Advent Week 4
By Jesse Packard
December 26, 2017
Advent Reading 4: The Jesus Candle
Before the beginning of time, God was. There is simply no way for our finite and limited minds to comprehend the fullness of an infinite God. In His love and glory He decided to grant us life. By His kindness and mercy He invited us into His perfect community. By His generosity and grace He made us in His image and placed us over the rest of His creation. There aren’t any words quite able to portray how magnificent what God did in the beginning is, what He did in creation when He ordered the universe and set our place in it.
And there are no words able to fully describe the awful betrayal of our sin. He gave us life yet it is death that we choose. He is generous yet we take what is not given. He was faithful yet we are unfaithful and faithless. He lovingly set our boundaries and we selfishly reject Him and disobey. When Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey God, their sin tore apart the order and harmony that God created. Their sin, and our sin, removed their ability to stand righteous and pure before a perfect God, and death is the result. We chose to reject the headship and authority of God, and as a result, we chose a new master, one which would not let us go because we simply will not let it go. Our own sin. We are slaves to our sin because in our sin, all we truly want is to be our own god. This is the horror of the problem of sin, we cannot escape it on our own. We need a savior.
Listen, God knows, and He lovingly acted. God was not content to let us all perish. Despite the awful betrayal that our sin is, He chose to become our solution. The all-knowing, all powerful, creator God of the Universe loved us so much that he made himself nothing for us by becoming one of us. His name, Immanuel, is the ultimate promise for us. God did not leave us to die alone, but he became one of us. Can you imagine it? Can you imagine the most perfect, powerful, eternal being ever becoming a small lump of cells inside of one of His own creations? Even while His power kept Mary’s lungs breathing and her heart beating, He fully subjected himself to be sustained and grown by her body. It did not have to happen this way. Jesus could have easily took on human flesh as an adult. But he loved us enough to fully become one of us, experience everything we experience, in order to provide us salvation from ourselves.
And that is what Jesus did. He became human and took on flesh. He had no beauty or majesty to set him apart. He would be despised, rejected, wounded, afflicted, smitten by God, crushed for our sin, and killed to take on our punishment. This was the life that Jesus willingly chose for us, and it all started with a baby born in a stable.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus because there is simply nothing worth celebrating more than the perfect gift that He was. We celebrate in joy because He brought hope to a world that had none. We celebrate because God is with us, Immanuel.
We celebrate because Jesus is worthy.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.