“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” John 1:1-3,14a (ESV)
At Christmas, we celebrate that God took on human form. The One who created the heavens and the earth, the plants, the animals, and all people, became human and lived in his creation. He became one of us…in all ways but one: Even though he faced temptations, Jesus never sinned. When the timing was just right, he gave his life for us. Despite living a flawless life, he was executed on a cross and took upon himself the righteous wrath of God. He didn’t deserve this, but that’s exactly the point. He offered himself in our place, taking our sins in his body on that cross.
But the story doesn’t end there! Jesus was buried, people mourned, and on the third day, he came back to life. Now, the only thing dead on that cross are our failings and sins when we turn them over to Jesus. He offers an exchange we hardly deserve – our filthy actions for his right standing with God.
Why would Jesus do this? Why would he lower himself to become a part of his creation and endure a Roman crucifixion?
For love! Because he loves you and he loves all those around you. He loves people that much! One day, Jesus will come again, but in the meantime, he has given his Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit lives within those of us who believe in Jesus and equips us to do God’s work here on earth.
This Christmas, while we celebrate that Jesus took on human form, may we also remember the reason why he did it: He loves us! Empowered by the Holy Spirit, may we joyfully reflect that selfless love to those around us this Christmas season.