"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto 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." (Heb 2:17)
Another Christmas is here and gone, presents strewn about the house, cookie crumbs decorate the mouth corners of all, and the seasonal afternoon nap develops into a way of life. It truly is easy to lose sight of the heart of what it is we are celebrating amidst all the commotion of family visits, dinners, children playing, purchases and exchanges etc.
We can think quaintly of the baby in the manger, with the sheep and animals gently nuzzeling about Him. But it is there in Bethlehem we see humility and exaltation joined in One, glory and shame, the servant and King of all, this in one Person, Jesus Christ.
He was made like us in every way, subjected Himself to the same futility, cried like any other infant, played with other children, skinned His knees, as He grew He learned a trade and earned a living. In two ways He was not like us, He is indeed God and He lived a life without sin. All of this to save a people to Himself.
He didn't have to do it. Justice does not demand this humility and mercy on His part. The wonderous mystery of His choice to come as a Man and lovingly redeem a people lies in the unloveliness of those He came to redeem. He did not look upon us and see something that called for mercy (else it would no longer be mercy). Rather, in all of our ugliness toward one another and rejecting of God's Lordship He came to save.
We all to easily confess to our sinfulness without meditating on the hideousness of it, perhaps because it is too heavy to bear. "Christ died for the ungodly" (5:6) What does it mean to be "ungodly" other than to be opposed to God and all He calls good?
Such were all of us, yet He came nonetheless. He did not do this primarily to show us the life to live, for we could never live it. However, we see in Christ the invisible God. God is not some aloof invisible man distant from His creation as some would say. Our sin has seperated us from Him yet in His mercy He revealed Himself by becoming one of us. In Christ that seperation beween man and God no longer exists and those who are in Him may boldy approach the throne of grace.
These are sweet truths, worthy of meditation more than once a year.