CHRISTMAS IS LOVE
The Child Born on Christmas is Almighty God
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:6
Have you ever truly thought about what it meant for Jesus (Who is God) to step out of eternity and to be born on Christmas morning over 2000 years ago so He could become one of us? I hope Christmas will get all of us thinking about what a sacrifice of love this was.
Paul understood what it meant for God to be born in our likeness, and what a sacrifice it was for Him. Paul’s insights are spelled out in Philippians 2:6-8. Speaking of Jesus it says,
…who, although He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Let us break up the above verses into 3 phrases to give us more insight into them:
PHRASE 1: who, although He existed in the form of God
This phrase means Jesus had the very nature and very character of God. Let’s reason this out a bit. Only you have your nature and your character so only you are you. Jesus has God’s nature and character, so He is God.
PHRASE 2: did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself
The word emptied in the Greek means – to empty oneself, to divest (strip) oneself of rightful dignity by descending to an inferior condition, to abase (humiliate) oneself. This phrase means Jesus willingly stripped Himself of His self-interests, not His deity, when He was on this earth. He let go of His rights as God. Doesn’t that blow you away that God willingly gave up His rights for you? God willingly gave up His rights when we needed Him too. How often are we willing to give up our rights when others need us too?
I don’t know about you, but I try my best not to get myself in a humiliating situation. However Jesus, because He loves us very much, allowed Himself to be humiliated for you and I when He was on this earth. The thought Jesus was willing to be humiliated for me touches my heart so much! It makes me want to love Him. How about you?
PHRASE 3: taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Paul wanted us to realize and know was that Jesus had the nature and character of a servant on this earth as well. He came to be a servant and not to be served and to suffer, and die, to give His life to save us from our sins.
…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many – Matthew 20:28
May these insights we get as we delve deeper into Philippians 2:6-8, remind us of 2 things this Christmas.
First, let us be reminded this Christmas that Jesus was just as holy on this earth as He is in eternity. His very nature was repulsed by sin. Nonetheless, He willingly chose to live among us sinners, even though He detested sin. He chose to love sinners even when they did awful things to Him without a cause. He chose to experience the punishment for our sin, even though sin and the consequences of it had nothing to do with Him.
Second, let us also be reminded what He dealt with from mankind on this earth: He was hunted down to be killed both as a child and as an adult, not because of anything He had done wrong, but because of who He is. He was shunned by most people because He loved and cared for people who weren’t very lovable from society’s perspective. He was hated because He taught that everyone needed to love God and each other, not by just fancy words, but by deeds lived out. The human reason He was crucified was jealousy on the part of His countrymen, and from the Roman’s perspective, just plain cruelty. He was sentenced to death and died (for our sin) by one of the most tortuous deaths wicked humans could invent. If that wasn’t enough of a sacrifice for us, God whose character is completely absent of sin, whose whole being instinctively abhors sin, took our sin upon Himself!
2 Corinthians 5:21 says,
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus was born, lived and died on this earth because He loves us!
1 John 4:10 talks about this unselfish and unfailing love from God,
This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
What manner of love the Father has given unto us!
This Christmas let us be reminded on what it meant for Jesus to step out of eternity and to be born so He could become one of us. May we see how much we are loved by God and love Him back.
Father, we thank you how Christmas reminds us that we could never get to heaven on our own. You had to come to us. And thank you for not just sending but giving your son to us, to suffer and die for us. He is the most wonderful gift of all! Jesus is Christmas!
MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!