By Jackie Bailey
Because of what he has suffered, God says…my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honor of one who is mighty and great because he bore the sins of mankind. (Isaiah 53:11-12 NLT)
When I think about Christmas, I envision the birth of a sweet baby born in the humble surroundings of a picturesque stable in the quaint little town of Bethlehem. I picture chubby cherubs heralding angelic joy surrounding the birth of the Savior. That being said, I don’t often reflect on the real reason of Christmas–the rescue of humanity!
This miraculous event we call Christmas was God’s dramatic rescue to reach down to us to restore all that was lost and broken in the Garden. He sent His Son to all humanity to restore face-to-face intimacy with us, and to re-establish communion with all creation that had been wrecked and ruined in the Fall. The lengths that He went to in order to rescue us are astounding when you let it sink in that the God of the Universe descended upon a young girl and placed Himself inside her womb to birth the God-Man, who “became flesh and blood and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14 NIV.)
Amazingly, this tiny baby was the fulfillment of a long-awaited prophecy of a Savior who would arrive among us, mere mortals, to extend mercy and grace, restoration and peace. All of Israel knew of Him and anticipated His coming, yet the long-awaited Messiah was born in obscurity. He entered a world that had no room for Him; not even a warm, clean place could be found to birth the Savior into the world that He, Himself, had created.
What a dichotomy–from the beauty and magnificence of the Glory of Heaven to an impoverished, filthy stable. What a contrast–the baby born into impoverished circumstances was the long-awaited answer, the Messiah, “the Son, the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Heb. 1:3.)
With the arrival of this Son, there was no longer a need for mediators, judges, priests and prophets to stand in the gap between God and man. This tiny baby offered Himself as “the door, the gate that whoever enters through Him will be saved.” (John 10:9) God’s desire to restore relationship with us was so profound, and the devastation and consequences of sin so intense, that this baby would sacrifice Himself to “take up our pain and bear our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us…it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him…our sins! He took the punishment and that act made us whole. Through his bruises we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5 Msg.)
So when I think about the Christmas season and what the birth of this tiny baby, Jesus, means to me and all of mankind, I contemplate the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of His Sacred Being found in the Christ Child. I envision a tiny Baby bursting forth at delivery: fists clenched, ready to fight for righteousness, bloody with the pain of mankind–and with a cry deep from His Holy belly he declares that the Kingdom of God has arrived and is among us, and he is ready to battle against all that was lost in the fall!