The Child born on Christmas is Mighty God and Eternal Father
by Gini Crawford
Have you ever truly thought about what it meant for Jesus Christ (Who is God) to step out of eternity to be born on Christmas morn over 2000 years ago so He could become one of us? I hope this devotion will get all of you thinking about what a sacrifice of love this was (Romans 5:8).
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NASB®
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke, give us detailed information about what was happening around the birth of Jesus. Archaeology has proven that Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, is a first rate historian. He was also a medical doctor so he understood what it meant to say, "Mary was a virgin and pregnant." In all the Gospels, he gives the most details about the virgin birth (Luke 1:26-27).
Luke 2:6-7 gives us the details of Jesus' actual physical birth.
And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. NASB®
These verses in reality are just a group of historical facts strung together. They are not very interesting if you take them at face value, because babies are born all the time. However, if you truly consider that they are talking about the God of the universe being born, their meaning goes from being natural to supernatural. We can safely say, they are announcing the most important birth in the history of mankind.
The One True God becomes Man - Philippians 2:6-8
I believe the Apostle Paul understood (at least better than me) what it meant for God to be born in our likeness, and what a sacrifice it was for Him. Paul's insights are spelled out in Philippians 2:6-8. Remember God's Word is inspired by Him, so we could say, God is explaining to us what it meant for Him to become one of us in these verses. Speaking of Jesus it says,
...who, although He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 NASB®
I will break up the above verses into three phrases to give you more insight into them:
First - in Philippians 2:6 the phrase although He existed in the form of God
The word form in the Greek language means the outward expression which a person gives of his inmost nature. In other words, form means nature and character, not shape, as we would think. This phrase means Jesus had the very nature and very character of God. Let's reason this out a bit. Only you have your nature and your character so only you are you. Jesus has God's nature and character, so He is God.
Second - in Philippians 2:7 the phrase but emptied Himself
The word emptied in the Greek means - to empty oneself, to divest (strip) oneself of rightful dignity by descending to an inferior condition, to abase (humiliate) oneself. This phrase means Jesus willingly stripped Himself of His self-interests and rights, not His deity, when He was on this earth. He let go of His glory as God. When we reflect on Who Jesus is, and that the hosts in heaven instantaneously fall down and worship Him, I think we can get a glance of how much He gave up to save us (Revelation 5:6-14). Who would imagine the Creator, the Sovereign King of the universe, would sacrifice so much because of love?
I was being convicted as I wrote this and thought, "God willingly gave up what was rightfully His when I needed Him too. How often am I willing to give up my rights, my self-interests, when others need me too?" To be frank, not as much as I should.
I don't know about you, but I try my best not to get myself in a humiliating situation. However Jesus, because He loves you very much, allowed Himself to be humiliated for you when He was on this earth. The thought Jesus was willing to be humiliated for me touches my heart so much! It makes me want to love Him as He loves me. How about you?
Third - in Philippians 2:7-8a the phrase taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Paul uses the word form again in this phrase as he did above. This means when Jesus took on the new inmost nature of a Man at His incarnation, His outward expression as a Man was that of a servant. What Paul wanted us to realize and know was that Jesus had the nature and character of a servant on this earth as well. Jesus became Man to serve, suffer and die for us.
We are told, Jesus was made in our likeness, but we need to understand likeness has a meaning of similarity with differences. The difference is pretty obvious, isn't it? He is God and we aren't.
Some people think Jesus was just kind of God on this earth. However, from Philippians 2 and many other scriptures, it is plain Jesus was and is God (Hebrews 1:1-3). There is no way God could become ungod for awhile, because God cannot be any less than who He is (Hebrew 13:8).
Some people think that Jesus was not really a true man. However, scripture is very clear that He became Man on this earth so He could die in our place (Hebrews 2:9-18). The Old Testament was so emphatic that God's Messiah would become Man, the majority of Jewish people were looking for merely a man. When Jesus claimed to be God, many of the Jews did not believe Him, because they were thinking that their foretold Messiah, the descendent of King David, would be a man just like David was. Jesus' claims that He was God, were outrageous even blaspheming to them. It seems that the Jewish people were only seeing what they wanted to see in the Old Testament about their Messiah (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
It's important to understand, Jesus becoming Man didn't eliminate His deity at all. He had two natures after His incarnation, that of absolute deity and absolute humanity. After His resurrection, He laid aside His form as a suffering servant, but He still remains fully God and fully Man for the rest of eternity.
More sacrifices of love from our God
Here are some more thoughts on what it meant for Jesus to step out of eternity to become one of us. I feel a lot of people don't really comprehend the incredible condescension/humiliation the One True God undertook to deal with us and our sins. Hopefully my thoughts will get you thinking about how much you are loved by God and to love Him back. My ideas are presented in the logical progression of a birth and so on.
- Jesus created everything. He is the source of life. He is eternal. He is the Sovereign Ruler over everything.
All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:3-4 NASB®
However Jesus, Who is on His throne in eternity, enabled Himself to become one of the tiniest pieces of life, an embryo. As an embryo, Jesus allowed Himself to be controlled by His creation. He did this so we could have life eternal (John 3:16).
- Jesus is the Creator. He fashioned every detail of our bodies.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man... Genesis 2:21-22 NASB®
However Jesus willingly enabled Himself to become an embryo that developed into an unborn baby - fetus, which is absolutely dependant upon a woman for survival. He did this because He wanted to save us from our sins (Luke 1:18-25).
- Jesus is all-powerful and sustains everything, and without Him we wouldn't exist.
And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17 NASB®
However Jesus willingly placed His survival and security into the arms of a young woman. He did this to reconcile the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19).
- Jesus is the LORD, I AM, Who is self-existent and self-sufficient. Jesus needed no one or nothing to exist and survive. He reigns in the magnificence of heaven.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 NASB®
However Jesus intentionally positioned Himself to be born into a family that was poor, and would never have much monetarily. He did this so we could see that although He lived in the splendor of heaven, He gladly stepped out of that glory, to live and die in the physical and spiritual poverty of earth so we could inherit the riches of heaven (Ephesians 1:3).
- Jesus dwells upon the throne of heaven, in glory and splendor, as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In the year of King Uzziah's death, I (Isaiah) saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Isaiah 6:1-4 NASB®
These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. John 12:41 NASB®
However Jesus chose to be born into a situation where there was only a feeding trough to lay Him in as a baby, and He was wrapped in who knows what. His dwelling was probably a cave that was used for dirty animals. Yes He could have picked more elegant surroundings to be born in (He can do anything He wants). However, He came to be a servant and not to be served and to give His life to save us from our sins.
...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28 NASB®
He also came to experience what we experience firsthand, so He could offer grace and mercy, and sympathize with all our human struggles.
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18 NASB®
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB®
- Jesus was just as holy on this earth as He is in eternity.
His very nature was repulsed by sin, because of His holiness. Nonetheless, He willingly chose to live among us sinners, even though He detested sin. He chose to love sinners even when they did awful things to Him without a cause. He chose to experience the punishment for our sin, even though sin and the consequences of it had nothing to do with Him.
You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in Him. 1 John 3:5 GNT
- Jesus was humiliated to deal with us and our sins.
Jesus Christ was hunted down to be killed both as a child and as an adult, not because of anything He had done wrong, but because of who He is. He was shunned by most people because He loved and cared for people who weren't very lovable from society's perspective. He was hated because He taught that everyone needed to love God and each other, not by just fancy words, but by deeds lived out. The human reason He was crucified was jealousy on the part of His countrymen, and from the Roman's perspective, just plain cruelty. He was sentenced to death and died (for our sin) by one of the most tortuous deaths wicked humans could invent. If that wasn't enough of a sacrifice for us, God whose character is completely absent of sin, whose whole being instinctively abhors sin, took our sin upon Himself! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says,
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. NASB®
- Jesus was born, lived and died on this earth because He loves us. 1 John 4:10 talks about this unselfish and unfailing love from God,
This is real love - not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10 NLT
Yes, oh yes, He loves us! The old song, Jesus Loves Me, just came to my mind. I used to sing it at the top of my lungs as a child, but I have to admit I didn't realize how much He does until I studied His Word. Take the time to get very familiar with the Bible. You won't ever regret it!
Life application: What does it mean to you (personally) that Jesus stepped out of eternity and was born so He could die for you? Answer this question by writing a short paragraph.
Since Jesus lived on this earth for you, how can you live for Him? (Take time this Christmas season and ask Him how you can specifically live for Him.) When you love God you will want to trust Him or rely on Him. This enables you to live for Him. Meditate on: Isaiah 9:6-7 and Luke 2.
Parts of this devotion are taken from lesson 5 of the Bible study, "God Loves You and Me."
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