My buddy Derek Maffett wrote and performed this poem entitled Joy.
We have been looking through some history, culture and scripture regarding the Nativity and birth of Jesus the Christ during this series. I wonder if you truly understand what Christmas really means. And no, by now, we surely know that it’s not about Santa Claus or presents. But what does a newborn baby have to do with me, and with you, thousands of years later? Why do we really make a huge deal about a birthday of someone we don’t even know. Maybe that’s the point! We don’t really know Jesus, at least not the way He knows us.
God, in His eternal past decided that He wanted created beings who actively choose to worship Him. Not programmed to do so like robots, but rather understand who He is and what He did to bring them into existence. But just like a fire is hot when you get nearer to it, God’s pure and perfect holiness cannot be near to sin, and so His holiness devours sin…we call it His wrath. And it’s because of this sin that the very beings he chose to create then hopefully turn around and choose to worship Him are separated from Him. This sin has become the very reason we cannot draw near to Him once more on our own. But His plans will not be thwarted, they will not be derailed. His will was to not leave any chances beyond a choice to worship Him or not…so He planned a way to reconnect with His creation so that His wrath would be assuaged.
The second person of the Godhead, the Word in eternity past, left His throne at the right hand of God, and entered into the world He created. He suited up inside of a flesh body, born of a virgin named Mary having been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And proceeded to live the perfect life on earth, giving us direction and guidance for life. But then took onto himself the eternal penalty and price of all sins of all people of all time. And He then died and was buried for sins which He did not commit. But although Satan had “bruised his heel”, Jesus overcame death and rose back to life, ultimately defeating the plans of Satan and “crushing his head”. So sin is something we all still struggle with, but it is not longer the defining obstacle which keeps us from God. He also showed us how to live through His death. Our own hearts are the largest obstacle keeping us from being with God.
But this seemingly reckless love, from our perspective, is completely one sided. He sent his own son to die for us even while we still sinned. We didn’t do anything to ask for it. We certainly didn’t do anything to deserve it. And it’s this great love, drenched in mercy and grace and forgiveness that gives us such joy.
This Christmas may you have the joy of Jesus in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul.
To start at the beginning of this Advent/Christmas series, click here
To continue in this series, click here