It’s day the last day of our series on the men and women who were at the first Christmas. We’re taking twelve days to look at the men and women who were at the first Christmas and get to know them as people. We want to shift our understanding from fictional fable, to human reality. We’d love to hear how this series is impacting you! Feel free to comment below.
If you need to catch up, here’s our past devotionals:
Day 1- The Prophets: The Conviction, Cost, and Triumph of Truth
Day 2- The Jewish Nation: The Gift of Waiting
Day 3- Mary: Perfect Isn’t Required
Day 4- Jospeh: The Forgotten Father
Day 5- Elizabeth: Joy in the Waiting
Day 6- John: Humble, Passionate, Prepared
Day 7- Bethlehem: The Quiet Entry of A King
Day 8- The Shepherds: When the Lowest Were First
Day 9 – The Angels: Bursting with Joy
Day 10- Herod: When Pride Gets in Our Way
Day 11- The Wisemen: Seeking Something Greater
Today we’re hearing from Spencer Arnold again, world renowned weightlifting coach, and Founder of Power and Grace Performance.
The Christ Child Is Born! Merry Christmas!
READ: Luke 2:1-21, Isaiah 9:6-7, Hebrews 2:9-10, 4:15
“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7
I’m 31 years old. I got married at 22 and for many years following our wedding I could feel a growth in maturity. Ironically that “growth in maturity” gave me a real sense of arrogance and self-righteousness. I remember thinking to myself that I was married now and that made me a more reliable or more holy person of sorts. Certainly somebody that could be trusted with more.
Ridiculous really looking back. However, the game changed for me on March 22nd, 2014. Little Emma Katherine Arnold came into the world. For the first time in my life I held something in my arms that was completely dependent on me. She had no other lifeline except for me and for Megan. (Thank God Megan was there.)
When I held what felt like a very fragile, helpless human in my hands, the weight of parenting really began to sink in. Any parents reading this knows exactly that feeling. The thought, “are they actually going to let me walk out this hospital with her? Are the crazy?”
Can you imagine that same pallet of emotions with the worries and anxieties compacted with the responsibility of the calling that sat on the shoulders of Mary and Joseph? God himself chose to come to the Earth and He chose to come in that form! To them! Predicted by Isaiah, God’s entire rescue plan for His people showed up as an infant.
We celebrate Christmas today because God came as that helpless, crying baby boy. The same fragility. The same weakness. The same dependence. All these things were present in Christ that day. The God of all the universe, the one who put the stars in the place and constructed humanity down to even the smallest genome, that God came to Earth in this form.
Furthermore, His status as fully God did not spare him of hardship nor did it really leave him of the same struggles and temptations that many of us feel everyday. The writer of Hebrews reminds of this fact telling us, “We see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” and “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Paul David Tripp puts it this way, “The Messiah came not to be served but to serve. Since he came to rescue sufferers, it was essential that he suffer too. And his suffering wasn’t reserved for the cross; it started the moment he was born. Everything he suffered was on our behalf. He would suffer but not lose his way. He would suffer and not quit and walk away. He would suffer and not grow bitter and angry. He would suffer and not respond with vengeance. He would suffer without thinking, desiring, saying, or doing even one thing wrong. He exposed himself to our world, to live as we could not live, so that as the righteous One, he would pay the penalty for our sin and give us not only peace with God, but a ticket to a future where suffering would be no more.” (Come Let Us Adore Him, p.78-79)
There are so many different facets of Christ worth worshiping. That’s so much of what makes Him a mystery. However, so often we miss what we worship about Him on Christmas morning. A child. A baby. God himself in the flesh as an infant. A mother and a father holding a fragile, crying life in their hands knowing the truth about who He was. The same struggles any parent has with their children in the raising of that child. They would have all these same experience but with Emmanuel Himself!
God chose to come as a baby so that he could experience every piece and part of the human experience. He walked through childhood with its challenges the same way we did. He felt the pain that you feel as a teenager. He feels and struggles with the same temptations you feel as a twenty-year-old. He struggled in so many ways that we do because He chose to come as a baby.
God wasn’t limited in how He chose to save the world but He chose this route. This morning, we worship and celebrate a newborn king because through this child we find hope, peace and a savior we can empathize with. I hope these devotionals have been encouraging to you I hope this Christmas morning as you look at the nativity scene or think about the Christ child in the manger you don’t miss the God of all the universe chose to come as a little baby! Merry Christmas! Glory to the newborn King!