“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6 KJV
For unto us a Child is born… this Christmas season, that phrase has resonated in my mind over and over again. Unto us a Child was born that among us children could have new life.
When we take time to carefully consider the purpose of the birth of Jesus Christ, and when we take time to carefully consider our place in that story, the butterflies should dissipate from our bodies and the blood should drain from our systems.
Let us first consider our role in this story and the role of Jesus will become clearly evident. The Bible is littered with descriptions that are far from flattering. We are BLIND (1 John 2:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4); we are CORRUPT AND DEPRAVED (1 Timothy 6:5); we have DARK HEARTS (Romans 1:21); we are FILTHY AND UNCLEAN (Titus 1:15; Isaiah 64:6); we are FOOLISH (Matthew 7:26); we are HYPOCRITES (Matthew 23:13); and we are PROUD (Romans 1:30). The Bible goes on to tell us that we are GUIDED BY SATAN (John 8:44) and are ENEMIES OF GOD (John 4:4).
We are DEAD IN OUR SINS (Ephesians 2:1), and would still remain in that state, were it not for a Child being born unto us. Consider how a perfect and holy God could turn to us in love when we are depraved, filthy, foolish, hypocritical, and enemies of God. God could not claim us because our hearts were not His. We were orphans groping around in darkness and filth, yet too stubborn and proud to recognize our need for light.
Now, in comes Jesus Christ. He came into this world with a singular purpose—to live a sinless human life and to die as if He was the worst and most depraved sinner. Not only did Jesus give us an example of how we should live, but Jesus bridged the great divide between us and God the Father.
Jesus Christ’s greatest gift to us this Christmas season was not that He lived to give us an example. Jesus gave up His perfect relationship with God so that those who are alienated enemies of God would be able to draw close to Him. Jesus’ greatest gift to us is that He lived in order to die; He gave us His perfect relationship with His Father in order that we might joined into God’s family as sons and daughters. God the Father poured out wrath and death onto Jesus Christ so that we, in turn, could receive the blessed relationship that only He truly deserved.
Now, this story turns back to us, on this side of the cross, as we consider how to live and to interpret this Christmas season. We have new life because God graciously adopted us through the work of Jesus Christ. And God’s heart is to graciously draw more to Himself.
God explains to us that the purest practice of our faith is to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27) because these are ones who are most in need of help and least likely to provide anything in return. Not only are they filthy and foolish, but (even in their lowly state) they remain proud, hypocritical, and darkened.
This Christmas season, consider how to love and care for others with the love Christ. And do not find the ones that are most deserving of it or the ones that are the most in need of love. Because none of them are deserving of God’s love just as none of us were deserving of it. And despite their outward condition—whether they seem pitiful or whether they seem proud—they are all in need of Christ-like love.
This Christmas season, consider that a Child was born that the Child might be slain. A Child was born so that children may have new life as sons and daughters of the Almighty God.