I wonder what it feels like to be in your shoes on that first Christmas. Sure the heavens were rejoicing when Jesus was born. The angels were probably in awe at the sight of their God in human form. For the longest time, they were blinded by the brightness and grandeur of Jesus that they can’t even look at Him. Then all of a sudden they witnessed His transformation—He became flesh and blood, conceived in a woman’s womb, born naked and helpless—just like any human being. It must be astounding and even incomprehensible to see the Majestic One become an ordinary man.
How about You, God? How did You feel? Now that I’m a mom, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to be separated from Your Son for the first time. Did You experience separation anxiety? You probably had a bittersweet Christmas. I guess that’s it. Bittersweet. You had to sacrifice being separated from Your Son in order to achieve something greater. You sent Him for one reason as it says in Your Word—to save His people from their sins. You know, I even checked different Bible versions of Matthew 1: 21 to see if that’s really the only translation for the meaning of the name Jesus. This is actually the first time that the translations I read said exactly the same thing: “She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus could’ve come to restore justice on earth, to promote peace, to show people how to love, or even to teach Your good and perfect commands. But those things pale in comparison to the gravity and urgency of dealing with our sin—the very thing that destroys us and pulls us away from You. It is for this reason that the first Christmas had to happen. It is for this reason that Your first bittersweet Christmas had to happen. I can only imagine how much You wanted to cradle baby Jesus in Your arms to keep Him warm; how You wanted to pacify Him when He was crying; how You wanted to make things easier for Him—but then again, You exercised divine restraint and allowed things to unfold in accordance to Your appointed will and time.
That’s unfathomable love, God! I can’t wrap my mind around it! It must’ve killed you inside to see one door shut after another when Joseph and Mary were looking for a place to stay for the night. You could’ve easily created a palace or a five-star hotel in the middle of Bethlehem and show everyone how a King is supposed to be treated. But You didn’t. You restrained yourself so that people can see that their Savior was born in a lowly place and that their Savior knows what it feels like to have nothing. He can empathize.
You thought of us when we weren’t even thinking of You. You loved us unconditionally and You wanted us to be reconciled to You. But You had to get rid of that sin barrier that separated us from You. You bridged that gap through the birth, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. He was Your precious One. You sacrificed all the comfort and protection that Your Son could’ve had while he was here on earth. All because He had to fulfil His purpose “to save his people from their sins”.
You didn’t want to be Jesus’ Father alone, You wanted to be our Father as well. With Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, You opened the door for us to be Your children. All we need to do is believe that what He did is the only payment for our sins and that He is the only way for us to be reconciled to You. With that faith comes the assurance that we’ll be in heaven someday and that You will be there to receive us not because we were good enough but because Someone loved us enough to sacrifice His life for us. We will stand before You stripped of any merit but only with the merits of Jesus Christ. We can’t boast about anything because we didn’t do anything. Your Son did everything.
On that first Christmas, You set the greatest example of giving the BEST GIFT for mankind—the life of Your Son. You celebrated that Christmas with a sacrifice. You celebrated it with so much love for us that the mere thought that we’ll be reconciled to You marked Christmas as the new beginning for mankind. It must be really tough, God. I can never thank You enough for making that exchange gift for us—Jesus’ birth and death for our eternal life. Thank You that the significance of Christmas is far beyond the gifts, food, and merrymaking. Christmas is rooted in Your heart where all love and acceptance abound. It is found in the life You gave and the life we gained.
Thank You, God that Christmas is here because of You. Thank You for putting CHRIST in the center of the celebration. Merry Christmas, Jesus. I can never love You the way You love me. Nonetheless, I want to let You know that I love You more than anything else in this world. You are the ONLY REASON for the season. 🙂