Today in the concluding part of our series on some obvious and some
not so obvious lessons gleaned from the First Christmas Story, today we
come to a lesson, which would perfectly fit into the not-so-obvious
category perforce requiring study of some Scripture portions with a
magnifying glass, as it were...a la Holmes...
"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," (1 Tim 2:5)
Finally, we come to the point...what exactly it cost Christ to condescend down as man.
Excruciating death on the Cross? Wait there is something more...let me illustrate...
A father and his son put up a beautiful bird sanctuary, housing variety of doves spouting feathers of various hues. Sadly one day these doves turn into crows and in their new ravenous nature start harming and even killing one another oblivious to repeated appeals of both the father and the son, not to do the same.
The father comes up with an idea to remedy the situation. His son would go amongst the crows as a bird himself, speaking their language in order they understand him and hopefully mend their ways. Hey from human perspective would not that be a case of lowering oneself by two notches (stooping below even the mammalian order)? When Christ condescended to become man, did not He lower himself below his own "second-ranked" created angels (Psalms 8:34-36/Heb 2:7) that are superior to men but inferior to the Almighty (Job 15:15)?
Now once the son made up his mind to do become "a bird" (Phillipians 2:5-8), the father comes up with three realities which would come His son's way. The son willingly agrees to take them all in his stride…
a) The crows may eventually kill him, not giving a hoot to any of his pleas to change themselves for better
b) The father by giving a kiss of life, would bring back the son now confined in the bird's body to life
c) The son in a bird's body would then be elevated, exalted and even glorified but he would still remain in a bird's body...worse...world continue to bear the wounds that caused his death (Rev 5:6-TLB) throughout eternity. His being throughout eternity would be a far cry from a far better state, he had possessed before incarnation.
Dear Friends, is the enormity of Christ's sacrifice of coming down in a mere man's body and being confined in it for eternity registering in your minds and spirit? His condescension meant, He would forever remain man albeit in a Glorified body (Rev 1:12-16).
Consider these Scripture portions (in present tense, one of it is being repeated under this sub-topic) penned after Christ's ascension, which are a "clincher" as it were, substantiating this "chilling" truth…"For in Christ there is all of God in a human body" (Col 2:9 TLB); "That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together" (I Tim 2:5 TLB)
Now for a subject within the subject. What was the Father's response to such a submissive, sacrificial obedience? He made His Son's Name a Name above all names (including His--Philippians 2:9). Boy, if you are wondering where is the role of the third person in the Godhead- Holy Spirit (oh, He never clamors for attention) in all these, let it be said that every word that has ever been written in appreciation of the Almighty's Grand redemption plan has been inspired By Him…including this one of yours truly. Of the perfect unity that exists within the Trinity in using the "redemption plan" to save the lost, it was said by a ransomed soul "The Father thought it, the Son bought it, the Holy Spirit wrought it, though Devil fought it, Praise God I got it".
Coming back to the main track, let me conclude now with a relevant, touching story which goes thus…
There was an orphaned boy living with his grandma when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy's cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck. Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town's wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad's eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man's neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
Even as Christmas is around the corner, let us reflect on the truth that Christ's hands and legs still retain the scars we inflicted upon Him and respond with a resolution of life-long loyalty purely out of love for the one who has given His all to us, come what may! What a Saviour! Hallelujah!
Those who have not received Him yet in their lives, this Christmas receive into your lives the Indescribable gift, Christ Jesus (2 Cor 9:15). A gift ought not to remain as a mere gift but it has to be "used" for the purpose it is given. Then it would really be Merry, Joyous (this joy would be internal not dependent on any extraneous factor--See John 15:11) Christmas for you!!!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we surrender our body, soul and spirit to Thee for what You have done sacrificially for us acknowledging that there is no other way, we can properly thank Thee. Amen.
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "It's Elementary" mini-series, please click here.)