It’s Christmas Day. We’re celebrating the coming of Jesus. The King of Kings who, though He was equal with God, and was God, laid aside His Heavenly splendor—even His very maturity—and came to earth, not even as a man, but as a helpless baby.
Imagine that for a moment. Imagine being a king who owned the entire world and everything in it, and then imagine shrinking down to almost nothingness again, to be implanted in the womb of a young woman.
But not only that. For all your prior existence, you have been served like no one else. You have been waited on by millions of angels. And now, you have to serve. You become a small child who must submit to his parents. Few people do anything for you.
And not only that. You have come with a mission. You are going to love these people. Teach them the truth. Heal their sicknesses and diseases. Gain a huge following. And then be condemned and killed in one of the most barbaric methods possible.
And in that death, you will carry something that no one can imagine: the sins of the whole world. Your loving Father will forsake you. You will die an agonizing death under the weight of your cruel burden—a burden so great that you will agonize for hours beforehand at the prospect, and die of a literal broken heart.
But you will not only carry the sins of the world to that cross. You will also carry something else: their pain. Their hurts. Their griefs. Their sorrows. And you will nail it to that cross and kill that pain, that grief—on your shoulders.
This, of course, after you suffer your own share of woe and sorrow. You will start your ministry and your own family won’t believe. You will be led by your father to the wilderness to be tempted by your worst enemy for over a month, surrounded by wild beasts. You will heal many people and attract great crowds—only to have them leave you when you say some things that they don’t like. You’ll be betrayed by someone who you hand-picked to be part of your ministry, denied by one of your staunchest disciples, and forsaken by the rest in your darkest hour.
But then, when you return to your heavenly palace, yet in an indescribable way remain with those you love, you can say: “I know exactly how you feel. I have been there too.”
“I, too, suffered the pain of being forsaken by all who I loved.”
“I, too, experienced the hurt of being rejected by my own family.”
“I, too, was homeless and hungry.”
“I, too, was strongly tempted to sin by the Devil himself.”
“I, too, was misunderstood and reacted against by those who should have understood.”
“I, too, was stripped of my clothes, and I was hung up for everyone to gawk at.”
“I, too, was beaten and suffered abuse.”
“I, too, was a human, exactly like you. I can totally identify with how you feel.”
And that, brothers and sisters, is the significance of Christmas. It’s the story of a loving God who came, not merely as a human, but as a human baby, that He might experience everything that a human experiences. That He could be, not only like us, but one of us. Sinless, yes. Divine, yes. But still one of us.
And not only one of us, but one with us, that when He judges the world, He can say:
“What you did to this person, who is my brother or sister—you did it to Me.”
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will declare thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise to thee.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me.”
Since, then, the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Therefore in all things it behooved him to be made like his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.