December 3, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
Christmas. It is one of the most joyous Christian holidays, a time to remember the birth of Christ our savior. Christmas is a time to share our blessings with one another, and to be surrounded by the people we love. It is a time for giving, and a time for forgiving. Most importantly, it is a reminder of how much God loves us.
Last Sunday one of the kids in Junior Church asked, “Why did God send Jesus if He knew He was going to die?” In fact, Jesus wasn’t just going to die, Jesus was going to be mocked, beaten, tortured, and then sentenced to die a slow, painful death by crucifixion. All at the hands of those He came to save.
It’s funny, because as Christians we like to remember the good times in Jesus’ life. We love to tell the Nativity story, but we forget that shortly after His birth Christ needed to flee from Herod’s army. We tell about His wisdom, His love, and His healing, but we forget about His suffering. We forget the price He paid, for our sins. We forget the lengths that God went to show us His love (Romans 5:8).
To be honest, thinking about this leaves me dumbfounded, because God knew what would happen to His Son. God had told Isaiah along with many other prophets of the suffering the Savior would endure. God knew that the very creatures He had created, would crucify Him for trying to save us from ourselves. And yet, God lowered Himself in Christ, feeling physical pain and suffering. God lowered Himself, and let mere humans beat Him and mock Him (Philippians 2:7). The God who has all the power of the universe, humbled Himself to be lower than the angels, and to die at our sinful, hateful hands (Hebrews 2:9).
God knew this would happen ahead of time, and yet He loved us so immensely that He sent His Son, the third person of the Trinity, to suffer a painful death, so that we could spend eternity with our Heavenly Father (John 3:16). That’s the story of love. That is the story of Christmas.
Today, remember the price God paid for you, because of how much He loves you. Remember what true love is, and share that love, God’s love, with all.