Posted in Holidays, Thinking Outside the Hive

The Absurdity of Christmas, part 3

close up shot of lion
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

 

Let’s not miss the point of the manger.

Jesus’ first coming was mankind’s only chance for reconciliation with God.

Coming as a man with a demonstration of the Kingdom, Jesus brought an absurd solution to eternal separation from God:  Himself.

Jesus offered Himself as a sacrificial Lamb to pay the debt we owed. He came voluntarily and shed His blood as a substitutionary offering in order for us to be reconciled to His Father.

There’s no way we can earn our way into God’s graces. We can only approach the Throne through our legal representative, our advocate, Jesus. He is the One Who shed His blood for ours, Who took on our sins so we could be sinless, Who suffered our infirmities so we could be healed, Who forgave us so we could be forgiven, Who died so we could have eternal life.

Accepting that Jesus, the Son of God, died for us is our only chance–and it’s our choice.

The first time Jesus came as a baby and a sacrificial Lamb to restore us .

The next time Jesus appears on the earth, He will come as a full grown Man, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

On that glorious day without warning He will pierce the clouds riding in on a white horse like a bolt of lightning with all His splendor and majesty restored. He will come with trumpets and fanfare and all the power and authority of Almighty God, and every knee will bow to Him. He will appear in a flash and sweep across the earth destroying evil with the breath of His mouth. We will see Him as the King and Conquerer He truly is.

When He comes the second time there will be no compromise, no excuses, no time to change your mind, no blaming others and no more baby talk.

So let’s not squander away the time we have.

In this moment we can still embrace the Jesus Who introduces Himself to us in a stable at Christmas. As we gather this Christmas, let’s pause a moment and think about The Gift God gave us over 2000 years ago.

Let’s not miss the opportunity to approach the manger and get to know this marvelous Savior. He will change your life. Please don’t ignore His invitation.

Because rest assured …

He will come again!

Posted in Holidays, Thinking Outside the Hive

The Absurdity of Christmas, part 2

Nativity 2

As smart as we think we are, we really don’t understand God. His purposeful plan wasn’t simply a stroke of genius, it was a calculated objective set in motion from the foundations of the earth. After all, God doesn’t have moments of brilliance. He’s brilliant all the time.

But concerning the birth of Jesus–a singular moment in history–what was God thinking?

Instead of millionaire monarchs God picked parents of poverty for His Son. As an alternative to a supernatural palace, God chose His Son to be born in a gloomy grotto among farm animals–cows, sheep and goats. Rather than a bejeweled bed, the Holy Child lay in a stone-hard feeding trough. In place of plush blankets, Emmanuel, God-with-us, was wrapped in coarse hand-woven cloths. There were no trumpets to herald the moment and no angels seen hovering over the manger. The night was silent.

So why would God choose for His Son to appear on the scene as a small, helpless baby? Why put Him through the vulnerability of being an infant–totally helpless and dependent on others for His survival? Why should Jesus have to endure the erratic and awkward season of puberty? After all, God had created Adam as a full grown man. Surely He could do the same with Jesus.

Why would God do such a thing?

May I offer three possibilities?

Humanity, Humility and Access

Adam, a human, lost our relationship with God when he chose to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so a human had to be the one to reclaim what was lost. Only a human could restore that relationship. But it couldn’t be just any human It had to be a human who understood the extent of the loss and who could be a perfect, unblemished, innocent-as-a-baby sacrifice. Sort of like an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, Adam’s choice condemned man to an eternal death so Jesus came (as a human) to reverse that sentence and bring eternal life.

We don’t really understand the enormity or the absurdity of what Jesus did. He willfully set aside all His God-ness in order to experience life on earth first-hand. Basically, He said, “I’ll come down to your level because you can’t possibly come up to mine.”

Isaiah says, “Even our best works are as filthy rags.” In other words, the biggest and best we have to offer, our most majestic and mighty works, are simply a child’s cartoon on God’s refrigerator door. As beautiful and inspired as this world is, it’s a caricature compared to Heaven. Jesus volunteered to leave His majesty and glory behind to become our bridge to a perfect and Holy God. Jesus humbled Himself, even to death on a cross, to bridge that gap.

From God’s perspective, whether in a castle or a cave, coming to dwell on earth was a step down. So He invited a willing young teenager to be the mother of His Son and a simple tradesman to be His step-father. Jesus came to us with the humblest of beginnings, the lowest of the low, which brings us to access.

Kings in palaces are hard to reach. In order to get an audience with a king, one has to jump through one or more hoops such as: have an appointment, have a specific reason to meet (which must be vetted and approved by others), go through background checks, be a person of influence, be invited or be a friend of the king.

By presenting His Son to the world in a stable God was saying to us–the door is open to all. There’s no “Restricted Access” sign on the Door to Heaven. Jesus has made eternal life available to everyone.

As absurd as Christmas is from a human’s perspective, God knew what He was doing. It was the perfect solution to the problem of sin and the restoration of relationship with mankind. Let’s celebrate the first coming of Jesus and invite Him into our lives. Today Jesus is waiting for us at the manger with open arms and forgiveness for our sins. Let’s not waste the opportunity.

Because, He’s coming back again, and next time He appears…

(To be continued…)