Today we consider how Jesus became flesh and emptied himself for us. Our celebration of the baby in the manger is a celebration of Jesus doing something immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, committing himself to a path which could only lead to the cross…
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14
As I start to contemplate Christmas, I am finishing reading the gospel of Luke. The death of Christ should never be far in our minds from the birth of Christ and vice versa. As I think about Jesus committing himself into the hands of his Father I think about his separation from the Father in the incarnation. Now, I understand that Jesus is one with the Father and the Spirit and nothing could break the integrity of the Triune nature of God, yet Jesus became flesh.
Jesus emptied himself of the stature and gave up all consideration of his equality with the Father. He gave up his infinite advantage (sovereignty) to be disadvantaged as a baby… A human… Just like you and just like me.
Jesus the Word of God who is God and who oversaw the beginning and who will oversee the end became a tragic and heroic character – the main character – in our story. Our celebration of the baby in the manger is a celebration of Jesus doing something immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. When Jesus came to earth, he committed himself to being in the hands of a human mother and an adoptive father. He committed himself into the role of a servant for us.
Jesus committed himself to a path which could only lead to one place, which was the cross on which he died for us.
A thousand years is like a day with God, yet somehow Jesus’s thirty-odd years on earth may have seemed to him to be like forever. Every day he knew what he would face and every day perhaps longing, as he did in the garden of Gethsemane, to not go through with it. Yet rather than letting the cup pass from him, he was faithful always to Father. Jesus was committed to the Father’s will.
Consider the gift of Jesus this Christmas, and consider his commitment to us and to his Father in coming to earth…