Perhaps one of the most tragic potentials for us who have been set free through faith in Christ is that we might arrive to a place in life where we lose our wonder at our redemption. To wake up each day and not sense any amazement that the God of Heaven chose us, chased us, secured us and shepherds us…few things could be more unjust than to regard this as commonplace. The very thought that we are in the midst of the season wherein we celebrate the moment God appeared as man should be astounding to us. Yes, Christmas should amaze us. Why, you ask? For starters, we should remember that there is no reason that God should have gone to such lengths to rescue a depraved humanity. The first humans He made rebelled against Him and so have all others who followed the inhabitants of Eden. As unpopular and unkind as it may sound, we need to remember that our very nature is against God and therefore our subsequent thoughts, words and deeds all fall short of His holy standard. Why would He set His mark of grace upon us? Why would He choose to rescue us? Why…the…incarnation?
There is no other reason for Jesus Christ to have come beside the undeniable truth that God loves us. Don’t shrug that off as simplistic when it is likely the most sublime thought we might entertain.
Friends, the incarnation of the Son of God is the inception of the revealing of God’s plan for mankind. The beauty of Bethlehem is that God’s invasion into the realm of man’s captivity barely made a ripple when it occurred. Yet this plan would continue through the perfect life which Jesus lived every day of His time upon earth. The climax of this plan was witnessed on the day of crucifixion and then punctuated three days later at the resurrection. Christ’s ascension back to glory where He sits enthroned will one day (soon?) give way to His return in heretofore unseen glory back to earth. These are not isolated incidents but, rather, components of a singular plan to rescue a helpless, undeserving people. Again, why would He do all this? I say strongly that if you answer with any other reason besides His sovereign decision to love us then you are perilously close to heresy. Do not strive to attach an addendum. Refuse to qualify our unworthiness with some technicality. Don’t fool with the fabric of our faith. Rest in the grand realization that God loves you so extravagantly that He spared no cost to provide for you what you had personally forfeited through sin. He came to live. He lived to die. He died to rise. He rose to ascend. He ascended to gather. He gathers to rule. He rules to restore. And He has included you in this glorious redemption that sin cannot annul, Satan cannot undo, trials cannot dim, persecution cannot overcome and time cannot contain. You are His forever.
That is why the baby was born in Bethlehem. Now go and wonder on that.