2004-12-23 - Humble Robes
Phil 2:6-7 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (NAS)
There is no way we can imagine the change that Jesus went through as He was born into this world. The Creator of the Universe and every atom, electron and quark that makes it up, submitted Himself to that fallen creation. We would see flashes of the unlimited power of God as Jesus would walk on the Sea of Galilee, turn water into wine, and calm the storm and raise Jarius' daughter both with a word of command. The elements obeyed His thoughts and words.
But here is the power of Christmas in a nutshell. The omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient clothed Himself in human flesh, was born like any other baby is born and lived among us. Mary and Joseph wrapped the boy in cloths to protect Him and keep Him warm. He would be fed, changed, burped and rocked as any child would be. There would be a group of visiting shepherds in the evening with an amazing tale to tell of angels proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah. But otherwise, it would be a quiet first night and a weary mother and step-father.
This tiny baby would cry when He was hungry, shiver when He was cold, need to be carried by His parents and have to be bathed by His mother. This level of dependence and helplessness is in stark contrast to the idea of speaking the universe into existence out of nothing. Add to all that the fact that Jesus was born without sin and was living in a world that was marred and held captive by sin and the power of the enemy. Herod would send soldiers to kill this child King.
The contrasts are striking: the adoration of the shepherds and the mad jealousy of Herod, the worshiping angels that stood in awe and the world that largely missed Jesus' arrival, the living, perfect Lord born into a world that was lost and dying in sin. Why would anyone come under these circumstances? Remember in the garden Jesus pleaded with the Father that if there were any other way to accomplish the plan of salvation that this cup of crucifixion, death and separation would be allowed to pass Him by. But there was no other way, and Jesus obediently went to the cross - out of love for us, and a desire to save us. Imagine a similar conversation prior to Jesus coming to be born. The plan had been laid out in eternity past. The time is was then right and the Father sends the Son. There was no other way to save mankind - out of love for His fallen creation - us - Jesus is born as a child to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem.
Christmas is the first part of Easter. Without the birth of Jesus, without the sinless life, there is no resurrection on Easter, no breaking of the power of sin and death - no ransom paid for the captives - us.
But it required that Jesus lower Himself and put on this flesh, these humble human robes.
Grace & Peace,