Don’t write me off as being irreverent just yet. Walk through my thought process with me for a moment.
As we celebrate Advent, the coming of the Messiah, I can’t help but wonder what the first Advent must have been like for Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus was One with God. Jesus was Creator. Jesus was I AM long before He revealed that title to Abraham. Jesus was with God and He was God. He received and possessed the glory of being One with His Father, the worship of the angels, all power and authority over heaven and earth, and infinite wisdom, knowledge, time, space…infinite everything!
And yet, He chose not to cling to all of that. He consciously released His grasp on His right to all power and authority. He had full knowledge of all the pain and indignity that being human would entail, and He still chose to humbly put Himself within the limitations of a flesh and blood body.
Even more astonishing is that He didn’t jump into the form of a brave young adult, a strong fearless teenager, or even a precocious child. No, He took on ALL the limitations of humanity and started His physical life inside the womb. Almighty God chose to enter this world through a birth canal!
The Giver and Sustainer of life was suddenly dependant on someone else to provide sustenance. The Prince of Peace needed the protection of human parents. The God of all Comfort, had to be swaddled and held and rocked to sleep. I AM needed someone to change His bum!
I often make the mistake of limiting my perception of His sacrifice to just His death on the cross. Sometimes I include His difficult years of ministry. But rarely do I give full consideration to everything that He gave up in order to become one of us, and all of the suffering that is just part of being a human – from explosive diapers and circumcision, to skinned knees, being bullied, puberty… He knew He would be taking on all of it. Not in the way of humans that allows us to guess at some of the difficult things that might come as a result of decisions that we make, but in perfect, all-knowing-God foreknowledge of every detail. And He did it for us. He did it for me.
This Advent season, let us truly meditate on the coming Messiah. If we are to come anywhere close to grasping what Christmas means to us, we must consider first what Christmas means to God.