A Christmas Marvel
Perhaps one of the most tragic potentials for us who have been forgiven and set free through the blood of Jesus Christ is that we might arrive at a place in our life where we lose the wonder of our redemption. To wake up each day and not sense any amazement that the God of Heaven loved us, sought us, secured us and now shepherds us … few things could be more shameful than to regard this as irrelevant or trite. The very thought that we are in a season that celebrates the moment God appeared in flesh should astound us. Yes, Christmas should amaze us. Why, you ask?
For starters, we would do well to remember that there is no reason why God should have gone to such lengths to rescue sinful mankind. The very first humans rebelled against Him, and so have all others who followed the inhabitants of Eden. As unpopular and as unkind it may sound, we need to remember that our very nature is against God, and therefore our subsequent thoughts, words and deeds all fall short of His holy standard. Why would He set His mark of grace upon us? Why would He choose to rescue us? Why the incarnation? There is no other reason for Jesus to have come beside the undeniable truth that God loves us. Don’t shrug off that statement as simplistic when it is likely the most glorious thought we might entertain!
Friends, the incarnation of the Son of God is the commencement of the revealing of God’s plan for mankind. The beauty of Bethlehem is that Messiah’s arrival barely made a ripple when it occurred, yet this plan would continue through the perfect life which He lived upon earth. The climax of this plan was witnessed on the day of His crucifixion and then punctuated three days later by His resurrection. Christ’s ascension back to glory, where He sits enthroned, will one day (soon?) give way to His return to earth. These are not isolated incidents, but, rather, the components of a singular plan to rescue a helpless, undeserving mankind.
Again, why would He do all this? I strongly suggest that, if you answer with any other reason besides His decision to love us, you are perilously close to heresy. Do not strive to attach an addendum or refuse to qualify our unworthiness with some technicality. Don’t fool with the fabric of our faith — rest in the grand realization that God loves you so abundantly that He spared nothing to provide for you what you had personally forfeited through sin. He came to live; He lived to die. He died to rise; He rose to ascend. He ascended to gather; He gathers to rule, and He rules to restore. And He has included you in this glorious redemption that sin cannot erase, Satan cannot undo, trials cannot dim, persecution cannot overcome, and time cannot contain. You are His forever!
That is why the baby was born in Bethlehem. Marvel at that for a little while!