In Galatians 4:4 Paul called attention to the fact that God prepared the world for the coming of His Son to earth in human form. Through the mighty political power of Rome, the cultural and intellectual prowess of Athens and the messianic hope of Jerusalem, God prepared the world for the sending forth of His Son to bring redemption to a war-torn and a sin-weary humanity.
This brings me to the thought that Christmas is more than a historical event and infinitely more than a commercialized festive season of fun, shopping and drunken parties etc.
To think that God would move heaven and earth to send His Son shows how much He truly loved us. A. W. Tozer, in his book, ‘A Disruptive Faith,’ wrote: “I can understand why God did most everything … It is easy to see why He might do some things, but it is extremely difficult to understand why God should love mankind and why man should be such a fixture in God’s mind. It is one of the strangest phenomena in the universe.” He went on to say that he cannot understand why God lets man live, because he has forfeited all right to live, and yet in spite of all of this, man is a fixture in God’s mind. God cannot escape the great love of His heart for the human race – that means you and me.
There is only one answer to this human puzzlement. What brought Jesus Christ to this earth to die for us? Was it that He might carry out God’s eternal purpose? Yes, in a way that’s true, but the answer lies deeper. He visited us because we were a fixture in His mind. It was love that brought Him down to die. God’s anxious, restless love was incarnated in human flesh. Our Lord’s great pain for us compelled Him to come down to earth. Calvary was pain. The nails and the hanging on the cross, the perspiring in the hot sun, and bleeding must have been painful. But one pain was bigger than all the rest. It is His pain of loving. However, one day that love is going to be fully satisfied as recorded in Isaiah 53:11, “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …”
How is that love going to be satisfied? Tozer concludes, “Man, as long as he is sinning, is a pain in God’s heart. When he turns from his sin to God, he is a satisfaction in God’s heart … I, for my part, want to bring joy to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
How about us? You and I are one of these two things – either a pain or a satisfaction in God’s heart.
Rev. Mark Tay