Now that Christmas is over many are checking their bank account balance as the bills come in. The costs vary but usually include decorations, food, travel and gifts. Although many sacrifice to cover the costs, most would agree that the joy that accompanies the sacrifice is well worth the cost.
When we consider the birth of Jesus Christ, there were no decorations, little food, difficult travel, but one priceless gift that was accompanied by great sacrifice and great cost. Consider the following based on a Christmas Meditation that a friend shared with me.
Jesus left the right hand of the father, the seat of glory honor and power to come and live among us on this broken planet. He was the center of worship and praise in heaven and creator of all things. Yet He set aside being the One sought by heavenly beings for wisdom to become a baby who could not speak. The very Word of God became silent except for His crying.
The radiance of Jesus, who was clothed in glory and illuminated the heavens, humbly became swaddled in a blanket by his mother to keep warm.
Jesus willingly exchanged His throne of glory, surrounded in splendor and the sound of the heavenly chorus declaring, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” for a bed of straw in a feeding trough accompanied by flies and the choir of farm animals wailing out in the night.
Jesus abandoned His role as the Giver of Life and assumed the role of a helpless baby at the mercy of others for survival.
Jesus, who ruled heaven in righteousness, submitted Himself to the pain and shame of a world ruled by unrighteous men. The very Son of God was mocked and disgraced for His lack of parentage. He suffered the humiliation of a poor family which couldn’t afford a lamb for the purification, but sacrificed the poor man’s offering of two doves.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who came to bring life to all, suffered great humiliation and shame in coming. He was welcomed into the world by a few unclean foreigners and some despised shepherds of Israel, not by the coronation of the King of Kings.
From the very beginning, Jesus came in shame to bring us into His glory, and to make those who were once vessels of shame into vessels of honor.
Great was the cost Jesus paid to bring to us the gifts of peace, joy, hope, love and eternal life with Him in glory.
Jesus knew the cost before He came. As He considered the cost, He did not hesitate to pay in full as He shed His blood on the cross. Jesus stooped to the death of the worst kind of criminal to take our shame and sin.
Though he was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
As we reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas, let us not only celebrate the birth of our Savior, but let us consider the cost.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2
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