Jesus love me this I know. As a child I sang that song, and as an adult I have always known that Jesus loves me. But…sometimes I forget. At times I’m not so sure.
Christmas provides an especially good opportunity to remember just how much God loves you and me.
Here are three truths to internalize as you celebrate Christmas this year.
The fact that Jesus is fully God and fully man is enough to keep my head spinning for quite a while. He is God; he has power, authority, majesty and wisdom that humans don’t come close to possessing. He was also man; in a human body subject to all the same frustrations, distractions, sickness and evil that we deal with.
Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, who were nobodies as far as the world was concerned, in a barn yard in Bethlehem. The beautiful Christmas carols that we sing were not heard that night, with the notable exception of an angelic choir singing to shepherds, and the noises in the manger would have been the homey sounds of animals and humans simply living.
I wonder if the sights and sounds of normal life were more amazing to Jesus, if he could have made sense of them then, than the music of choirs. He had not experienced in human form the noises of sheep eating or the feeling of a mothers loving embrace. What would that have been like for God? Could Jesus perceive those things as God even though he was a human baby? You see why it makes my head spin.
Jesus left his heavenly home to be born as a helpless baby on earth where he would not have the advantage of wealth, would not even have a place to lay his head, and would generate such anger and fear that he would be executed.
Jesus did that to save the world from sin.
Biblical commentator F.F. Bruce said, ““It is the Atonement which explains the Incarnation.” In other words, Jesus gift of salvation from sin through his death and resurrection was the reason for his birth as God incarnate. Atonement, or the reconciliation of sinful man with God, was the end game all along.
I’m always stunned by Luke 22:15, when Jesus says. “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” I imagine that Jesus knew that this was the climax of history, the deliverance that the Jews had been waiting for for centuries, the events that had taken all of time to develop, and he would finally make it clear to his disciples at the Passover meal before his death.
It was the moment in which God’s plan of salvation, the new covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ, was revealed to humans. It took a while before they understood it, for the disciples were as clueless as we are about the horror of our sins. Jesus knew that he would conquer sin, the plague of humans since time began, and that those who believe him are saved from the penalty of our sins forever.
Can you imagine a more astonishing gift? In Christ, through faith alone, we have been given freedom from our sins and therefore we have the incredible gift of eternal life.
Why did he do it? Why would Jesus come to earth as a baby and willingly sacrifice his holy and perfect life for our sins?
Because Jesus loves you and me more than we realize.
Remember how much God loves you this Christmas.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39