Christmas is behind us. It was wonderful, and I am astonished once again at what God did for us. Good family memories, fun stuff, and a few cookies are its left-overs. It is almost time to take down the decorations, (a chore no where near as fun as putting them up) put away the tree, and go back to regular life.
The amazing truth that we celebrate at Christmas is here to stay.
At Christmas we remember when Jesus, the Son of God, was born to two lowly and obedient people in a stable because there was no room for them anywhere else. Shepherds, lowest on the social pecking order, were the first people to get the message from an angel, and then they heard an angelic chorus singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
That was the beginning of the life of Emmanuel, God with us.
God is with us every day, and because Jesus lived a human life he knows from his experience what it feels like to be tired, lonely, misunderstood, sick, and to be tempted. I don’t think anyone truly understands what it would have been like for Jesus to live as God incarnate; 100% God and 100% man. Whether we understand it or not, it is true.
This reality gives me hope and help every day, well every day that I remember it.
When I am ready to give up or to give in, I can pray to One who understands. When I feel lonely or misunderstood, I have access to Jesus who experienced loneliness and misunderstanding far worse than anything I will ever know.
The book of Hebrews says that Jesus, though he was God’s Son, “learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…” (Hebrews 5:8-9) It’s tough to get my head around the Son of God learning anything, but I think he experienced things that he had never known before. He learned what it was like to obey his Father when all of his humanity was urging him not to.
Jesus lived on this planet, fully God and fully man, so that he could fully save us. He shows us something through his life and his teachings for sure, and the closer we pay attention to it the more we will learn from it. His primary role, however, was as our Savior. It was necessary for him to be God with us, Emmanuel, for that to be accomplished.
Ponder the reality of the incarnation, and ask yourself what it means to you. The next time you’re feeling in need of some help, remember that Jesus knows exactly what you need and go to the Father in confidence.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16