He willingly humbled Himself and became poor as He took on a human nature so that we could become spiritually rich. I wonder how many of us would give up all our wealth and possessions for the poor and destitute? Because that is exactly what God did for us. The Son of God became a man so that man could become sons of God. And He did all of this because He loves you! God is crazy in love with you and desires a relationship with you. He does not wait for us to seek Him out, rather He comes seeking us out and offering us salvation. Christmas is a love story between God and man. God came to dwell among us and to have an intimate relationship with us. All we must do is receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and we can enjoy His everlasting Kingdom. Thus, Christmas is a season filled with wonder offering us good tidings of hope, joy, love, and peace.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate God becoming a human to save the world!