Christmas does not stop at the manger. For many, the Jesus experience is just a warm and fuzzy feeling of a newborn in a cradle. For others, it is the wonder and amazement that God would humble himself and enter into our physical world as a baby, exactly the same way all humans do. This baby called Jesus has turned people and even the world upside down many times since His coming. He claimed to be God and had no reservation in doing so. Who, say you, is this baby whose birthday we celebrate every year?
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
There is something very special about a newborn; the sight of one just pulls at the heart. Older brothers and sisters, who are normally unresponsive, can’t help but be enthralled when a new family member arrives. The same was true when Jesus entered into this world as a real baby. The religious and non-religious where enthralled at his appearance, and people today are still captivated just by the commemoration of that long-ago event. Who can demand such an involuntary response? What baby can command such attention over the generations? The long-promised Son of Man, even the Son of God, Emmanuel–God with us.
The thing is, God does not do anything halfway. The Lord desired to experience creation, not just have head knowledge about it. He required a body from which He could act and behave like God. We are created in God’s image so that he would have a proper body. Part of the experience was to become completely empty and run the full race, from birth to death. But how can God, who is eternal, accomplish such a feat? Ah…part of the mystery of the Trinity. Amazing.
Son Of Man
One of Jesus’ most beloved titles was Son of Man. God promised Eve a savior would be born from the seed of a woman as she left the Garden of Eden–The Messiah. When Jesus evoked these two titles while talking about himself he was in fact claiming to be God.
Now then, God desires to share His life with us by experience, not just as head knowledge. The pattern to do so has been laid out–become humble and empty. Start from a new beginning and begin to behave like a child of God.
When Jesus came, men left their flocks to witness the baby in the manger who would feed the world. Men of renown traveled many, many miles to see Him. Rulers of the old order were so threatened that they murdered male children born in the prophetic time frame and at the prophetic place, Bethlehem. Jesus grew like any other boy; however, being God, His eternal nature allowed for wisdom and knowledge beyond human boundaries. His ministry on earth garnered thousands of followers. They even greeted Him on Passover as the Messiah King. This greeting from the masses was in the form of worship, “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:9) Even angels do not accept worship; Jesus received it making yet another mindful claim to Heaven’s throne. It is only fitting that the most famous religious person ever would be God incarnate. Emmanuel– God with us.
It is fascinating that of all the historical religious leaders of any repute, only Jesus was not ashamed to claim to be God. Buddha never claimed deity. Mohammed only claimed to be a prophet. Others have made claims of deity but failed morally. Jesus said He was the living water, the bread of life, light of the world, son of David, Son of Man, and yes…Son of God.
Now who says you is this baby that was born in a manger over two thousand years ago. A baby that still induces a body chemistry that cannot be explained by reason. Just think, a baby came to be with us, and when grown told us plainly, He chose to do so. We cannot create an independent person of Christ in our mind; He didn’t leave that up to us. The Lord of Glory came, lived, plainly told us who He was, and died so that in His resurrection, we might experience the living hope in the life God lives. You see, Emmanuel–God with us –didn’t happen for just one Christmas, or one lifetime, all those years ago, but rather He is with us every day.
Shepherds felt the Glory of His presence the first Christmas. They could not help but weep in their body, soul, and spirit. God offers the same Glory of this divine presence today and every day through the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.
Emmanuel – God is with us.
Feature Image: Bigstock.com