Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saturday December 24 Christ is Born

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
With these words we learn of the greatest of all miracles, that God almighty, the God of Abraham Isaac and David, the very author of creation, who made heaven and earth and everything therein chose, for our sakes to step out of the glory which He inhabits and walk among us; not just with us, but as one of us. He chose rather than remain seated on high, to come humbly into the very world he created, defiled by those whom he created, in order to restore us to Himself. Though He was fully God, he chose to empty Himself and become as one of us. Jesus Messiah, Immanuel, God with us, the King of Glory came into this world not with fanfare or display of strength, but born of a woman, a young virgin and her carpenter husband in the humblest of settings, a cattle shed. And this is what He chose. Jesus, the only person in all of history who chose to be born and for whom birth into this world was the greatest contrast of circumstance, chose this for us, knowing what it would all entail and cost Him. Yet He chose it still.
What did it cost to come in such a way? Why, it cost Him everything. This One who knew no sin chose to step directly into the sinful world and take every sin upon Himself so as to save us and reconcile us to Himself.  This One who was of the very substance of God, chose to give up all divine power and authority and become a helpless and very human child. How did that tiny human frame contain God Almighty? How did He empty Himself of all that He is and was? The how of it, friends, is a mystery we cannot expect to fully comprehend this side of heaven. The why of it is another matter. The why is because of His great love for those He created and that includes us. Our salvation begins not by human decision, or a husband's will, but born of God (John 1:13).
Is this not cause for the greatest of rejoicing? We have a divine mediator who knows our condition with complete intimacy, not just because of His own divine knowledge of all that is, but because he has chosen to share that very condition, with all its frailty and temptation and suffering. Sit with that a moment will you? The perfect One who knows no bounds, by His own choice, because of His unlimited love, chose such a way to redeem us. We are told in scripture, that He came to reveal God to us: No one has seen God; the only God who is at the Father's side, he has made him known (John 1:18) In that swaddled babe we are given a true high priest who is interceding for us; able to sympathize with human weakness (Hebrews 4:14-16) We are given a perfect example that we might follow in his steps (1 Peter2:21) and learn from His ways. He provides a sacrifice, a perfect and unblemished lamb, to atone for the sins of us all. In the letter to the Hebrews we are told  he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18 ESV). As God he would not have been able to suffer death. As humankind, He would not have been able to conquer it. Yet as both natures fully integrated, He is able to present us weak and weary ones, spotless before the throne of God redeemed for all eternity. For this friends we join with the angels singing "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased" (Luke 2:14) HALLELUJAH! Christ is born!

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